Midlife Dimensions

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Lisa Kahan, Midlife Dimensions Office ManagerMidlife Dimension's Office Manager, Lisa Kahan, has experienced a midlife crisis journey with her husband and can relate to the situations that many of our website guests are going through.

Lisa enjoys writing for the Midlife.com website and prays that you will be ministered to through Midlife.com and the Midlife Chat Room.

"Life is like a roller coaster. Enjoy the ride!"

I've mentioned the 1989 movie, "Parenthood", often in the Chat Room. It's one of my favorites.

It's a realistic view of an entirely dysfunctional family, from great-grandparents to great-grandchildren. You can learn a lot from the movie when you step back and look at the big picture. Life takes everything you've got: love, patience, forgiveness, understanding, humility, perseverance, and so much more. You get more out of life when you put your full trust in God and ride His grand roller coaster. He makes all the ups and downs worthwhile in the end.   Sit back and enjoy the ride!

From the movie "Parenthood", here's the "Roller Coaster Speech" scene that really sums it up, but you really need

to see the entire movie to appreciate what the grandmother is talking about. You can view the scene on "YouTube", just click here:

Rollercoaster

ENJOY

THE

RIDE

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.

Gil: Oh?

Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!

Gil: What a great story.

Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

"But Why Mom?"

My kids will just about always ask "Why".

Sometimes I give them a direct answer, and sometimes the answer has to be

"Don't ask 'Why', just go along with the plan."

Rachel and Jonathan in front of Westminster AbbeyAnd every time I give my children the "Don't ask 'Why", just go along with the plan" for an answer, I hear that as if it's coming straight from God, to me as His child, regarding a trial I'm going through.   Sometimes I just plain ask God "Why", when I really don't need to know just yet.   God will reveal the "Why" in His timing as He teaches me a lesson from each trial that I am blessed to journey through.   I have had all my "Why's" answered by the Lord when I just "go along with His plan".

"No Means No"

“No Means No”

I love to be able to give my children the answer “yes” when they ask for things.

But, there’s times where a “no” has to be given, and it’s always for a good reason.

Usually, when I tell my children the answer “no”, they’ll ask “why”.   Sometimes I can give them a reason, and sometimes I can’t — but I have “my reasons”, or it’s just not an appropriate time or place to give them the reason.

When it comes to disciplining our children, we want them to learn that our “no” in most situations should become their “no”.   As they get older, they need to automatically know the answer is “no” (to specific and  learned situations) and have the self discipline not to ask us, and NOT to just do it anyways.  

  Rachel and Jonathan in Europe 2006

As God’s child, whenever I tell my children “no” to something they want to do or to have, I realize God is telling me “no” to something similar that I want to do or to have.   I have to accept God’s “no” without whining and know that it’s for my own good.    

Parents can see the “big picture” and they know why it’s not safe to do things or buy everything you see just because you want it.   I often have to remind myself that God can see the big picture and He knows why He’s giving me a “no” about something in my life.   I have to trust my Father and thank Him for knowing what’s best for me and for protecting me with His “no”.

In time, God’s “no” needs to become our “no” as children of God.   We shouldn’t throw a hissy fit about His “no’s” because they are definitely for our own good.  

Believe me, God loves to say “yes” and bless us tremendously.   In fact, He already has given us every spiritual gift that we need.  

Always be thankful for the “no’s” and don’t forget to thank Him for each and every “yes”.

"Are We There Yet?"

All parents have heard the words "Are We There Yet?" from their kids.
And, unless you're fairly close and can give them an amount of time they'll understand and deal with, you probably tell them, "We'll get there when we get there."
  
Jonathan on the Prime Meridian 2006Of course for me, when I hear myself give that answer to my kids, it's as if God was telling it directly to me.
As His child, I often ask my Heavenly Daddy, "When will I get there?" and "Am I there yet?".
And, I probably sound as frustrated, whiny, or bored as my children sound to me.
Generally, along with telling my kids the time old answer, We'll get there when we get there", I'll also add the usual, "Just sit back and enjoy the ride."   WHAMMO - another one from God to me.   God just wants me to continue through my trials as though I'm going on a ride with Him, He's the driver, and I'm His child in the back seat just going along for the ride.   He doesn't want me to worry about the storm outside and the slippery slope we're driving on to get to the final destination.   He just wants me to enjoy the things in life that He's provided for me to keep busy on the journey and have total trust in Him that He'll get me "There" in His perfect timing.

