About a week ago I turned 29. That’s big time, right? Being one year away from 30 and all. Something about turning 30 makes me feel like I will have arrived or something. I was about to say that I think people treat 30-somethings more serious, but maybe 30-somethings start to take themselves more seriously. But, anyway, what do I know, I’m getting ahead of myself.
As my birthday was approaching I started scribbling down things I’ve learned these past 29 years, things silly and serious. While I still have a long way to go and so much to learn, I thought I might share them here.
In no particular order, here’s to 29 things I’ve learned in 29 years:
1) I am slowly learning that I have little to no control over the circumstances that surround me, but it’s the circumstances around me that Jesus uses to shape me the most.
2) Learning how to sauté and roast vegetables changed my life. For the better.
3) Often I’ve found that effective leaders are good listeners; which shows me that to be a good leader, you must be a good listener.
4) Sometimes honor means leaving someone better than you found them. (In an ideal world, this would be true of dating, too.)
5) I think if we all adopted the mentality of “what can I do at my church so that more people can come and hear about Jesus?” instead of “I can’t worship because it’s too loud and someone took my seat.”, we as a church would be a lot happier.
6) People you can be yourself with (the good, the bad, and the ugly) are a pure gift.
7) I’m slowly learning that the schemes of the enemy are crafty, yet so obvious. His main goal is to get our attention off of Jesus Christ. He likes it when our minds wander.
8) A late-night bowl of cereal is always a good idea.
9) Friends re-runs never, ever get old.
10) You and I are an original. Scripture says so, “Each of us is an original.” Gal. 5:26
11) Laughing until you cry is the best thing ever, ever, ever. It is reviving.
12) If we didn’t have any handicaps, no limitations, we would never realize our deep need for Christ in our lives.
13) Asking the right questions makes all the difference in the world.
14) If you do not love, you are nothing.
15) There will never come a time in your life when you won’t need the church, and by that I mean the Body of Believers that makes up the church.
16) Part of having good, solid friendships is learning to be a good friend. It takes two to tango.
17) It’s okay to admit that you’re wrong. Or hurt. Or not okay. That’s why you’ll never outgrow the Body of Christ. They carry you when you’ve been through the wringer.
18) Everybody longs to be truly known. But everybody wants to really know somebody, also. It’s how we were created. For intimacy.
19) There’s a cost to being known, it’s called vulnerability. And vulnerability involves risk. But it’s worth it.
20) There is nothing wrong with purchasing Disney movies (ahem, Frozen) even if you have no children to blame it on.
21) It is unfathomable to me that not only does God not make mention of our sin if we are in Christ, but He doesn’t even recall it. We are spotless in his eyes. (Yet ironically we are so good at recalling others sin and holding it against them. Ouch.)
22) Change takes time.
23) What marks a good friendship is that you talk about the trivial things and the deep things.
24) Babies are the cutest and most snuggly after bath time. Swoon.
25) It blows my mind that no two sunrises or sunsets are ever the same. Our God is so creative.
26) We can’t pretend to have it all together and then expect people to relate to us. People relate to the real us, the flawed us, not the fake us. Believers and non-believers alike.
27) I find it so perplexing that relationships of all kinds are the one thing we all desire in life, but they are the one thing that can do the most damage. Help us, Jesus.
28) Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve observed lately that while women write and sing songs about being brave, men write and star in movies about being brave. Hmmmm.
29) Aiming to invest in people over impressing people is the way to live.
To those that have invested and imparted these things in me, you’re the best. Thank you!