11:34pm, june 22, 2016. i’m listening to sara groves’ floodplain. i’m texting my friend shelly. “are you trying to cry?” she asks. “i don’t know what i’m trying to do,” i respond. “take it all in i guess-the happy and the sad.” i’m turning 40 in a matter of moments.
i was born june 23, 1976. and now here it is. yesterday i turned 40. the women in the above photo, my mom and my sister, are not a part of my life. they haven’t been for a few years now. and it’s sad.
40 doesn’t look or feel like i thought it would. and i have learned a few things over the years.
in honor of turning 40, here are, in no particular order, 40 things i’ve learned as i’ve journeyed to 40.
- bodies of water are therapeutic-rivers, oceans, streams, lakes, ponds, mud puddles.
- bring butt wipes, air freshener, and magazines for the bathroom when you travel with friends. they will make fun of you at first, but then they’ll all thank you. and they’ll come to expect it.
- the church will step in when no one else will.
- it’s ok to stay up too late.
- you can face cancer with confidence when you know Jesus.
- proverbs 19:21 is true.
- i thought having three kids was hard until i had six kids.
- i thought having six kids was hard until i had seven kids.
- i thought having seven kids was hard until i had nine kids.
- nine kids is a little crazy.
- when a friend calls for an after bedtime run to target or walmart or the grocery store, GO! there will be a day to catch up on sleep.
- your family of origin won’t always be your family. God will often use others to fill the traditional familial roles in your life when your family of origin can’t. see matthew 12:46-50
- it’s okay to be a bit out of shape. i’m not saying i won’t take care of myself, but when i get to heaven the main concern won’t be whether or not i drank too much coke or ate too many french fries.
- it’s okay to get a tattoo. more on that in another post.
- it’s okay if the house is a little messy.
- knowing you are doing exactly what God created you to do is awesome!
- when you pray for His will in your life-WATCH OUT!
- be careful of jumping on the oceans bandwagon. if you ask God to lead you where your trust is without borders, He might just do that.
- when someone offers help, take it. chances are they won’t offer again.
- when you’re so happy you could cry, go ahead and cry.
- when you’re so sad you could cry, go ahead and cry.
- if you’re feeling depressed, get help.
- if you’re not understanding things, seek counsel.
- parenting a teenager can be a lovely experience. i only have one right now so my opinion might change. but right now, i love my 14 and a half year old girl.
- when your friend offers you a ride in her jeep, say yes! and let your hair blow in the wind. and sing loud. and put your arms up like you’re riding a roller coaster.
- when you hold a baby, try really hard to take it all in. they change so quickly and grow up so fast.
- God can redeem all of your mistakes. but you have to let Him.
- potty training-they probably won’t walk down the aisle on their wedding day wearing a diaper so it’s okay to relax and give it time.
- Jesus-surrendering my life to Him is the best thing i’ve ever done, the best thing i’ll ever do.
- if God is pulling your heart toward adoption, follow His leading. ask questions. get information.
see romans 8:15
- God will provide in really unexpected ways. be in awe. and say thank You.
- PTSD in children is no joke.
- take trips whenever you can. i don’t think anyone will ever regret traveling too much, but someone may regret not ever traveling.
- God will use all of your circumstances, good and bad, for your good and His glory.
- leave big tips at restaurants when and if you can.
- tell your friends and family what you like about them.
- compliment strangers.
- when you’re following God, and He asks you to do something that seems crazy, and most people don’t understand, and some people even tell you not to do it, do it anyway. He knows what He’s doing. trust Him.
- all you ever have to be is what He has made you
- God will give you more than you can handle, so you have to rely on Him. in doing so, He will make you brave.