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36 lessons in 36 years

It’s birthday time again! This year has passed so slowly yet so quickly at the same time. The days have passed and it feels as though I have not accomplished much or experienced much. Time to celebrate, none the less, and eat that birthday cake and rock another year of life! As crummy as life feels sometimes, I am thankful for the good days - the ones where the temperature outside is just perfect, the wind blows just right, and it feels good just to breathe. You know those days?

Since I am another year older, it seems appropriate to reflect on lessons I have learned. Some lessons I have learned from others and some I have had to learn myself. I would love to share some of my thoughts with you all to cause you to take a moment, be still, and think. The following include 36 lessons I have learned in my 36 years of life:

1. God’s presence is not always felt but still exists.

2. The more one tries to impress someone, the less likely they are to be impressed.

3. Do a task or activity simply out of love for it, whether there are friends in the group or not. Be fine with going somewhere alone. Go to that meeting even if there is nobody to go with!

4. God gives exactly what is needed when it is needed.

5. God is always on time; never early and never late.

6. Life is way more difficult than I imagined but sweeter at the same time.

7. Physical activity gives energy for the rest of the day and provides a clear mind for thinking.

8. Friendships do not always last, but I am thankful for the good times spent and how they changed me for the better.

9. Always be grateful for where life is at the moment - soon it will be gone and that time will be reflected on as the “good old days.”

10. Never spend significant amounts of time with people who talk badly or treat others poorly - if they do it to others, they will do it to me as well.

11. Let nobody else control my emotions.

12. Speak the truth in love - many things can be spoken when said with genuine love and concern.

13. Most of the time, people are simply doing the best with what they know. This helps take the maliciousness out of peoples’ behavior.

14. Successes are not found in a moment but rather discipline in the daily routine. Worthwhile things take time.

15. Trying to please everyone leads to pleasing nobody. God is the only One Whose thoughts matter.

16. Do a few tasks well - do not overcommit. Trying to do everything and please everyone sets one up for failure and disappointment anyway. Be honest, be forthcoming, be loving, and after that, it is up to that person what they do with the information.

17. Humility is not thinking less of oneself, it is thinking of oneself less. When people think only about themselves, there is no room for humility, just self-obsession.

18. Embrace who God made you to be - for me, this is a brunette, chocolate-loving, math-hating, extroverted, scary-movie-loving, home-bodied, green-eyed girl. I have come to accept the fact I will never be tall enough to be a Rockette and I will never look good as a blonde. I will do the best with what I am!

19. No matter how many falls happen, get up and go again. Lessons were learned and life is still good! God gives us fresh starts and reconciliation!

20. I do not believe in one “best friend.” Length of time does not equal better friends. After moving many times and meeting many people, there are many great friends I have with whom I connect with in different ways for different reasons. They are all amazing and I know them each in different ways.

21. I cannot control anyone else’s behavior, only my own.

22. Modesty in every way reveals dignity and value.

23. As a mom, I get the privilege to set the tone for good days at my house. I also set the tone for bad days, so this is a huge responsibility!

24. Classy girls do not feel the need to reveal all information to all people. Confidence is often quiet.

25. It is pointless to worry about people who are not worried about me.

26. When someone has wronged me, it does not benefit me to have a bad day, but is purposeful when I use that offense to push me forward and have a great day by moving forward and doing my best.

27. Early is on time and on time is late. I have a difficult time with this, but have been arriving earlier lately! It takes so long to check little people in to the church preschool area…

28. Quiet people come across as snobby, but sometimes people are just reserved and turn out to be great friends.

29. If a boy degrades or devalues me, he will never be worth it.

30. Sometimes I have to choose to do right all by myself.

31. Let attention come naturally, do not ask for it.

32. Put the technology (phone) down - life happens without it. It is frustrating to see the top of peoples’ noses as they look at their phones when they are in someone else’s company but I became even more aware of this when my phone was broken over the past three weeks.

33. Falling asleep with a good conscience and peace with God is far superior to anything else. Choosing to do wrong is never worth it.

34. Do every task the very best I can. It saves time in the long run anyway.

35. Getting up early is far more of a privilege than sleeping in. I still hate getting up before the sun, but when I do, I love the way it feels.

36. Give out of love and the opportunity God has given, without expecting anything in return. It is what we are called to and that attitude prevents heartache and hurt.

The older I grown, the less concerned I am what others think. If I saw people from high school again, I think they would see a drastically different girl. Isn’t it funny how much we change from high school? I have some good memories but I would never go back. I would love to be able to tumble and cheer again, but my body rejects that kind of movement now!

It is remarkably freeing to only please the Lord and not people. I am thankful for each day and even though many pieces of life I would definitely choose never to return to, I am thankful for the lessons I have learned through it. Here’s to life and another birthday! Have a piece of cake with me, alright?!



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