In-betweens, reflections about focus

In-betweens, reflections about focus

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Nobody ever talks about how sad it is to be stuck in the “in-betweens,” which really doesn’t help anybody. What do I mean about in-betweens? There are lots of in-betweens such as being in-between dreams and broken dreams, full houses and empty nests, what was and what will be, grief and healing, jobs or careers, youth and old age, and all the myriads of other in-betweens we could think up.

In-betweens are tough.

Not only do they pose difficulties with our own emotions, in-betweens involve other people.

In-betweens require prayer

Last week, my youngest started classes at a community college that requires her to drive into the city and deal with rush-hour traffic and all that city driving offers. (You know how I feel about that.) She allowed extra time and left early.

We started the day off with a big breakfast of eggs and toast and some prayers, and I waved from the window as she drove off. I prayed a lot. All. Day.

Switching focus

After she left, during my morning prayers, the devotional writer of Mornings with Jesus struck me with the task of determining what Jesus desires from me.

So, I made this list:

What does Jesus desire from me?

  • To be kind and loving and unselfish to others.
  • To do my work without complaining.
  • To always be kind in thought and deed.
  • To do unto others as I would have done unto me.
  • Don’t worry; trust.
  • To give my burdens to Him.
  • To rest in Him.
  • To only speak what is honorable.
  • To serve others.
  • To see what He sees.
  • To sense Him near and notice His blessings.

Advice for living in the in-betweens

Schedules change. Life changes. I get thrown into a tizzy. If only I would learn to do the things Jesus desires of me, then my soul would be at peace, even when everything is swirling and calling to me, making me sad in the in-betweens. Does anyone relate?

During our in-betweens, we need to give Him our burdens, rest, trust, and not worry.

All went well that first week as God, once again, proved He is faithful. I kept busy on multiple projects despite always thinking of my daughter. When home, she busied herself with lots of homework. Sometimes I caught her stress, or because of the changes and interruptions, I didn’t do something for someone that I intended. Conflicts arise, often within myself about letting others down because the schedule is packed or I sense expectations I can’t fulfill. Again, I need to give these over to Jesus. Just. Let. Them. Go.

Hold loosely

While praying for me, a friend suggested that I hold up open hands rather than clenched fists that clutch or hold tightly to the things in my life whether they be dreams or schedules or children testing their wings. By not clinging to them, I offer them up to the One who directs my path and keeps me and my loved ones safe.

What does Jesus desire of us? To let go and live in freedom from the traps that hold us down, the fears, the disappointments, the doubts, the overwhelm. He said that this life would have trouble but not to worry, He overcomes the world.

I know if we live the way He desires, at a slower, less demanding, less frantic pace, not so full of tasks, the in-betweens might not be so noticeable, or at least not feel so traumatic. Tasks always exist. People come and go throughout our days, and we must make the most of our moments with them whether life goes the way we plan or not.

What desires has Jesus shared with you for your life? How have you reacted to in-betweens?


If you’re interested in two contemporary YA books that I reviewed at Storyteller Squad, click here. I like sharing clean fiction for our kids.

2 Replies to “In-betweens, reflections about focus”

  1. A hard in between time for us was the year before Dave retired. To give our church a smooth transition period, Dave’s official last Sunday as lead pastor and our moving date was scheduled a year prior to our leaving. Our house was sold and we packed everything into storage and lived in a friend’s basement for three months. Everything felt on hold. It was a time of waiting and wondering what was next. Living with uncertainty also made me focus and appreciate the moment.

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