25 Lessons in 25 Years: Happy Birthday to Me!!

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Yep, it’s my birthday! 25 years ago, in a Tennessee hospital, I was born! What a blessing these 25 years have been to me – and I hope to other people as well. I am grateful for my friends and family who have walked with me. I am thankful for Jesus, who keeps my heart beating and calls me to greater things. I am thankful for the love of my life and the son we got to hold for a time. And in honor of me turning 25 and being a QUARTER OF A CENTURY old, I decided to share 25 things I’ve discovered about life (in no particular order):

  1. The silent treatment is never a good idea, nor is it fair. I was pretty passive aggressive in my youthier youth, and if you would’ve accused me of it then, I probably would have given you the silent treatment. I’ve learned addressing the issue is always better, always harder, and sometimes hurts.
  2. Comfort is more important than style. Anyone who knows me can tell you I have the fashion sense of a toddler. The only reason I ever look decent is because I have an amazing husband and amazing friends who know I need them and come to my rescue. After years of buying clothes that looked cute only to never wear them, I have learned my lesson. I buy what is comfortable, and I hardly ever wear heels. And if I can find something that is both comfortable and approved by my team of fashion advisors, I jump on it (but not literally).
  3. Along those same lines, Comfort is more important than the number it takes to achieve it! There have been times in my life where I’ve been stuck on that number on the inside of my jeans. I was never very big, but I also wasn’t a twig. I had friends who were size 0 and 00 – sizes that make it sound like their waists literally don’t exist..why can’t size 1 be the lowest?! I was usually a solid 3 or 5. If I had to go up to a 7 in a different brand it was rough. Then I got pregnant and experienced the comfort of maternity jeans, and I decided I would never care about the number on my clothes again. I try to be healthy and take care of my body, but I will never sacrifice comfort for the sake of getting to say I wear a size 3. If it takes a size 12 to give me full range of motion in a pair of jeans, so be it…but I also hope it never does…
  4. My worth is determined only by the One who made me. What I achieve doesn’t make me more valuable. Failure doesn’t make me less valuable. I am valuable because God says that I am His. There is nothing I or anyone else can do to make me less valuable. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I am a treasure. So are you.
  5. Fun doesn’t have to cost a penny. This is especially true if you like being outside, which I do! Adult life doesn’t have to be boring, and, while lots of things require a least a little money, there are a lot of things that don’t cost anything. And from my experience, those things usually bring about the best memories.
  6. Meal plans are better than sliced bread. I don’t always think I am good at adulting, but when I look at my monthly meal plan/grocery list, I think, “Dang, you’re adulting like a boss!” I was lost before my meal plan, and I will never understand anyone who doesn’t use one.
  7. Be brave enough to admit when you’ve been wrong. Everyone has heard the phrase, “Women are always right.” I just need to clear the air. This is completely untrue and terribly annoying. People may think it’s cute to say, but we are teaching the (little) people around us all the time. Be brave enough and humble enough to admit when you’ve been wrong, done wrong, or said something hurtful. Set a good example of what it means to have integrity. And apologize when you need to. Because we are wrong just as often as the men in our lives, even if we may be too proud to admit it.
  8. Being married to my best friend is awesome because it means I almost always have a friend around, and who doesn’t like that?! Life is fun and hilarious and goofy, and I completely love it.
  9. Student loans suck. If I could go back in time, I would have found a different way. It may have taken longer and been a lot more work, but I truly believe it would be a better way. I will never encourage anyone to take out student loans. They don’t make school “affordable.”
  10. Shaving my legs is overrated. Especially in the winter. When cold hair hits freshly shaven legs, the hairs rip through my skin almost as if to say, “Are you trying to freeze yourself to death?! Let us help warm you up again.” I have the best husband. I usually just forget to shave my legs in the summer, and he doesn’t complain until he looks at them in the sunlight and they look like a teenage boy’s legs.
  11. I don’t have to know exactly who I am immediately. Sometimes I compare myself to other people and think, “Wow, they really have it together and they’re younger than me!” or “They are already doing exactly what they were made to do…when am I going to get my life together.” It isn’t helpful to compare myself to anyone else. I just need to listen to the Lord and listen to what He calls me to. My timeline won’t look like anyone else’s, and it’s okay. I will probably never know, fully, who I am, but I don’t mind because there is Someone who already knows, and He is always teaching me who I am in Him..
  12. Sometimes the generic brand just doesn’t cut it. I’m talking about saltine crackers. Yeah, there are other things I won’t skimp on, but saltines are basically the top of the list.
  13. Sometimes it’s okay to eat a whole pint of ice cream. I’m not talking about when you’re upset, I’m saying it’s okay to eat a whole pint of ice cream if you just want to eat a whole pint of ice cream. It’s totally fine every once in a while. Just don’t make a habit out of it.
  14. You don’t need to be with kids to do kid things. I don’t ever want to be too old to press the ‘Try Me’ buttons in the toy aisle, see the newest Disney movie, or jump in puddles. My husband and I use date money to buy Legos and make things together. We go to parks with our friends and play lava tag. Even though we didn’t all grow up together, I get to be a kid with my friends every now and then, and it reminds me that I can grow up and mature without forgetting how to have fun.
  15. Taking care of me needs to be a priority. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of life and end up completely drained. I’ve learned that if I want to be able to be my best and serve other people well, I need to take care of myself. I need to spend time with Jesus and let Him fill me up, so I don’t wind up empty. And I need to remember to rest.
  16. There isn’t a single TV series whose final season won’t be a disappointment…except White Collar.
  17. Exercise is important. I am blessed with great genetics, so I think my outsides look pretty good most of the time. Even if I look good, I need to exercise for my insides’ sake. If I don’t do cardio, I can’t handle an hour of kayaking, and that sucks.
  18. Family is a big deal. But family isn’t just the people you shared a house with growing up. Family is vast, and the whole thing is important. Take time to nurture the relationships because in the end, it’s people that matter (Shout out to my brothers for keeping us close by calling every now and then!)
  19. Sewing isn’t just for old ladies – it’s for young people who are old ladies on the inside, too. And I am one of those people! I’m pretty good at it, and it’s fun! I never ever thought I would say that, but I am not ashamed. I get to bless friends with one of a kind gifts and have a skill that comes in handy when things break.
  20. I don’t know everything. The sooner you can learn this, the better. It’ll keep you humble and it makes you appreciate the things you can learn from other people.
  21. Don’t wait to do it. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you have a dream, a bucket list, or even a to do list, go for it while you still can. Sometimes we put things off until it’s too late. There is more to life than the work, so take time to do the things you really want now!
  22. Be present. I love taking pictures, so I can remember all of the things I’ve done in my life, but smartphones make it easy to live through a lens rather than in the moment. I’m definitely guilty of watching things happen through my camera. Take time to get your nose out of your phone and see what’s around you. Choose to have conversations with the people around you instead of playing a game on your phone. Time is precious, and you can’t get it back.
  23. You can have more than one best friend! When I was younger I always felt bad if I professed to someone that they were my best friend because I thought that my other friends would feel bad. I’m pretty sure I have 15 best friends, and I tell every one of them that they are my best friend because it’s true.
  24. The world is big and has a lot to offer. Travel. Even if it’s just to the next town over. Learn about people who are different from you. See the world and take time to marvel at its beauty, and while you’re marveling at it, consider this: the same One who crafted the hills, mountains, rivers, and stars made you. And marvel at that.
  25. God is always good. I’ve seen trouble, and I’ve seen good times in 25 years, and I have seen His faithfulness. I have seen and experienced God’s goodness, and I know it is never-ending. I can tell you all about it if you want!


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