growing in wisdom

Fifty-Five and Counting!

A few years back my human odometer rolled over on 50. Shocker. I know!!

I had hoped at the time to pound out a list of the fifty things I had learned in those fifty years. But I was successful in procrastinating just long enough, so that the windows of opportunity and relevance closed.

So today, with another number already in motion to find its place on my years counter, I thought once again to see if I have indeed learned anything in my fifty-five…ugh 6 years. To examine my heart and my mind in search of any wisdom.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility come wisdom.

PROVERBS 11:2

Here goes. In absolute no particular order of relevance, topic, or importance.

  1. Jesus knows me, all of me, and loves me just the same.
  2. Our lives are our stories. Some chapters stink, but the whole story doesn’t have to.
  3. There’s a role for each of us in God’s story. It may not be the role we wanted.
    It probably won’t be the role we wanted. But it’s not our story. And the audition begins with surrender of our own story.
  4. God’s kingdom is upside down. Serving others in love is the highest priority.
  5. I don’t have to understand everything about God to know Him, trust Him, and love Him. There are things He has kept hidden.
  6. When reading my Bible, I have begun to look for Truth vs truth. One is a person; the other is principles.
  7. Yes. Prayer changes things. It mostly changes me.
  8. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. The myth of perfection only robs us of our joy.
  9. The phrase practice makes perfect is lacking. Perfect practice makes perfect is a better concept. However, both hinge on the myth of perfection.
  10. Respect is a given. Trust is earned.
  11. Trust is easily broken; difficult to be restored. But nothing is impossible with God. I know this full well!
  12. A measured response is better than a reaction. There is power in a pause.
  13. If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute. (But it probably won’t be your best work!)
  14. Running is an exercise best saved for building physical endurance. Running from your past or your problems will never serve you well.
  15. Some people will like some version of you. Some people will love the real you. Some people won’t like either of you. At all. And that is okay.
  16. When you find a friend who knows the worst version of you and loves you anyway, treasure them. Love them well, in return.
  17. Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can break hearts. Choose and use your words wisely.
  18. Some people seem to have it altogether. No one has it altogether, all the time.
  19. You can have it all. Just not all at the same time.
  20. Baby steps forward is still forward progress.
  21. Practicing is more helpful than trying.
  22. To be more interesting, be more interested in others. Ask more questions. Tell fewer self stories.
  23. The numbers on the scale or in your bank account do not define you.
  24. Insecurity is fueled by unhealthy fear, and sidelines you faster and for much longer than you think possible. You will miss more playing time than you ever dreamed.
  25. Not making our bed is like having an unnecessary window open on our laptop. Make the bed. Close the window.
  26. Clean houses are great, but messy little fingers are precious. Seasons change and then they pass. Fully embrace the present season.
  27. Life is more rhythm than balance. More dance. Less gymnastics. Ahhh…
  28. Shame is a terrible motivator. We use it more often than we think. Rethink it.
  29. Talk with your children about God. Every day. About the everyday. Don’t push Him to the corners labeled Sundays and Emergencies.
  30. Our children are not trophies. We should not parade them as such.
  31. Talk with your children about what they fail at. Don’t let it become a monkey on their backs. The only people who never fail are those who never try.
  32. Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected 27 times before someone published it. Keep going.
  33. You are probably better at some things than you give yourself credit.
  34. Your kids are watching you and listening to you. Probably when you don’t want them to. Ditch the duplicity.
  35. Learning to lose well is just as important as learning to win well. Perhaps more. Model that for your children.
  36. Gratitude is like fertilizer in the garden of our heart. Practicing it makes all other good things grow.
  37. Joy is not determined by our circumstances. It flows from our choice to recognize God’s grace toward us.
  38. Grace is what we want most; what we give least. Practice giving and receiving grace!
  39. Love is a word overused and under demonstrated. Study love. Demonstrate love.
  40. The word kind has become neutered. It has lost its deeper meaning. But if love is kind, be kind. To others. To yourself!
  41. I am sorry. I was wrong. I love you. Powerful triplets!
  42. We all need someone we can run to when we’ve really messed up. I want to be that kind of someone.
  43. Manners are still in fashion. Use them. Teach them to your children.
  44. People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou)
  45. Don’t sit when people enter your home. Even if it’s your children or your spouse. Delight in their presence. (Currently practicing.)
  46. You do not have to budget for your smiles. They cost you nothing, but they just might be invaluable to the recipient.
  47. In hot water, eggs become hardened and potatoes go soft. In a world of hot water, I hope to be most like a coffee bean, coloring the world around me, releasing God’s love.
  48. Our enemy has no truths of his own. Only distortions and perversions of God’s truth. Don’t lend him your ear or your heart.
  49. Ask your parents and your grandparents to tell you stories about their lives. You’ll wish you had!
  50. Families are complex systems of complex people. Love much. Extend grace often.
  51. Music touches places in my heart and soul that nothing else can reach. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to me.
  52. We should live as though our days are numbered, because our days are numbered.
  53. Because life is short we should celebrate the little things. Champagne Tuesdays or Chocolate Cake Wednesdays should be a thing. In moderation, of course.
  54. I have more yesterdays than I have tomorrows. And though my regrets are many, I have learned to surrender them to God and trust Him to redeem them for His glory.
  55. You cannot know God without spending time with Him. Knowing about Him is important. Knowing Him is everything.
  56. Spending time alone with God is never selfish. Everyone benefits when I am walking close to the One who loves me best.

That’s it for today. I am done. And a bit undone, too.

Thank you, friends, for sharing a bit of my journey with me. I am glad to have paused and pondered. I am certain I will now think of another 50 things I should have shared instead!

But as I quiet my perfectionism, I bid adieu to all of you.

And wait for number 6 to fall.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

PSALM 90:12

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