Wednesday, July 12, 2017

30 Things I've Learned Over the Last 30 Years

In honor of my 30th birthday, I thought I would take some time to think about all that I have learned over the last 30 years. 30 seems like such a big one to me. I feel like I spent a lot of my 20's trying to figure things out, building our family, and waiting on a lot of different things. I am really hopeful for my 30's and think it will be a great decade to enjoy where we are at. Over the last 10 years I have gone from a single college student who was about to meet the love of her life ;) to a wife of almost 9 years and mom of 4. That's a lot of change in 10 short years, and I have learned a lot through all of those experiences. 

1. The older I get, the faster time will go by. There is nothing I can do to stop this, so I just need to embrace it.

2. Self love and self care is extremely important, and is not selfish, so make time for it! 

3. Love is a choice, forgiveness is a choice, joy is a choice.

4. ALL emotions are legitimate, even if they are based on a lie. If we feel a certain way, we feel that way for a reason. 

5. Everybody is weird. We just are. I think we should all just own it and be ok with our weirdness.

6. Jesus can take the most broken, wretched mess, and redeem it. Anything. Things we think are beyond repair and completely hopeless. It never ceases to amaze me. 

7. Many of the things I have spent time dwelling on, or stressing about are things that I completely forget about later on, or don't end up mattering in light of the rest of my life, or eternity. Discerning between what is important and what isn't has become crucial. 

8. If you have a partner who deeply loves and respects you, you are extremely blessed. I think this is something that is more rare than many people realize. (I count myself among those who are blessed by this.) 

9. Children are not resilient. So many of our deeply rooted issues and pains stem from something that occurred when we were children. I hear people saying "they'll be fine. Kids are so resilient" all the time, and it frustrates me. I should blog about this soon, because I think there is a lot more to be said about this. 

10. Manners are really important. They can make or break someone's opinion of you, or how a situation is handled. Using them also just makes people like you more ;) 

11. 90% of the time (totally making that statistic up...) disagreements, hurts, fights, misunderstandings, etc. occur because of miscommunication. Maybe it's not really that often, but so much of the time it's true. Why are we so bad about talking about things? Why are we so easily offended? 

12. Instincts are a really nice thing. Much of the time, if something doesn't feel right, it's probably not. 

13. It is important to have priorities, goals, and dreams. They give you something to work toward and fulfill. 

14. Traveling is really fun, sure, but I've also learned that it's really important. It gives us opportunities to experience new things, people, cultures, and ideas that may be outside of our "bubble". It allows us to spend quality time (no work, no school, no commitments...) with our loved ones. It gives us a break from our every day responsibilities and stressors. It used to be hard sometimes to justify the expense of traveling, but now I see it as such a worthwhile investment. 

15. Life will never stop being confusing. You'll never have it all "figured out". 

16. Education is really important, and I really believe that, BUT now that I'm well past high school age, I can tell all the kids who are wondering "WHEN WILL I EVER USE THIS" that most of the time, the answer is never. Learn it anyway. It will help you learn to do hard things, be determined and problem solve, and those are all invaluable lessons to learn. 

17. Raising children is one of the most inexplicably incredible things we can do on this earth. 

18. Kindness really does matter. 

19. Every single person is worthy of love, kindness and acceptance. Whether or not you agree with them, whether or not you even like them. If you can't do those things, find one positive trait they have and dwell on that thing. 

20. Everyone needs their person. The person that will take their secrets to the grave, and who they can call on any time of the day and they will come running. If you don't have one of those, get one. They will enhance your life. 

21. Only what's done for Christ will last. Live with eternity in mind. 

22. Laughter really is great medicine. It is so good for the soul.

23. YOU can make a difference, and if you don't think you can, find a way. Too many people think they can't do great things and so they never do. 

24. Learning how someone prefers or needs to be loved is necessary. We don't all receive love in the same way, and finding out how someone feels most loved can make a world of difference. 

25. Parenting done right in the early years will make everyone's lives more enjoyable in the later years. (Wisdom from my pastor-- do the hard work when they're young and you'll be able to give them more grace and enjoy the teen years because they already know right from wrong.) 

26. Finding something you enjoy can really make life worth living. Hobbies are not a waste of time. 

27. There is a HUGE difference between knowing truth, and truth setting you free. I am learning that difference now and it is life changing.

28. Don't worry too much about what other people are doing. We can drive ourselves crazy with that. At the end of our lives, we are accountable to God for ourselves. 

29. Life really does get better with age. 

30. I am completely undeserving. Chosen by God for eternity, and reaping many blessings from Him here on Earth. I don't know why, but I am forever thankful. 
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