Top 40 Life Lessons
Birthdays have a way of making me feel nostalgic. My 40th birthday is also making me feel nauseous. Crazy, right? It’s just that I don’t feel 40. But rather than getting stuck in this weird fear-of-the-future THING, I want to reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past. So today, I am going to do just that and share with you the top 40 life lessons I have learned so far.
1. Life is worth celebrating. Always. Make it a big deal, because it is.
2. You will never regret loving others. Even if they end up hurting you. You will regret treating others poorly. Don’t do it.
3. Life is too short to hold grudges.
4. There will be times in your life that feel miserable in the moment, but you will look back on them with great fondness. Remember this whenever you feel miserable.
5. It is possible for healthy food to taste good. I promise.
6. It is not a tragedy to wait until you are 18 to receive your first kiss. The best things in life are worth waiting for.
7. Take time to get to know the elderly people in your life. It will hurt when you lose them, but they have the very best stories.
8. Seek to be equal parts strategic and spontaneous. Having a plan is important and it allows you to reach your goals, but being able to change the plan on a moment’s notice is what makes life fun.
9. Don’t choose your college or career based on anyone’s expectations. This is a decision that only you can make. But understand that you will be responsible for that choice and for paying for it!
10. It is impossible to have too many books. Reading takes you more places than you can possibly imagine.
11. You are not defined by your past. Your interests and passions will change. Embrace each new pursuit with abandon!
12. Make a bucket list. Add to it often. Life is meant to be savored.
13. If you are lonely, pray that God would provide the friendships you need. He loves to answer this prayer. Immeasurably. More than you can possibly imagine.
14. Live bravely. Never say never. God has a way of taking the “nevers” and making them a part of your story.
15. Everyone has an awkward stage. Some of us never grow out of it. Awkwardness = Endearing.
16. Make sure that you are friends with people who think differently than you do. This will remind you that you are sometimes wrong and it will keep you from becoming narrow or superior minded.
17. Don’t simply focus on what you believe. Know why you believe it.
18. God has a way of teaching us what He wants us to learn. Sometimes this means that we will have to relearn the same lesson over and over and over again. If you begin to notice a pattern developing, do yourself a favor. Learn the lesson (there will be more!).
19. Every strength has a corresponding weakness. There will be people in your life who will be quick to criticize your weaknesses and slow to recognize your strengths. Love them and learn from them, but don’t allow them to have the loudest voice in your life. Be the kind of person who is quick to see someone’s strengths and patient and grace-filled when it comes to weaknesses.
20. Make it a point to look for beauty. This quest makes for a life well lived.
21. Sometimes that thing that everyone else raves about won’t work for you. That’s okay. “There is no one alive who is youer than you” ~Dr. Seuss
22. Dr. Seuss has some of the best quotes. They are worth memorizing.
23. You should also memorize Princess Bride quotes. You will be surprised at how often you will use them.
24. Memorizing scripture will be the best and most life changing memorization you will ever do.
25. Pray that God will give you a hunger and thirst for His Word. This will be your all time favorite prayer.
26. The solution to worry is thanksgiving. Try it. Often.
27. Life is a journey. You don’t have to have it all figured out by the time you graduate from high school or college. In fact you shouldn’t. Never stop learning. Even after you turn 40! 🙂
28. There will be some people who think you are too shallow and others who think you are too deep. Clearly, you will never please everyone. Memorize Galatians 1:10!
29. You can never smile too much. Remember this. Even if people tell you the opposite.
30. Laugh often.
31. Chase waterfalls (as in run to find them- they won’t really run from you!).
32. There is no such thing as too many pictures, but there is such a thing as not enough.
33. If you have children, they will be your best adventure. They will also embarrass you. The unparalleled joy and the horrifying disappointments are all a part of it. Embrace it all. You won’t regret it.
34. Don’t settle when it comes to marriage. If you have a little bit of I’m-not-sure in you, then wait. And if you are completely sure, you should wait too. There are lessons learned in the waiting that you don’t get to learn if you rush into everything.
35. If you think that your spouse will “complete” you, you are wrong. You will change in a million little ways in the course of your marriage and so will he. Rather than looking for someone who will complete you, look for someone who is determined to love you despite how you change. Seek to be the best version of yourself and only marry someone who is seeking the same thing.
36. The best version of yourself is only found in living out the purposes you were created for. You were made for a reason and if you disregard the One who made you, you will live a frustrated life. But when you trust God to lead and guide you, life will begin to make sense. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it will be meaningful and rewarding.
37. Get lost in a big city. Find yourself in the country.
38. Travel the world. Eat the foods, smell the smells, experience the cultures. Nothing changes you quite like being pulled out of your comfort zone.
39. Work hard, but rest hard too!
40. Love Jesus. I saved this for last, because it is the most important. Nothing else will matter if you don’t know Jesus and if you haven’t allowed him to change your heart. I learned this from my Daddy. I also learned that when we love Jesus well, we will love others well.
Here’s to another 40 years of lessons learned!