Thursday, November 14, 2013

What I Have Learned Over 38 Years

I am 38 years old today.

At least that is what the date on my birth certificate says I am.

I certainly do not feel like I am 38.

I feel more like I am in my twenties.

But, I have learned quite a few things over the last 38 years.

1. God is always faithful. My mother told me that as they wheeled her into surgery the day before she passed away. At first I didn't see how that was God being faithful, but I have seen Him at work faithfully in my life and have come to see how He was and is faithful all the time.

2. Marry your best friend. Before Brian and I ever dated, he was my friend. He was the guy I felt comfortable talking to because I didn't have to worry about him asking me out. In my mind, he was good practice for me so when God brought the right guy my way, I would be comfortable talking to him (does God have a sense of humor or what!). Needless to say, Brian became my best friend, and I had the honor of marrying him.

3. It is okay to leave your comfort zone. I was always someone who preferred to stay home. Leaving my comfort zone was a scary thought for me. However, since becoming a mother, I have begun branching out, joining homeschool groups and co-ops, and making wonderful friends. Because I have taken the steps needed to leave my comfort zone, my children are learning to do the same, and we are making some pretty great memories together.

4. Your age is just a number. I refuse to "feel" my age, and I refuse to let anyone dictate to me how my age is supposed to make me feel. As I said, I feel like I am still in my twenties, and I pray that I continue to feel like that for a long time to come. (I'd also like to look like I'm in my twenties, but I won't push it.)

5. True friends are invaluable. God has blessed my life with many wonderful people. Friends that I know from church, family friends, friends that are family, and friends that I have made through our homeschool groups. I have also been blessed with friends that I have known since my high school youth group days. God has used each of these people in some way to bless our lives, and I can only pray that I am able to bless them in some way as well.

6. God has ways to fill in the voids in our lives. After Mom passed away, there was a Mom sized void in my heart and life. God immediately began bringing women to walk beside me to help fill that void. From my mother-in-law to aunts to friends, God has brought specific women into my life who have all made invaluable contributions to my heart.

7. Children are truly a gift from The Lord. God has given us the children that He knew we needed, with the personalities that would fit our family perfectly. And boy, did He give them personalities! Our 5 1/2 year old can think in ways that make me forget how young she really is, and our 2 year old has figured out how to joke around and make jokes that will get him the biggest laughs. We have come to the conclusion that our family is complete with our two gifts.

8. In-laws can be your greatest allies. I know that not everyone is blessed with a great relationship with their in-laws, but God has blessed me with a wonderful set of in-laws who love me as their own daughter. When I need a sitter at the spur of the moment because of a sudden emergency, I can pick up the phone and Mom is there. (By the way, thanks for watching the kids tonight, Mom, so Brian can take me out for dinner.) When we need help around the house, Pops drops everything and is here with all of his tools to lend a hand. (Pops, thanks for coming over a few weeks ago to help me redecorate the master bedroom so I could surprise Brian.) I love you both!

9. Having a plan is essential. I am not a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of girl. If I am going to have a successful day, I have to have a plan. Some days I have a moment by moment schedule written out.Some  days, I live by our normal routine. Some days, I write out a list of things to do. But each day has a plan. It has to. I can't function any other way.

10. Mommy needs to take care of herself. There is a reason why flight attendants tell their parent passengers if in case of an emergency and the oxygen masks come down that they are to put theirs on first and then put the mask on their children. If mom or dad passes out, the children have no chance. When I keep putting myself off, I find that I am too worn out to give my all to my children. I learned that this week. I kept pushing myself until I threw out my back and ended up with a migraine. If I had taken the time to do some Mommy care, I would have been able to put my kids to bed on Monday and Tuesday instead of feeling like an invalid while Brian took care of bedtime.

I have also learned.....

.....that a cup of coffee in the evening with Brian always makes for a great morning.

.....that things pushed to the back of the refrigerator will never be eaten.

.....that children always call for mommy in the middle of the night. I know I always did...

.....that it is possible to get lost in the smallest section of town for 2 hours.

.....that the level of respect and courtesy that people have for each other has diminished greatly- just 
     go to a theme park with a stroller.

.....that there is no greater thrill than to see pure joy in the eyes of your children.

.....that it is possible to feel closer to an online group of friends than to people you know in

.....that even though technology has improved the visual effects of movies and television
     shows, nothing beats an episode of "Little House on the Prairie."

.....that Christmas will forever be my favorite holiday.

.....that it is better to buy furniture after you have children. There are some things you don't
     think of when furnishing a child-free home that you wish you could change after you   
     have children.

.....that a yearly pass to a local theme park is a great investment.

It has been a wonderful 38 years. I look forward to many more years serving the Lord and my family.


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