Mid-Life Mama

by Chelle Wilson



                               

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Wednesday morning, our eldest (aka The Princess) came downstairs and greeted me, warmly, for the first time, as “high school mom.” Her brother, (aka The Professor) moved up from middle school and will be a member of next year’s freshman class. He and his sister will spend one year in school together before she graduates high school in June.

It occurred to me that there are (at least) three phases of motherhood. There are the “moms of littles” years, the “mothers of grown children” years, and, my current situation, living as a Mid-Life Mama. My husband and I are raising teens, and I find the experience of being here remarkable.

I find the experience remarkable because it mirrors so much else about my life at this time. Parenting teenagers involves learning to let go. Our youngest has left the safety of middle school for high school; his sister is now a rising senior preparing to take on the world. I cannot always hold their hands and guide their every steps like we did when they were toddling, but neither are they ready to be released onto the world (do mothers ever fully release their hold on their children?). I find myself in the bittersweet position of Dr. Dolitte’s Push Me Pull You, leaning in and stepping back simultaneously. It is a curious dance.

There is neither manual nor support group for navigating the teen years. I’m not really a manual or support group kind of girl, but you know what I mean. I routinely reach out to my own mother, who remains my example of mothering Godly, Cool, and Elegant-even under pressure (that is what I strive for). I cannot fully articulate the blessing of having her as a sounding board and resource, but I can also appreciate that her context differs greatly from my own. There are friends, either just ahead of me with their own children, or just where I am, and we stumble along together. I am mindful, however, of My Father’s reminders that I am never without good counsel.

Esther, among my favorite biblical examples of Godly, Cool, and Elegant-even under pressure, teaches us that God equips whom He Calls. According to one biblical commentary written by Thomas Klock of Harvest Ministries, the Book of Esther contains great lessons about how we should be living, conducting ourselves on the job, facing opposition, facing success, and looking ahead confidently to the future. Most importantly, it is the best “textbook” of the Scriptures about the providence of God, and how He works in the perfect way and the perfect timing to accomplish His purposes.

My Heavenly Father reminder us that we are never without good counsel.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

Where Esther ends, the Prophet Isaiah begins. Why stress over any circumstance, over setting boundaries, over whether or not to say “No” in love, in modeling the Grace by which we live by offering it liberally. The Word of God reminds us that we are covered.

So, how does one approach mid-life mothering? Fully enrobed in Grace. Grace derived solely from leaning on the Everlasting Arms. Do you know any teenagers? Then you know what I mean. Living successfully with teenagers means giving and receiving Grace in abundance.

I am praying to remember this once summer ends and the craziness of both the first and the last year of high school descend upon our home. I will rely upon Esther’s example whereby He provides for all our needs, and Isaiah’s assurance that if we keep our minds stayed on Him, our Grace comes in the form of Perfect Peace.

I offer this Godly wisdom to people all the time, but clearly, I haven’t been listening myself. Why do we worry? Our worry serves no purpose and furthermore, we are not in control, certainly not in the midst of Mid-Life Mothering. For me now, for all of us at every stage, we must give it over.

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Email Author    |    Website About Chelle Wilson

I write at the intersection of life and faith, not as a theologian, but a regular person struggling to make sense of it all. I write the soundtrack for my faith…hymns, anthems, jazz vespers and hip-hop Gospel, encouragement to rely upon faith to live and love in the face of confusion. You can visit me at Treat Me to a Feast, Facebook, and Twitter

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Motherhood Minus Social Media

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  Ephesians 5:15-17

 

I have a few regrets in life, like everybody else. As I reflect back on these past 13 and a half years of motherhood with all of the ups and downs, challenges, blessings and everything in between, I have come to appreciate the gift of the early years. Recently it dawned on me that there was something missing in those early years, something that, in retrospect I realize, I didn’t miss at all.

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Have you been called to a season of rest?

I’ve noticed a lot of quiet blogs and websites lately, and a good number of inactive social media profiles.

My website has been uncharacteristically quiet the past several months. Between my mom’s passing and my month in the Holy Land, I haven’t had much time (or inspiration) to be online. I manage to post on a couple of sites occasionally, but I decided to give myself some online breathing room this summer.

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A lot of us choose to slow down the pace during certain seasons, especially summers. Our homes are chaotic with kids and family, or our schedules are busy with projects and travel.

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Living Your Calling

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The spilled batch of homemade laundry detergent finally pushed me over the edge.

I’d been experimenting for a while with homemade cleaners.  Cheaper.  Earth-friendly.  And I liked the image of myself as the kind of mom who made her own cleaning supplies.  If nothing else, it was a great topic for playgroup conversation.

But standing there with gloppy liquid oozing over my toes, it hit me:

This is not me.

It’s not that making your own cleaning supplies is a bad thing.  It just wasn’t my thing.  Being “housekeeping challenged,” to begin with, why did I want to add layers to my household chores?  Mixing up batches of homemade cleaners might give me playgroup cred, but it also gave me reasons for procrastination.

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Faith to Move Your Mountain

When you need faith to move your mountain…

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This passage has been a challenge to me. It’s easy to feel like somehow we must manufacture mountain-moving faith–as if it is some secret formula only the most devoted can learn.

Sometimes we’re trying to move the wrong mountain.

I struggled with the questions in my heart about how to have faith to move my mountains. But sometimes we’re trying to move the wrong mountain and too often we ask the wrong question.

Jaque Banas of Vision Writer’s International teaches the concept of journalizing, a specific way of meditating on Scripture by taking dictation from the Holy Spirit and writing to capture, assimilate and obey His personal instructions.In her study, Prayer the Power to Possess, she writes:

“If you don’t know the question, ask God.

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When Facebook Starts to Depress You

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Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook news feed and wondered why you felt kind of down?

Maybe you got on to quickly check in with a friend or to post a note and picture about what you’re up to. But, you find yourself scrolling…a quick “like” here…a brief comment there…and you notice something has changed.

Your thinking has changed from That’s a great picture of my friends, to That looks fun. I wish I could do that.

What beautiful scenery! turns to I’ll never get to go there.

I’m glad she finally got to visit there. becomes Must be nice!

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Rest For Your Weary Soul

My sister lives at the end of a long and winding road.

There isn’t much at the fork in the road to indicate safe harbor. In fact, the jarring yellow “Dead End” triangle warns you away.

Oh, but there is nothing dead at the end of this road when you venture past the strongly worded warnings and come through the curve of trees dripping with ivy. The gray-green glow at the bottom of the hill hovers over you with a living light.

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There is a squat brick box of a house, square in the middle yard, with an incongrous bamboo forest towering over the back of it.

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Pursuing Peace

2 Timothy

The word “peace” in the Bible refers to a mental attitude of tranquility based on a relationship with God; it basically describes a person’s correct response to God’s grace.

When you see the word “peace” in Scripture, it’s referring to one of two types of this peace from God.

  1. Personal peace that comes when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior.
  2. The peace of God that is available on a daily basis as we participate in the Christian way of life according to God’s plan

With this in mind, consider that true peace is…

  1. A gift we RECEIVE (Romans 5:1-2 & John 14:27).
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