40 Lessons

A few years ago a friend of mine hosted my 40th birthday party.  I honestly cannot convey how much this party meant to me — it was a beautiful gathering with yummy food and fun drinks and many of the women closest to me.  The affirmations that were spoken over me that night will be vividly remembered and cherished till  I die, or become extremely demented.

This friend is turning 40 today.  She and her husband took an amazing trip just the two of them and many friends have helped her celebrate, but I want to use this day on the blog to post 40 lessons I’ve learned.  I wish I knew these and lived these all my life, but the wisdom of years is not granted to the young.  But Lord willing, I’ll be faithful to these 40 lessons for the next 40 years.

  1. Trust God in good times and bad.
  2. Make lists of how God has sustained you in dark days.
  3. Read the Psalms.
  4. Pray the Psalms.
  5. Make lists of how God has been faithful in providing for you.
  6. Find something to thank God for even when you are hurting.
  7. Know that even those who project perfection are not.
  8. Try your best not to compare because it only results in envy or feelings of superiority.
  9. Travel as much as possible — memories from new locations are somehow stickier than those made at home.
  10. Read as much as you can, use audible too.  It is such a gift to have someone read to you while you drive around or drift off to sleep.
  11. Never treat your husband like he needs to earn your respect.  It’s your unconditional gift to him.  Give it to him everyday.
  12. Always make time for sex.
  13. Never get over the awe of God’s creation
  14. Never forget that God’s mercies are new every single morning.
  15. Always remember that right feelings follow right actions.
  16. Tease your children — it’s important personality training.
  17. Surprise your children — they won’t forget it.
  18. Model love for God for your children.
  19. Don’t let dirty dishes be a priority over cuddle time.
  20. Don’t have expectations about time spent with your spouse — learn to just be with them.
  21. Don’t expect your spouse to be straight out of a fairytale.  They are flawed, just like you.  Love them anyway.
  22. Find authors who inspire you, that can be your go-to when you need some encouragement.
  23. Make your children tell each other that they love each other, especially when they are not getting along.  Words are powerful and healing (see number 15).
  24. Read 1 Corinthians 13 often, and always on Valentine’s Day.
  25. Spend time with your spouse after children are in bed just talking with no distractions.
  26. Require your children to use manners (yes, please, ma’am, sir, thank you)(see number 15 and 23).
  27. Keep searching for books your children love even if you read Fly Guy for months at a time.
  28. Go sledding whenever possible.
  29. Build meaningful holiday traditions.
  30. Regularly eat dinner as a family at the table.
  31. Take your children to fancy restaurants where they are expected to interact in a civilized way.
  32. Take your children to parks and beaches and let them run wild without any restrictions.
  33. Make sure your children can swim.
  34. Boogie board whenever possible.
  35. Make community a priority and know that it requires time and commitment.
  36. Pray for and seek friends who challenge you and make you laugh.
  37. Tell family stories over and over and over again.
  38. Make sure your children know the reward of hard work.
  39. Make certain your spouse knows you are for them.  No.  Matter.  What.
  40. Rest in knowing that God created you, rejoices over you with singing, and loves you with an unquenchable, unending love.

For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears. — Zephaniah 3:17

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