What is Your Middle Name?

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Can I speak some life to someone “in the middle” today?  I give you permission to stop thinking about your life as a possible midlife “crisis”. The strong emotions you are feeling, the hard parts unique to the middle are more of a shift in your core identity.  And it is needed and it is GOOD.  Biologically we weren’t created to bear children indefinitely and no season is meant to last indefinitely.  We have to embrace thresholds and shifts as being normal natural and desirable.

What is your middle name ?  I seriously would love to hear it.  Mine is “Marie”. Most of us have a middle name - and we embrace it as part of who we are.  The middle of life is no different. You also have a midlife identity. It is different from the first part, as your middle name is different from your first. 

Please, please do not listen to marketers, bloggers, dieticians/magicians/physicians when it comes to your middle identity. You are not your diagnosis, you are not your bank account, your social media account, and you were not meant to alter or conform yourself to market a system or product, I don’t care how wonderful and healthy it is. You were made for more. You were made for God-adventures.

My other middle name is “artist-author” .  With that name has come a whole identity shift for me.  With that name has come a host of noble problems.  Beautiful obstacles.  New battles.  This middle name is very different from my first, but it too is MY NAME.  It belongs to no one else. (Well, it does - of course it does, in one sense.  But in another sense, not one person can or ever will embody my #middlename like I do.  No one else has my story, my history, my deep passions unique to me.)

Who are you becoming, in your middle?  It is far less a “reinvention” and far more of a becoming a little more of who you are.  Just as I am Sheila Marie, I am Sheila...communicator.  Artist-Author-Grandmother. Sheila, who still loves her Tim, and together we are figuring out the core values of our middle-marriage. They are different from what they were in the first half.

That is a good thing. The Preacher and I have our feet planted in a spacious, nourishing place. (Being part of the local church where God plants you is HUGE when it comes to flourishing past youth and into midlife!)

From where I stand, growing old and into my last name will be the finest of it all.  I’m content to do it - but only if I can leave my legacy behind.  My legacy is alllll about others.  It is about sacrifice.  It is about Jesus and about YOU.  It is my children and grandchildren.  It is me growing into my last name, and in the process, living in such a way as to deeply challenge and change others. (Others = You)

Some will be able to keep trekking with me. Others won’t.

Its okay. Attrition is good, in this context. The middle isn’t everyone’s favorite part of the Oreo. Lord knows it’s my favorite. I’m licking all the cookies with middles, and those who can’t deal with that can find someone more vanilla. My vibe attracts my tribe.

Oh, for sure.

#youhaveamiddlename #itisdifferentthanyourfirst #whatisit #middledistance #middlekindling #theartofthemiddle

Those who are planted in the house of their God will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green.
— Psalm 92:13,14