"I know what the secret to life is"

Hand - I've loved the movie "City Slickers" since it came out in 1991, and I appreciate the message it conveys.   Especially since I've entered midlife, it has even more meaning.   Occasionally, I'll encourage someone in the Chat Room to think about the famous scene where Curly talks to Mitch about "the secret of life". Curly tells Mitch that the secret of life is "one thing" and that "you have to figure that out for yourself." It's so true! And if you're wondering what your "one thing" is..........then just put Jesus in place of "Curly" and ride along with Him.   Jesus is the great shepherd, and like a cowboy, lives to bring in the herd. We are His sheep, and without a shepherd, we'd be lost or dead. I believe Jesus would tell you the secret of life is "one thing" too. And it's really the same-but different for each of us. When you confidently know your own "one thing", everything falls into place. What it boils down to for me is that I'm here for one reason, to live my life for  the  God Who created me. You might be thinking, "my one thing is also Jesus" and wondering, "how can that one thing be the same-but different". That's because although you believe in the same God, your relationship with Christ is different than mine. You have to live for your "one thing" and I have to live for mine. Then, and only then, can you live in complete peace knowing Jesus is on the throne and has everything in control.   Jesus can see the "big picture" and knows what's best for you.   He will bring you to and through trials in order to help you grow and learn, and be a better ambassador for our Heavenly Father.   In other words, "it's all about Him"!   Jesus is our "one thing".

Enjoy the "One Thing" clip from the movie on "YouTube".   Of course, if you can watch the whole movie, that's even better.   There is mild profanity in the movie, other than that, it's an enjoyable midlife crisis movie! Click below to enjoy the clip:

"The Journey is Important"

The Journey is Important

by Lisa Kahan

Let the Journey happen.

God has you doing this Journey for a reason.

The Journey needs to change you.

God has your kids going through this Journey for a reason as well.

The Journey needs to change the kids too.

Don’t rush the Journey.

Don’t cut the Journey short.

Let God choose the length of the Journey.

The Journey needs to change your spouse.

There are  lessons to be learned in the Journey.

Lessons take time to learn and sink in.

Be quiet, listen to the lessons.

Let it happen and grow during the Journey.

No Reason To Hate Valentine's Day


Some people love it, some people hate it! Regardless, Valentine's Day is celebrated in some form or fashion in most countries. In the 18th century, Valentines were hand written love notes on hand made cards. In the 19th century, Valentines cards became popular and started to be assembled in factories. In the 20th century it was blown into a huge commercialized "holiday" by American culture, which included billions of greeting cards being sold, the addition of exchanging gifts of all kinds, and the pressure to have romantic evenings with a loved one.

photo credit: © Robin Francom | Dreamstime.comWith that being said, and us being human, you can see how Valentine's Day went from the desire to simply let someone know how much you love them, to wondering if your loved one will be getting you something special - and making big plans - for Valentine's Day.

When you stop to think about it, by taking a regular day and giving it the title of "Valentine's Day," it really can cause one a lot of stress emotionally and financially, and possibly leave someone feeling very depressed. For a spouse that is in a marriage being tested by emotional divorce, physcial separation, or may be newly divorced - it is a tough time to get through. Feelings of "it shouldn't be this way" and "why me" abound, and extreme jealousy and bitterness may build up inside you because of your spouse's adulterous affair partner getting what you feel you should be getting - attention, gifts, love, affirmation, etc. After all, you're the one that's "put up with" you spouse all these years, through good and bad.

