Saturday, March 28, 2015

40 Lessons in 40 Years

This very well may be the last time I publicly admit my age, but today I turn 40.  Wow... give me a minute... I need to process that for a moment... 

Okay, I'm back.  

In all honesty, I have been thinking about this day for quite some time now. And over the last few weeks I've been reflecting on some of the things I've learned throughout my lifetime.  Ironically, there are 40 things that stand out.  So, in no particular order here are the 40 lessons I have learned throughout the past 40 years.  

1.  I am a child of the one true King.  Perfectly loved, just as I am, by a perfect God.

2.  Life is hard and it usually isn't fair.  

3.  A dog will love you the way no human ever could.

4.  Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life!

5.  The hardest things in life are often the most rewarding.

6.  I have had to ask forgiveness way more often than I have had to give forgiveness.

7.  Relationships are messy but the good ones are always worth fighting for.

8.  It's easy to judge that person sitting next to you - for the way they dress, the way they parent, the things they've done.  It is far, far harder to choose to see them as God sees them, and to recognize and appreciate they are doing the best they can.

9.  Be content with what you have.  Someone will always have more than you - MANY have less.

10.  Love is an action.  Do it every day.

11.  I am blessed.

12.  Never stop learning.

13.  It's okay to change your mind.

14.  There is nothing in this world my kids could do to make me stop loving them - NOTHING!

15.  You are never to busy to read a good book.

16.  Money isn't everything.  No amount of material possessions will ever bring you true joy.

17.  The Bible is Truth.  Read it every day.

18.  Treat the ones you love at least as good as you would treat a stranger.

19.  As much as I am an extrovert, I need quiet times all by myself too.

20.  Laughter can make even the hardest of situations more bearable, and the sweetest of moments even more special.  In EVERY situation, even when your heart is breaking, find something to laugh about.

21.  Exercise is just as important for my mental health as it is for my physical health.

22.  Look people in the eye.  

23.  There is nothing sweeter than hearing your kids laugh as they play together.  

24.  As much as I loved my husband on the day I married him, I love him even more today.  And I imagine that 20 years from now I will love him even more. 

25.  People are going to hurt you, sometimes intentionally, most of the time unintentionally.  Forgive the people who ask for you for forgiveness, and for those who don't bother to ask...forgive me them anyway.

26.  Believing in Jesus is not necessarily the same thing as following Jesus.

27.  Some of the best friends you will ever have you meet before the age of 5, some of the best friends you will ever have you meet in adult hood, both are gifts from God, treasure them. 

28.  Regardless of it's size, weight, shape or dimensions, the female body is an amazing and beautiful thing.  Be proud of the body you have.

29.  Words matter.  Kind words go a long way to making a bad day better and harsh words can ruin even the best of moods. Watch your words carefully.

30.  It's okay to cry.

31.  Everyone has a story tell.  And every story is worth listening to.  Learn to listen.

32.  Everyone will look up to someone, choose your someone wisely, and always act like someone has chosen you.

33.  Family is always on your side.

34.  Loving your kids means letting them choose their own passions, you can't make them choose yours.

35.  Societies view of beauty is very temporary and dependent on things most people can never maintain.  True beauty, eternal beauty, always has and always will shine from the inside out, and can last forever.  

36.  Wisdom and maturity are not necessarily related to one's age, some of the wisest people I know are very young and even older people can be very immature.

37. Take care of your body - it will thank you later.  

38.  There are times when a hug or loving touch says far more than any words ever could.

39.  My husband gets more attractive with age.

40.  I don't necessarily like the fact that I am now 40, but I have learned to like the woman I am becoming.