On the eve of my 32nd birthday, I once again am forced to look back at the life I have lived so far. We do not know when we will take our last breath. As I sit here in a mint julep mask, contemplating, I have lessons that I want to share and many of these you may have already learned on your own journey. Some of these I will elaborate on and others just don’t need it. I hope you can see who I am through what I have learned. 😉 A lot of these things are in Proverbs. I love that book.
1. Live and love life-
No, really live! Life is way too short to just read blogs, work, eat and barely do anything. If you are invited to parties-go! Meet new people, try new things, the worst thing in life is regret. God created us to love people, love Him and enjoy life. You never know your last day, so enjoy every moment and be present! Life goes by way too fast! Listen to “You’re gonna miss this”, by Trace Adkins. It gets me every time.
2. Make time for important relationships.
Not every person you know will be close to you. But if there are people and family that is important to you, then make more effort. You will find if they want the same thing and you get along well, they will become people you trust, love, and share life with. You will disagree sometimes but if you really love someone, you will get through those things and your friendship will be stronger for it.
3. Don’t believe everything you hear.
What the internet, news, or even people say may or may not be truth. If you are really concerned about a particular thing- do your research, listen to your gut, pray, read God’s word and take people’s testimonies into account. If we believed everything the news or government told us, we’d all be dead or sick, or living on the street. Go against the grain sometimes. And always stand up for what is right even if you are persecuted. As a disciple of Jesus Christ I expect this, and as a believer in holistic practices and alternative medicine, I am facing this more and more. Doctors are not always right and if your gut is telling you something, then listen. “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” (Proverbs 15:14 NIV)
4. Take risks. And don’t be afraid to fail.
Without risks, life would be boring. You need to step out of your comfort zone sometimes in order to see what’s possible. I pray about my choices and really ask for God’s guidance on big decisions. But even if you choose not to pray, I encourage you to be smart but not afraid to take a risk. Only if you take a big risk, can you get a big reward.
5. Make challenging goals for yourself.
6. Sometimes you will be awful at something.
You know what there are some days I’m an awful mom, but I forgive myself because I am not perfect. Can I strive to be better the next day, yes. And there’s things I should not waste time on like- I’m very athletic but just no good at basketball. I’ve accepted it and moved on. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and the sooner we figure these things out, the more our skills can be used to glorify God.
7. Don’t give up!
Stay positive even in hard times. People are watching, and you know what life is HARD and sometimes we want to be negative, but I encourage you to choose positivity. As you go through a tough time and someone sees you push through you will affect their life. As a believer I put my hope in Jesus Christ, and he has seen me through every hard time. He did not die on the cross so I would give up. He died so I can be free of sin, and live a victorious life.
8. You can love and respect someone without agreeing with their choices.
Let’s be honest, there is no one that I can honestly say we agree on every little thing. Will I try to have a conversation in honesty and love if I feel they are doing something they may regret, yes. Will I make an effort to help them see why I believe certain things especially the fact that Jesus has died so we can have salvation and freedom, yes. But will I judge them if they still do not agree and make a not great choice, no. That’s not my job. If they are doing something against God’s will (refer to Bible if unsure) I just let them know I will not take part in it, but I love them regardless. Whether they ignore their conscience or not, it’s impossible to change anyone.
9. Your kids will point out your weaknesses, a lot.
Lucky for us, parents, kids are really honest and don’t have a filter when they are young. I have been taught by my toddlers a lot of my weaknesses and if they can see it, I better work on it.
10. We need to have filters.
With kids it may be cute, but as adults, we really need to be careful what we say. Words have a major impact on people. Especially kids. I read that for every one negative thing said to a child, it takes 4 positive compliments to bring up their self esteem. This may be for adults too. The old saying is true, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!” Also a proverb I love says this, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:28 NIV)
11. Dream BIG!
I’m so sick of naysayers telling people good luck and not meaning anything by it. You know my big dream was to become an actress and I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 22 to pursue it. It was not what it looks like, and there’s a dark side to Hollywood that I chose to walk away from because I wasn’t willing to give up my integrity for fame. I’m not saying every actor does this for a career but I chose God’s will for my life over my own, sinful will. And I have never regretted that decision. Now, the dreams I have are more related to healthy living and I still have BIG DREAMS; just different ones.
