What a delightful birthday I had on Thursday. Even before breakfast I got a hug and a present from a special family at the preschool. Then I enjoyed breakfast with my sweet son, Andres who took the photo below of me. We had a great time talking about life, love, culture and other such things. Lunch with my wonderful daughter Elizabeth and dear friend. I was serenaded by a class full of four year olds and got the most delicious group hug from them! Then serenaded by my sweet mom and daughter in the evening and finally a flower delivery late at night! I loved the texts, emails, phone calls and facebook messages wishing me a happy birthday. I love the life God gave me and how He whispers to me to absolutely revel in it! And I do!
A while back I read an article by a 90-something year old woman who wrote down life lessons equal to half her age. They were humorous, home spun and quite profound and witty truths. I thought I wanted to try my hand at something similar (although whether they are profound or witty will certainly be up for debate). They are unique to my life journey but maybe something will resonate with you. I wanted to write them down because I am always looking for ways to document life for my children. Mothering them has been my sweetest task and the truths in this list I hope mean something to them and hopefully to the rest of my family also. Let me know in the comments below if you find something true for you! We may have walked a similar path at some point! Now, that’s a cool thought!
In honor of my 57th birthday, I came up with the number of 24 life lessons. Here they are:
1Trust God. He is good. When life doesn’t make sense you might be tempted to think He is not. He still is.
2Lean on God in the good times. Its good practice for the bad times
3You will have bad times. The good news is they won’t last forever. The better news is that God is by your side through every second of it.
4When things are hard celebrate the small victories, like: “I got out of bed this morning. Yeah!”
5Never pass up a hug or a good laugh. In fact, seek them out. Every day.
6Figure out a way to spend time with children. They have more wisdom and share love easily and teach you to live fully the present moment.
7Never cut church out of the equation. It’s how you show God you love Him by being around people who aren’t perfect (like yourself). Oh, and you need others who are in the same struggle as you are. It’s called life.
8Let the beauty that is in you show every day and behave as one who is beautiful no matter what the mirror may say.
Do a kindness every day. That makes you beautiful.
9Do something creative every day as if it was a complete necessity. It is.
10Err on the side of kindness. Think the best of others especially when it is hard. You will fail every day. Seek forgivness and start fresh the next day. This is important because your biggest regrets will be failures of kindness.
11Use sweet words in your everyday life to anyone you meet. It may seem weird to some, surprising to others, but they will all love it. (except maybe the guy at the take out window who gave me my order and I said: “Thank you, hon!”)
12Be intentional about doing small kindnesses to others. This does not come naturally.
13In a weird reversal, your toughest times will also be the best of times. When you look back, you would never have learned so much any other way or seen the kindnesses of God and others so clearly.
14Life is full of delightful surprises. Always expect them. They will come.
15Look for someone everyday that you can encourage. It doesn’t cost anything to share a smile, a kind or encouraging word, a pat on the back for a good effort or result. It will make a difference in their mood and yours. It’s a good day when you have done this.
16Do hard things. You will feel satisfied when you accomplish them.
17Remind yourself to listen more. Just because you may have the right answers doesn’t mean you should offer them.
The greatest thing you can “do” for someone is to sit and listen to them.
18. Act and respond in a way that reflects YOUR character not your circumstance or what OTHERS deserve. Your response is always under your control and says more about you than anyone else.
20. Write notes. Be encouraging by telling others the good you have observed in them. Be specific.
21. Remember you have the power to inspire others. Someone is always observing you and learning. Inspire them without trying to, just by your living.
22. To love God and lean on God you have to learn from God. You can do this in many ways but it wont be complete until you read regularly from His life instruction book … the Bible.
23. Love God. You can only really do this by loving people. That’s the hard part. (See above about “Do hard things”)
24. You have no individual achievements. All achievements are as a result of a group effort. Thank the people who were on your team even if they didn’t know they were on your team.
25. Grace is what made whatever good you have done effective. Extend grace …. Especially to those who you or others think do not deserve it. (yes….I know that’s the definition)
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