If the last paragraph describes your situation, I'm here to say it's not about you, or your selfish spouse, or the other woman or other man in their adulterous relationship. It is, however, a matter of the heart - your heart and its desire to live as a doer of the Word of God. (But don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22)

God has commanded us to love one another, not just on February 14th each year, but every day of every year. (This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:12) When you get to heaven, you will not be asked about the money you spent on cards, jewelry, stuffed animals, chocolates, etc. as Valentine's Day gifts. You will be asked what you did to show love to the unloved and forgotten, for the unloveables, for your neighbors, for your parents, for your children (the gifts God gave you), as though they were each Jesus Himself. (The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Matthew 25:40)

I challenge you to get out there and share some love, not just on Valentine's Day, but every day. No matter what day of the year it is, when you hand a homeless person something - wish them a Happy Valentine's Day and remind them that Jesus loves them. When you make a meal for a friend in need and drop it off, add a Bible verse to the package and remind them how much Jesus loves them. If you can knit or sew, make some blankets or scarves to give to a shelter, or send with missionaries to take and share in their travels, and include a tag with scripture and a note to remind them that Jesus loves them. Take the time to love on your children and pets, pray for them as they sleep next to you, remind them that Jesus loves them too.

It's no doubt that you will save yourself heartache on Valentine's Day if you get your mind off of self, and onto serving others for Christ. But I want to remind you to do something special for yourself too; take the time to sit with your Bible open and read Ephesians, and continue to read your Bible daily, not just on February 14th. It's the gift that keeps on giving. The Word of God is Alive! Let it fill your soul with love and grace, and surround you with protection and peace. Write a note for yourself right now.... "Jesus Loves ME" and tuck it somewhere that you will get a peek at it daily to be reminded of "that special someone" Who gave His life for you so you can spend eternity with Him.
photo credit: © Snabelfisk | Dreamstime.com
After all - the ultimate "Valentine's Day" gift was made available for all living humans on a day that we call "Easter." The living sacrifice of Jesus' death on a cross, for my sins and yours, is a gift that no one else can buy, make, or give to you. It's the most beautiful gift given to any living human directly by the God that knows every hair on your head and has collected all of your tears in a bottle.

Most important - if you've never accepted the gift of Jesus as your personal Savior, there's no time like the present. Pray this prayer and tell a friend about your new start on life.

Father, thank You for the free gift of eternal life. I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I am sorry for my past sins, and I ask You to forgive me.
Jesus, I believe You died on the cross for my sins and arose from the dead. I now open the door of my heart and invite You to come into my life.
I realize there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation, and I place my complete trust in You alone for eternal life.
I choose to follow You as my Lord. Please make me the person You want me to be.


"Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love." ~ 1st Corinthians 13:13

"What will others think of me?"

"What will others think of me?" ~ is a question that many people, who have been abandoned by their spouse, worry about. They wonder if...

  • their family will think of them as a failure, a black sheep, or a victim who needs pity?
  • their in-laws will support them and still be family to them and their children? Or if they'll like the "other woman/man" better than them, and welcome them into their family?
  • their friends will think they messed up and not want to be friends anymore, or that they'll try to fix them with words or actions that add more pain?
  • their children will be mad at them, think of them as a bad parent who didn't do enough, and choose to like the other parent more?
  • their children will grow up and become like the spouse that left, and leave their future family?
  • their church friends will think of them as the poor single parent that will need help to get by daily life?
  • people in general will think, "well, he/she is always bossy (overweight, boring, fill in the blank) and it's no wonder their spouse left them!"?
  • their spouse ever returns, will people be mad at me for forgiving them and taking them back?
  • their spouse ever returns, will people hate their spouse and not want to be friends with our family?

What matters is what you think of yourself and how you present yourself to everyone. What matters even more is what God thinks of you, and I can tell you that He loves you, no matter what you've done. Sure, you may not have been "the perfect spouse" - but it's never too late to change. Choose TODAY to live your life forward, being the person God wants you to be. Do not talk negatively about your wayward spouse in front of others, especially your children. Keep you heart open and be willing to forgive. Accept responsibility for your mistakes in the marriage, and do what you need to do to make amends and change your ways.

Look for God's daily reminders to you to live your life forward.

  • Traffic lights: red = stop feeling sorry for yourself, yellow = slow down and don't worry about tomorrow, green = live your life forward!
  • Check your change! Whenever you receive a Wisconsin quarter, hang on to it as a reminder to live your life "FORWARD"!
  • Wearing a necklace? Whenever the clasp comes around to the front, take it and put it behind you, and live your life forward!
  • Wearing a watch that can beep on the hour? Let that remind you to live your life forward hour by hour!
  • When you walk through automatic sliding doors into or out of a store, let the doors close behind you, keeping your past separated from you, as you live your life forward!

"...Forgetting what lies behind and reaching FORWARD to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14