Thirty arrives on Friday.
These thirty years, they have not gone according to plan. At least, not according to my plan. My plan did not include tears, addictions, struggles, divorce, or any of the painful things that have molded my heart. My plan was boring. My plan was safe. God’s plan was better. A bit more heart wrenching and sorrowful than I would have wanted, but more joyful than I could have planned for myself.
These thirty years have been rich, joyful, and sanctifying. These thirty years have seen miracles, some of which I don’t go a hour without remembering. These thirty years, God has been working. He has been making beautiful things out of dust, and it has been good. I pray my next 30 years teach me more of what this 30 has. I pray the next 30 makes my heart even more beautiful and gracious and soft.
I was thinking about what I have learned, both silly and real, in these 30 years, and I thought, well, let’s make a list. Lists can be fun.
30 for 30:
1. Pet chickens usually don’t “run away”, they usually get eaten by the dog, even if your mom tells you differently. (RIP Peepers, you are missed)
2. You can, in fact, wear black and khaki together.
3. Eyebrows are not your enemy, there’s no need to tweeze yourself bald.
4. Running shoes need to fit well.
5. Kids with Autism are pretty dang interesting and fun.
6. There’s always a function to behavior, and it usually has to do with reinforcement.
7. Working out in the morning is a great idea.
8. Pinterest is not evil. It is, in fact, handy.
9. There’s nothing quite as fun as being an Aunt. (“What? You want more candy while listening to this super loud music and jumping on the bed? OK!!!!!!”)
10. Jumping off is the scariest part. Just do it. Both metaphorically and actually. Just jump. God will catch you.
11. Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the going on in spite of it.
12. Wear shorts under your skirts.
13. When someone crosses your mind or is put on your heart, listen. And let them know they matter.
14. Laying your burdens down at the feet of Jesus, and leaving them there, is most difficult, yet most freeing.
15. Most helpful thing in recovery? Just do the next right thing.
16. God uses the most awful messes to bring restoration and redemption. Whatever the crap is, He will use it.
17. Trust your gut. It’s usually correct.
18. Always check to make sure you don’t have “backfat” in strapless dresses, or back lumps around your undergarments.
19. Karaoke is a great way to learn which of your friends listen to the same awful music you do. (TLC #noscrubs)
20. Go to bed early, and get up early. It’s good for you. Get your eight hours.
21. Coconut oil is fabulous tanning lotion, hair conditioner, moisturizer, and really brings out the flavor of sweet potatoes.
22. Being gracious to yourself is the best way to guarantee recovery.
23. It’s ok to screw up, it’s ok to be a mess, it’s ok to not be perfect.
24. It’s not ok to hurt someone and then blame them for it. Own your crap.
25. Lying is never ever worth it.
26. God does what is best for His children, and sometimes His best looks like our worst. But sometimes, it doesn’t.
27. Stop and enjoy times of laughter. Like, actually stop, look around, and remember the moment.
28. Hanson is amazing. And don’t be ashamed that you love ‘N Sync, Katy Perry, or Rihanna. It’s ok to have songs that you like because they are ridiculous. Just like what you like, and be cool with that.
29. Always remember to encourage others, remind them of the good you see in them, and look them in the eye when you do it. And when people do it to you, listen. Listen and Accept.
30. God keeps His Promises. Always. Always. Always.
Here’s to 30! Cheers!
p.s. anyone know of an excellent wrinkle cream to use? Seriously. It’s getting bad over here.