July’s hot and humid days are upon us, and with the crest of summer comes a handful of sun-soaked July birthdays in my family. Mine first, followed closely by my niece and sister.
Twenty-five years have passed since the sweltering summer day my mom gave birth to me (which turned out to be two days of intense labor followed by a c-section—so sorry, Mom!).
I was born loved, wanted, and welcomed. It’s a gift I never take for granted.
Twenty-five years later, and I’m still here. Still living, still learning, still being the loved.
These 25 things are a tiny handful of what I’ve learned and am continuing to learn as I get older. Some are serious, some are silly, because what is life if not a healthy mix of both?
When you see the word “you,” rest assured that I’m preaching to myself.
25 Things I’ve Learned
If you don’t like it in the store, you won’t like it at home. Buy stuff that you love. If it looks good and feels good on you under merciless florescent mall lights, it’s a keeper.
People are people and wow can they push our buttons. Try to be kind anyway.
There are such things as coincidences. Not everything is a sign. Not everything must be spiritualized.
If something feels wrong, it probably is.
Never ever EVER set your oven on the self-clean cycle if you’re not in the house.
Read stuff that’s old. C.S. Lewis said it best: “Keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through your mind. This can be done only by reading old books.”
And while we’re on the subject of books, abandon books that you’re not enjoying. Without regret. We’re grown ups, we get to do this.
Morning quiet time—whether it’s five minutes or an hour—is transformational.
Rare is the person who can truly keep a secret. Keep that in mind when you’re telling people stuff.
Take care of your car.
Always have cash on hand. THIS. Oh my goodness, enough with the cards already and carry some cash. (Side note: This is especially true if you’re a guy. Do you know how attractive it is to us gals when you have cash with you? It’s not about the money. It’s about you being prepared and us feeling safe. Carry the cash.)
Money related: Don’t skimp on tipping. Not cool.
Seek out the lovely in the middle of the regular. Because most of the lovely is the regular.
Treasure your close friends. Pour into those relationships and treat them like the gift that they are.
Cellulite, wrinkles, gray hair—it’s all inevitable. Ease right on in. (Working on this one because last month I found a few gray hairs on my head. Oh Lord.)
Give people compliments. They can turn someone’s day around.
When you’re going along having a lovely Sunday afternoon reading a book and somehow you find yourself crying into your tea, don’t be afraid or think you’re weird. FEEL. It’s okay.
Life is not predictable. And it’s not fair. This can be wildly frustrating, but man is it the truth.
In almost all cases, it’s smarter to stay away from WebMD. Get off the internet and save yourself from a sleepless night spent worrying about the extremely rare condition that you’re positive you have.
From time to time, anchor your soul in some peace and quiet and listen to your life.
When God seems far away, He’s closer than we can imagine.
Some things you won’t really get over. But you’ll get through. And your heart will get stronger.
If all we do is focus on the hurt and sadness in the world, we’ll never make it. Love letters from heaven are all around. Find them and praise Him.
God’s abundant grace is our greatest hope.
So grateful for these past 25 years and the innumerable lessons and blessings that have come from God’s hand. Here’s to another year!
Wishing you a lovely week,