31 Days of Celebrating the Middle {Welcome}

        Welcome to 31 Days of Celebrating the Middle!
So much emphasis is placed on beginnings and endings.  Almost all beginnings and endings are marked with ceremony or celebration.  Beginnings and endings have whole volumes of song and poetry written about them.   As a woman, I think my two biggest personal expenses in life, when it is all said and done, will be my wedding and my funeral.  Both should involve gorgeous flowers, and poignant ceremony.

Very few souls have had the wisdom to understand the middle, much less sing over it or celebrate it.  Any book or movie or project or life story can be muddled and unclear and messy in the middle.  Many tensions lie there, quietly unresolved. 
We are in the middle.  We can't imagine how all this might end. 
But those who know the One Who holds the future, ah...we can sing over the middle.  In fact, the God of heaven and earth does sing over your middle! 
The LORD thy God  in your middle is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) 
 I believe God brought you here, because you need strong encouragement.  You are either 1.  in the middle, or 2.  about to be in the middle-time of life, or 3.  you are in the middle of something, and you just need to know that Somebody sees the end from the middle and has a plan.
The middle is characterized by a few lost battles.  Maybe even many, many lost battles.   Somewhere, someone you love is deeply wounded.  It can seem that an allusive enemy has prevailed. 

Take heart.  It's just one of the mile-markers that indicates you are in the middle.  Somewhere in your life, it looks like an enemy of apathy, addiction, depression, or the death of a relationship - it looks like one or more of these things have won the battle over you or someone you care about. 

Not so.  Hang with me for the next 30 days, and I will prove it.
Here today, and for the next 30 days, “happy” is the order of the day – not in denial of life’s heartaches, but in the very presence of them.  The heart of God is to set a lavish table for you in the presence of your enemy – and to pour so much wine into the empty places of your heart, that you overflow with a sense of what is possible for you and those you love…right here in the middle. 
Please, please get this, if you get nothing else, this lovely October:  You are no less important at age 35 or 45 or 55, than you were at age 5.  Here’s the thing:  you need no less nurturing, either.  
I have good news for you.  Christ died so that you can be nurtured and profoundly comforted!  Hear the words of Jesus:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.  (John 16:7) 
In this Comforter is found a deep, abiding sense of well being.  Here in this place of being comforted by Very God, right here - and here only - can you discover mercy for the middle. 
Work with me, if you can.  You promise to come back for the next 30 days, and I promise to pray, every time I sit in front of this keyboard, that you leave here encouraged and strengthened, and that God grant me great grace to yank a giggle or two out of you.  
Won't that be worth the price of admission? 
I will leave you here, this first day of our 31 Days of Celebrating the Middle, with a little something to help  you get your groove on.  Enjoy!

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