August 01, 2012

the middle.

i read this talk, Always in the Middle, by Deiter Uchtdorf, the other day and it has stuck in my mind.
sometimes i look around at my life and i feel overwhelmed.
i worry when i see the gap between where i am and where i want to be.
between who i am and who i want to be.
between how my kids behave and how i wish they would behave.
in my moment of worry, the Spirit whispers sweetly--
Jen, you are in the middle.
You're not finished yet.
They're not finished yet.
Have Faith!
Keep trying!
The end will be beautiful.

I'm still young, but getting older.
I can already see how age brings perspective.

Visiting with family this summer, after not having seen them for many years, I saw things differently.

my aunt was at her daughter's wedding--
she is a breast cancer survivor.
i couldn't help but enjoy that moment for her just a little bit more knowing that she could have missed it.
i wondered if she thought about her daughter's wedding when she was going through her aggressive cancer treatments.
did she know then that trial would be short?
that it was the middle, not the end?
her story continues!
she said to me that before her cancer she would sometimes avoid being in pictures because she was worried about how she looked.
now, she said, she is always in the picture.
because that is what life is all about.  being there and being remembered.
no matter how long our life is-- we want to be in the picture while we still can!

I remember my cute little cousin, Sean.
As a toddler he was shy and often clung to his mother's side.
She held tight to him when he needed her.
Some wondered if she was making him wimpy by her attention.
Today he is a GREAT kid.
He's outgoing and confidant and has traveled the world, with the love of his mother as his foundation.
and he's still in the middle!
he brought a cute girl with him to the wedding... it was so fun to see them together and wonder if she will be in our next family picture?
I'm certain that my aunt did not know that was how things were going to end.
Maybe she heard some angel whispering-- love him now, things will turn out good, this is just the middle.

I have one teenage cousin who is giving her mom a hard time.
It's been awhile since I've seen her.
To me, she is still the darling little girl with the big eyes that I adored as her oldest cousin.
I didn't even recognize her from the back, with her dyed black hair.
talking to her i still feel her goodness-- i still love her like i did when she was two.
it was funny for me to hear her mom's frustration because she wore an outfit that showed her bra straps.
she is lucky to have such great parents.
i hope that when my kids are teenagers i can see eternity in them--
that i can remember not to panic when they are learning to drive!

When i was a young women's president, i had a girl in my class who was also giving her mother a hard time.
She was dating a boy who she thought was her forever.
Her parents were not happy with her 17 year old choice.
I just saw her on facebook-- smiling and beautiful in wedding pictures, and enjoying her honeymoon with her real forever.
I can imagine how happy her parents must be.
teenage rebellion is a short time-- in many cases.
i think the problems come when parents treat kids as ruined when really, they are just in the middle.
They are learning and growing and not finished yet.
no matter how bad things are here on earth, if you are still alive, you are still in the middle.

sometimes i want to shout to people watching from the sidelines--
my life might seem crazy today,
my kids might seem raw today,
you might not understand how we are playing our game of life-- but don't judge us yet.
we're just in the middle!
i can't wait for you to see our ending!!
we might not look pretty here on this hill-- but we have trained well and will make a strong finish!

i had another cousin, matt.
i mostly remember him crying because he was always one step behind his two older brothers.
i remember him spending hours at the dinner table because he refused to eat a piece of lettuce
(or any vegetable, if i remember correctly.)
today matt is married to a kind, beautiful lady.
he is successful and educated and a really great young man.
i LOVE remembering him as the sweet, sensitive, non-vegetable eating little boy.

isn't it fun to get older and see how other people's lives have gone?

i love thinking about my own kids and what they are going to be when they grow up.
i remind myself often-- this time is short.
this is a stage.
This is a hard stage and a really fun stage.
enjoy it here in the middle.
don't WORRY so much about tomorrow.
have hope!

i can't think of very many people in life who don't get better with time.
be gentle with yourself...  and enjoy your dash!
today i'm going to enjoy life here in the middle just a little bit more...
i'm gong to be in the pictures...
i'm going to hold my kids a little bit tighter.
because really, we never know how long that dash is!!

Jenifer Moss
April 1, 1977 - ?

i just read this quote on Stephanie Nielson's blog and had to put it here at the end of this post.
You can read the whole talk here.

"Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Mothers, we acknowledge and esteem your faith in every footstep. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever."
-Jeffrey R. Holland

and then i read this quote from 320 Sycamore...  it's perfect too!
yup, we're just NOT FINISHED YET!!
jeffrey r


Amy said...

Jeffrey R Holland quotes make life better. I could kiss that man. (On the cheek, in a granddaughterly sort of way.)

Tiffany said...

Mmm... fabulous quotes!

So my question is... if our professors get to be roomies for a weekend, when do I get to do that w/YOU?!? :-) Hee--I wish!!

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