12. There is true love.
I realized how much I love husband after 9 years of marriage and I’m reminded of the reasons I chose him. He gets me, forgives me, and I trust him. That’s what every woman wants- a man she can trust. And truth be told he doesn’t ALWAYS get me but he loves me anyway. True love can be found even in friendships when someone just really unconditionally wants to be close and love you despite all your imperfections. And stays around even when you push them away.
13. Beauty is not skin deep.
I wrote a blog about the beauty of a women in February. So, if you want to know more, check it out. This was a lesson I learned over many years.
14. Keep learning and do not be stubborn. Stubborn pride can be your downfall.
It’s ok if you were not well educated or informed about something and then your eyes are opened and you change your mind. Now this can refer to many things. Do not be like an ignorant voter, you should actually know about the issues before you go defending, voting, or fighting for something. You can always educate yourself further. Don’t be a fool! “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2 NIV)
15. Be grateful and content.
16. Work Hard. Learn to PLAN to be more successful.
I’m still struggling with the planning thing but I find the days I plan I am less stressed and much happier and successful.
17. Don’t blame God for this fallen world, and all the problems caused by sin.
Really? You’re going to blame your creator and father who loves you enough to die for you? You know what there is sin and evil and those are the things that cause cancer, murder, rape, hatred and all the other problems in this world. If anything God gives us hope. Don’t be naïve. Prov 1:22
18. Seek God.
This should have been # 1 but I was just on a roll with writing my thoughts.
So there’s no sort of order of these 32 things.
19. Don’t envy. Or boast.
20. Love your children with everything you have.
Encourage THEM. they will get enough rejection from this world.
21. Prayer is very powerful and effective.
I have seen with my own eyes and life the effectiveness of prayers. It’s not a wishing well, it’s conversations with God. He hears, he listens, he blesses, and he holds you when you cry. James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
22. There is good and evil in this world.
Learn to discern it. We are born with a Sin nature. But we don’t have to give into this sin nature. Listen to your conscience (or gut). It was given to us by God.
23. Never underestimate the lies Satan will put in your path, and mind.
Guilty as charged. I have thought some things that are infathomable but they were lies and when I realized this, I chose not to believe them and not to give into my sin nature.
24. Don’t worship any human.
For many reasons but mainly they are human and will let you down. God is the only person you should worship. He created this earth and every human being. Did you create the stars in the sky? Did any human? NOPE. As Borat would say, “Respec”.
25. There are a lot of good people and businesses in this world.
They truly care about others well being and not just their own selfish ambition.
26. You reap what what you sow, or Karma.
Even if you choose to follow Christ, you will reap the sin that you sowed before, but then you are free. Just don’t keep sinning and hurting others, or it will come back to you on this earth.
27. You have some control of what toxins get into your body, mind, and life. But you can’t control everything.
Toxins are everywhere-in our food, medicine, skin care, air, television, facebook, twitter, internet, even people. Just be careful what or who you let in.
28. Let things go. Forgive yourself.
29. Your heart and feelings can mislead you.
30. That void in your heart can be filled.
By Jesus alone. Enough said.
31. Become trustworthy.
Friends stick around when they can count on and trust you. If you don’t have a lot of friends, maybe examine why. Are you trustworthy?
32. Be you, not someone you think you should be by the world’s or others standards.
I do not let the world’s standards affect me. I live for Jesus and those are the standards I live by. Get off Facebook once in a while. If you try to get more likes and are discouraged when you don’t. Who cares? I call it fake book. Because you can be as real or fake as you want to be. Choose to be real. You will draw the right people to you that way.
Happy birthday to me! Free coffee at Starbucks here I come!