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Birthdays Make Me Think

I’m turning 30 this week, and it’s got me thinking.  Thoughts about life, about time, about the future, about hopes, and fears, and how people will remember me when I’m gone.  Despite my lapse in updating this page for so many months (yes, I’m mama to three kiddos now, and I’ll eventually write a post about all those crazy changes), I’ve decided to share my reflections with you.

So, in light of turning 30, here are thirty things I’ve learned the past three decades, founded on my failures, family, and faith:


The only time I have truly failed is when I was unwilling to try again.

Never organize your closet within an hour of your company arriving.

Clean out the fridge at least once a month, unless you enjoy uninvited science experiments.

Missing a payment is ok if it instills a greater understanding of responsibility.

Start a load of laundry before you’re on your last pair of underwear.

Put toilet paper on your grocery list while you still have three rolls.

Never trust a credit card.

A messy home will not scare true friends.

Communication- verbal and nonverbal- is a dangerous tool. With one sigh you can either fell a man, or make him courageous.

If you are moved to contact someone, do it right away. It may be your last chance and, if you miss that opportunity, your heart will carry that burden for a very long time.

Read books that are smarter than you are. Romance novels can encourage you to be incontent with real love, and fantasy may cause real life to feel like a burden.

The less you speak, the more people will listen when you have something worth saying.

Throw junk mail away as soon as it arrives, and purge paper piles weekly. Failing to do so may result in transporting moving boxes full of trash.

Surround yourself with people you aspire to emulate. If you see someone living the kind of life you want to be remembered by, then spend time with them and you will have made a wise decision.

Braces can be cute, talents are appreciated, dinners aren’t always burnt; don’t toss away a sincere compliment. A humble ‘thank you’ is a fitting response.

‘On sale’ does not mean ‘great deal,’ and a fantastic price on something unnecessary is still a waste.

Glass shower doors and ovens only clean up easily if they’ve been recently maintained. Making hard things a habit will make them easier.


Children are willing to forgive, even before the apology. (“I already forgived you, mommy, because I always love you.”)

Before you share a concern with a loved one, make sure there are several hours before bed time.

A good night’s sleep often quenches an argument before it even starts– almost everything seems brighter with a new day.

Never be afraid to encourage someone to do the right thing.

Crying over spilt milk is ok if you pumped it yourself.

Alone time is good, as long as you’re using that time to refocus thoughts and intentions to love others.

Raise children as you wish them to act 10 years in the future. My 7yo son must be trained in the respect I will demand of him as a teenager, and my 3yo daughter only wears that which will be appropriate when she’s 13.

Remembering first steps is sweet; remember first prayers is rich.


Love is an action.

It is something I must capture each morning, knowing that my resolve to love will be tested, tried, and trampled upon. Love is not something that happens to me; it is a conscious commitment to seek another’s best beyond my own comfort, even especially when it is not reciprocated.

Joy is a choice.

As a child of God, a true follower of Jesus, I have the supernatural ability to maintain my joy, even when my world falls apart. In light of death, poverty, sickness, loneliness, chaos, and fear, I am able to choose joy. It is rarely easy, but it is always possible.

My joy and peace are directly proportionate to my closeness to Jesus.

When I am close to Jesus- daily listening to Him speak through Scripture, and communicating my heart to Him in prayer- I have an amazing level of peace and joy in the midst of the most confusing times. When I am close to Jesus, I more easily trust that His plan is the BEST plan, and therefore am able to rest in my circumstances.

Hope only leads to disappointment…

unless my hope is placed in a faithful source. Everything and everyone will disappoint, because everything and everyone changes. Except for Jesus. He is good. He is faithful. He is love. He is worthy. And He will hold my hope, will support my expectation, and will NEVER disappoint.

Worship isn’t a choice.

Whether I’m a Buddhist, atheist, Jew, Christian, or any other brand of religious bent, my very nature demands that I worship something or someone. Where I spend my time, money, and emotions will identify the object of my worship. Do I drop all my cash on Miss Me jeans? I may be worshiping trends or my pride. Is all my time spent burred in a historical fiction novel? I might be worshiping a false sense of love, or a projected dream of romance. Am I addicted to social media? I could be worshiping my popularity. If, however, I am unable to tear my thinking away from the grandness of God’s love, or if get excited every time I think of sharing the gospel, or I’m moved to tears when I hear someone’s testimony, then I might be worshiping the only one worthy: Jesus.

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