I'm almost 50! Agghh! But I'm approaching the big day with joy and gratitude. Today I'm continuing my series of 50 Golden Posts with 50 Lessons Learned.
These are simply little (and not so little) lessons I've learned along the way. Some of them are profound truths while others are silly little nuggets of conventional wisdom. Tell me what you think.
50 Lessons Learned Along the Way
- Jesus loves me, this I know.
- Nothing is more powerful than prayer. It is not our last option; it is the first.
- If I don't speak with God first thing in the morning, I'd best not speak to anyone else.
- Marriage is hard work, but worth the commitment. If you can get past whatever problem you and your mate are currently experiencing, you can get through the next one, too. And you can.
- It's best not to judge other people's parenting or their children; just you wait!
- Most of what I worry about never happens. Worrying is such a waste of time.
- There is a big difference between studying the Bible and eating the Bible. Until you learn to eat it through biblical meditation, it can't get far enough down in you to do a supernatural work.
- Anyone can memorize scriptures if they will take the time and make the commitment. Once again, it's worth the effort.
- I cannot claim my adult children's successes, nor will I claim their failures.
- Marriage is not meant only to bring me joy, but also to refine me. It is often the sandpaper God uses to rub away my rough edges. When I understand and embrace that concept, I'm able to enjoy the differences between me and my husband more. (Proverbs 27:17)
- The church may be frustrating and troubling at times, but it is still God's chosen method for sharing His love and the gospel with the world. It is also His bride and His body. I best embrace it, too.
- It is better to be a part of the solution rather than to gripe about the problems.
- Hurting people hurt people. If someone hurts you...with their words, their actions or their expressions...ask God to give you insight into what is hurting them.
- The most satisfying job I've ever had was "simply" being a stay-at-home mom and raising my children. I would not trade that privilege for anything.
- "Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul." (Proverbs 27:9)
- If I don't exercise first thing in the morning, it won't get done that day.
- Nothing clears the head like a good run or walk.
- People love for you to speak their name to them. It expresses that you care enough about them to call them by name. Our own name, used in kindness and love, is truly music to our ears.
- Old people were not always old people. They were children, teenagers and young adults with dreams. It is wise and worthwhile to get to know your elders, and to develop friendships with them when possible. Some of my best friends have been 20 to 30 years older than me.
- My mom taught me that teenage boys need to have some money in their pocket. Boys grow into men by developing a sense of responsibility and self-respect.
- Raise adults, not children. If you raise children, you will always have children. If you raise your children to become adults, you will one day have friends.
- Eggs are not nearly as unhealthy for you as we were all led to believe a few years back. They are a great source of protein. I eat about eight a week and my cholesterol level is perfectly healthy. :)
- One of the best gifts you can give your very young children, from infancy on, is the gift of reading to them. Reading to your kids develops intimacy and joy between the two of you, and it usually leads to a love of reading and learning in your children.
- It is better to let your children experience failures as they grow up rather than stepping in and saving the day. Otherwise, they will experience many more failures later on, when the prices for those mistakes are much higher.
- Success does not satisfy nearly as much as it is given credit for. The joy of seeing my own name in print on the front of a book lasted about as long as the celebration dinner at Olive Garden. True satisfaction comes only in the name of Jesus...and His Book.
- Truth will indeed set you free. (John 8:32)
- The dishes can wait in soapy water. After dinner it is better to visit with your guests than to clean up the kitchen. Besides, when you and your spouse clean the kitchen together after the guests have left is a great time to reminisce about the evening you just had!
- "Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." (James 1:19) I am very much still in the process of learning this, but I know it's best. I've never regretted listening, but I've often regretted speaking or getting angry.
- It is best to enjoy your children at the stage they are in right now rather than to look back or to look forward. Live with them in the moment and you will have no regrets. Besides, they need you to enjoy who they are now, rather than cling to who they were or plan who you think they will be.
- God always equips you for whatever He calls you to, but not usually in the manner you think He will. He tends to prefer the school of hard knocks!
- If you are prone to spending, as I am, it is a true blessing to have a partner who is not, as my husband is not. As much as his "conservative" approach to finances irritates me, it also has kept me out of bankruptcy! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
- God is wise in telling us to take a day for rest every seven days. We might could work all seven days, but we truly operate better and live healthier if we take a day for worship and rest.
- It is smart not to buy an item of clothing or a pair of shoes unless you have at least three items already in your closet you can wear with the new purchase. That's how you build a wardrobe rather than starting from scratch with every purchase.
- Truly, there is so much more blessing in giving than in receiving.
- Our husbands and our teenage boys need our respect more than we women can ever comprehend. And respect is not earned, as we often like to say, but it is deserved by every person. We want to measure it out according to what we think someone has earned. But the Bible teaches us to honor one another. Period. (1 Peter 2:17)
- It's a good idea to weigh once a week on the same day every week if you're trying to lose weight. It's a good idea to weigh every day if you're trying to maintain.
- Girls need to know that their daddys love them and think they are precious. Some men struggle with how to relate to their daughters, but it is worth patiently teaching them so that they can build loving, enduring and protective relationships with their little girls.
- An effective and true apology never includes the word "but." The "but" negates everything you've apologized for, and justifies whatever you did that offended the other person. If you want to stop the blame game and move forward with your relationship, drop the "but."
- If I am wrestling with a particular temptation and prone to falling into it recently, I need to HALT: make sure I don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Any or all of those predispositions make me more prone to sin.
- Accountability is risky and difficult, but it is worth overcoming those hurdles. Living accountable to other people helps me to live out in the light rather than in the darkness where I am prone to sin.
- It is wise to seek the counsel of godly people before making major decisions, including decisions of the heart. If your friends and family don't like your boyfriend, there's a good reason! (Proverbs 11:14)
- God is at work all around us. But the person who has eyes to see, who is actively watching and expecting to see God work...that person is more likely to see the glory of God. (Habbakuk 2:1)
- God's instructions are not given to us in order to pen us in, but to free us up. God is for us, not against us.
- Healthy, sweet relationships don't just happen. Like all other living things, relationships tend to grow wild and unruly or to die, unless we nurture them with godliness and Christlike love.
- Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8) Intimacy with God is available to everyone, but reserved for those who seek Him passionately with all their hearts.
- Likewise, wisdom must be sought after. God holds it in a closed hand, willing to give it freely, but only to those who pursue it. (Proverbs 4:7)
- The best things in our lives happen when we are intentional about pursuing them, whether it's our relationship with our God, times with family, friendships, dreams fulfilled or even our health. Few good things just happen along. We have to choose to be intentional.
- There is always something for which I can be grateful. And gratitude toward God is the key to consistent joyful living.
- It is important to keep a soft heart toward the people in our lives, both those we love like the dickens and those who trouble us like the devil. The best way to keep a soft heart toward a person is to pray for them; not pray that they change or grow or move away...but pray for them to be blessed and for God to do good in their lives.
- Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. Jesus loved us this way; now we are to show love to others by laying down our rights and privileges every day. True love is always sacrificial love.
It occurs to me that this particular list almost takes on the feel of a final words and testament. Oh, I hope it's not. I'm just turning fifty, hopefully, not dying! But God has indeed been good to share some good lessons with me over the years. And you do know, I hope, that while I've listed them as lessons learned, most of them are lessons I'm still trying to wrap my feeble brain around! After all, I'm 49, not 89!
Do you have a life lesson or two you'd like to share with me, especially one concerning aging gracefully or getting perspective at this time in my life? I'd love to hear it!
Labels: 50th Birthday Posts, Christian walk, commitment, discipleship