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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Almost 30

As I quickly approach the big 3-0, I have begun reflecting on the my life. I have made an attempt daily to think about the different chapters I have faced so far in my life. There have been MANY!! What I have realized is that I think we usually are faced with the most important life decisions early in our life because we are too young to be scared. If I had to face some of those same challenges now and in the future, I'm sure I would worry alot more. So, I have created a list of the top ten lessons I have learned so far in my life....most of which my mom tried to tell me but I thought I knew it all :)

1. The same situations that scared me to death ended up being the happiest moments.
Having to tell my mom that I was pregnant in college was the scariest thing I have ever had to do, BUT now my children are my world and I couldn't imagine life without them.

2. Bad things are going to happen.
No matter who we are or what we do, we can accept the fact that bad things are sometimes going to happen. Part of growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles. People lose jobs, get in car accidents, divorce, fall into addictions, and sometimes die young. It is part of life. We have to accept those things and know that it's okay to mourn and be sad. However, guilt, regret, and depression are feelings that we HAVE to get over in order to move on.

3. Everyone can make a differnce.
There are teachers, coaches, and friends we all remember that change our lives. By one simple quote or smile, they transformed the way we look at the world. If someone did that for you...then YOU are probably that someone for another person. You never know when or who is watching you.

4. Words do hurt.
Remember the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt." That is FALSE. Words, negative or positive, that people tell us about ourselves remain etched in our minds. If those words are hurtful and negative, we tend to repeat them over and over in our heads. We have to learn how to repeat the positive stuff just as much as we do the negative. People, even friends, will hurt you. Don't let hurtful words stay in your mind. Repeat positive things about yourself in your head, even if you don't believe them. Eventually, we become what we tell ourselves we are.

5. Sometimes you just have to go for it.
There are often times when things don't make sense, but we have to take a chance. Without chances, we can't grow. The first steps you took as a toddler was a chance you took. You took that step hoping that if you fell, someone would be there to catch you. Same concept...step out of the boat!!

6. Have fun and laugh alot.
There is no better medicine than laughter. Even if you don't feel like laughing, do it. You have to change the way you feel before you can change the way you act (sometimes people think it's the other way around). We are free and blessed, so there is no reason we can't laugh everyday.

7. Don't make excuses and be responsible.
YOU are the person who is responsible for YOU. It is not your mother, father, ex, or anyone else's fault if you are unhappy. We can choose to lie in self pity OR get up, get on, and make a conscious choice to change the pattern. As Dr. Phil says, "we teach people how to treat us." Get over it!! We make a choice everyday of how we will act, what we will say, and how we will feel...choose LIFE

8. Manage your money.
This is often the lesson that requires failure in order to get it. If you can't pay CASH, you don't NEED it. There is a big difference between a WANT and a NEED. Pay your bills BEFORE you shop :) Live on a budget, and learn to say NO to your flesh when you WANT something.

9. Notice the little things.
These years have flown by, and I'm sure it will continue that way. I decided that I WILL notice the little things. I will watch my children sleep, I will notice my husband's hobbies, I will enjoy dinner with my family every night, I will play ball with my kids if they ask. These are the things that I will enjoy talking about one day with my nursing home friends :) so I will notice them now.

10. The most important lesson I have learned is TO PUT GOD FIRST PLACE IN EVERYTHING.
If HE is first in every part of my life, the rest falls into place. The battles I am faced with are given to HIM...I'm just a passenger enjoying the ride. HE can handle my insecurities and worries. I don't have time because I need to enjoy the ride :) I have learned to PRAY AND WAIT!! Loving God, to me, means I spend time with HIM everyday, I talk to HIM everyday, I listen to HIM everyday, and I learn about HIM and HIS example.

There are so many more, but these are my top 10...ENJOY :)

Dear God,
Thank you for the lessons I have learned so far. Thank you for the happy moments, the scary moments, and the terrible moments for they made me who I am today. I am proud to be your daughter and I am thankful for your example. I pray that I would remember these lessons and live by them. There will be a day when I look back and smile on these days, so I pray that I would enjoy them.

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