Written by Kristin Orphan,
One of my new favorite shows is The Middle, starring Patricia Heaton. It is so funny, because many of the family scenarios, while exaggerated, are very relatable. Actually, in the case of my family, some of their scenes don’t seem quite so exaggerated as intended. The show gets its name from the setting. The Heck Family lives in small town Indiana, in the middle of our nation.
I grew up in Illinois, another middle state. Some refer to these states as “fly over” states, because you fly over them to get where you actually want to go. There’s no denying that the coasts and border-states offer a bit more excitement. California and New York, for instance, would be considered traveler destinations. Just the term destination sounds exciting; like you’ve finally arrived somewhere that matters.
As a forty two year old, I kind of feel like I’m in the middle of a lot of things. I’m somewhere around the middle of my life, the middle of my parenting and the middle of my career. While I consider all of life to be an adventure, I’m living the second chapter of adventures I started years ago. For example, I got married 22 years ago, we started having kids almost 18 years ago and then began our adoption journey ten years ago. I’m grateful that the roller coaster time seems to be behind us and now we are trying to faithfully walk out the second half of loving each other and raising our children well. We have established some good foundations and now we have to live them consistently.
Beginnings and endings tend to be romanticized, but I’m starting to believe the real work is in the middle. That’s where character is shown. There are often no cheering crowds, exciting leaps of faith or celebrations of a job well done in the middle. The middle is where you stay the course and keep promises. Heroes are made in the middle.
I’m always on the look out for new challenges, but the reality is that in order to leave the legacy I want to leave, I have to make sure I have the energy to continue to invest right here in the middle.