I am 40

40 years…

40 years is a long time. 40 years is a short time.  It’s all about perspective. Some days I feel ALL of those 40 years.   Other days I feel like a kid.

I’ve heard the first 40 years of childhood are the hardest.  At least I did all the stupid stuff before the Internet and Facebook were created!

I’ve learned a lot about time, life, and getting older in my 40 years.  Some I’ve learned the hard way, but all have been learned from experience.

1.  Don’t take time for granted. I’ve lost so many people in my life, young and old.  No matter your age, life is short. You never have enough time.

2.  My years are numbered.   I am not promised tomorrow.  I am only given this moment, this second.  I need to use this moment wisely.

3.  My life is not my own.   I am here for a reason.  I woke up still breathing, my heart still beating.  The Lord has a plan for me today.  He created me for HIS purpose. I just have to open my eyes to discover what He has planned.

4.  Life is not easy, and not always fun, but I am not alone.   I walk through this life with a God who is with me every step of the way.  I will go through trials and troubles, but He is with me.

5.  Every day is a gift.  Every morning that I wake up and have air in my lungs, stand up and move is a good day.   If you aren’t enjoying those simple gifts then you are missing out on simple joy.  There are people out there who would love to stand up and move who can’t get up.  Don’t take these things for granted.

6.  People will come and go in your life.   Either by death or by distance, AND distance isn’t always in miles.     Life can pull people away from us, but the Lord always helps us find others to fill the void.

7.  Those years make me who I am.  The Lord gave me this life, my family, my kids, and my friends.  I am who I am because of the choices I’ve made and things I’ve been dealt.  I don’t want go back and change a thing.  Even the hard times.  (Maybe my hair in the 80’s though.  I might change that.)

8.  You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.  I’m still a kid who likes to jumps in the puddles.  I’m still a kid who likes to go to amusement parks and zoos….and puppies.  I love puppies!

9.  I’m not getting older, I’m just getting more awesome!   I have a choice to look back on my life and see the good and bad.  I choose to remember the good and learn from the bad.  I have had an awesome 40 years.

10.  I am LOUD!  I have a loud voice that carries.  Works well for getting a room full of preschoolers or teens to pay attention.  I am boisterous and loud and I’m NOT apologizing for it.

11.  Time flies when you are having fun.  I have enjoyed my life so much that I can’t believe how fast it has gone.  I’m living my dream of being a wife and mom.

12.  Do not complain about getting older, there are some who did not have the chance.  Some who have given their lives for my freedom.  Some whose family would love to hold them one more time.  I can not… I have no right to… complain, when those who gave their life for me, wanted the same freedom that I have been given.

13.   Say “I love you” more.   The first “non family” person I ever said those “three little words” to was a friend in 3rd grade.   I was nervous as “all get out” but I still said it. She was my best friend.  I’ve learned that it got easier to say and it actually built friendships into “adopted family”.

14.  The world needs my wisdom.  I may have only lived 40 short years but in those years I have LIVED.  I have lived and learned.   I might have gone through something that you haven’t yet.   I’m here to help you get through it if you want my help.

15.Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.  (Proverbs 16:31 ESV)  However, I will continue to cover mine up.  

16.  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  (James 4:14 NIV)   There is no reason to worry.  Easy to say, hard to live.   I can’t forsee the future, but I have a Great God who can and he’s already seen it,  been there, and IS there…every moment.

17.  Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  (Psalm 90:12 NIV)  Life is so short and I need to enjoy every moment.   Even the moments when the dog is barking, the kids are fighting and the phone is ringing.   My life is awesome!  Even the bad days.

18.  Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect.  Don’t wait to get the fancy dishes out for company.  Get them out and use them.   Don’t wait for a fancy evening for special jewelry.  Wear it now.

I have a glass Christmas ornament that a dear friend made me before she died.  I didn’t want to unpack it because I feared it would get broken.  One Christmas my daughter unpacked it, not knowing my fear, and put it on the tree.   She said, to anyone listening,  “Aunt T. would love to see us putting her ornament on the tree.”  (It goes on the tree every year now!)

19.  Time is not earned, it is given.    Time can not be bought.  When someone gives their time up for me I need to cherish it and recognize it.  They will not get back those minutes or hours.  I need to make sure that the time they give “little old me” (no pun intended) is “time worth spent.”

20.  Time is very slow for those who wait, very fast for those who are scared, very long for those who lament, very short for those who celebrate, but for those who love…Time is eternal. (William Shakespeare)  

21.  I have a voice….and I’m not afraid to share it.   What I have to say is important, even if you don’t agree with what I say.

22. I will leave a mark on this world.  If I can help one person, I’ve left my mark. There is no way to know what will leave a lasting impression in someone’s life,  but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.  Be involved.  Be encouraging.  Make an effort.

23.  There is no one too busy.  It’s about priorities.  You will make time for what you care about most.  I hope I have chosen relationships over the junk of this world.  It’s not about having time,  it’s about making time.

24.  The time I give is time I can’t get back.  What am I spending my time doing?   Am I showing the person in front of me that I value them enough to give them my time, or am I so selfish that I use my time for myself.

25.  You will get hurt.  If you didn’t get hurt you didn’t try or you didn’t love.  I’ve been hurt but I’ve learned that I’m glad I tried and I’m glad I loved.

26.  Life can get messy.  Life can throw things at you, all at once.  It’s a choice to either freak out and feel the weight of all the problems at once, or you can choose to take each one at a time and trust the Lord to be by your side as you battle them.

27.  Get in the Word EVERY DAY.   Keep your focus on the Lord, and the rest will fade away.  He will get you through the bad days, and He will be with you during the good days.

28. Living my daily motto… “Smile from the Heart”.  Smile so BIG your eyes squint!  You show your teeth, and you don’t care how silly you look because you are sharing your smile with the world in hopes of making someone else smile.   The “pure joy” smile.  There is a difference ON THE FACE  when their is a difference IN THE HEART.

29.  Say the little things. You don’t know how those simple little things could change someone’s world.   You don’t know what’s going on inside their hearts and heads.  You can’t see the pain, or sorrow, but you could change them.  You can make a difference.  All it takes is a little effort, a little time, a little selfless act of kindness…very little is “required” to make this change happen,  but what a HUGE impact it could have… AND NOT ONLY TO JUST THAT PERSON!  They could go on to the next person and pass on the same kind act…and the next….and the next….

30.  I leave an impression wherever I go, but what kind of impression do I leave?  Do I leave showing love, or do I leave selfishness.

31.  I represent others.  I represent the Lord because I am His child.  I represent my husband because I am his wife.  I represent my girls because I am their mom.  I represent my family because I am a daughter and sister.  My representation precedes me and proceeds me.  I need to remember that it’s not just me walking in this life.  I represent others.

32.  There is never enough time. Whether it’s 40 weeks or 40 years,  there is never enough time.  Especially when you have so much love to give.

33. Everybody has a story tell…Listen to their stories.

34.  Prayer works.  Pray.  Pray about everything.  He is listening.

35.  I am an essential part of this world. Some days I have a hard time believing this.  Easier to say than to live it.  I am here for a purpose, a plan, and a season. Whatever the Lord directs for me, I will follow.

36.  Laugh!  Be silly!   My oldest daughter told me that when she pictures me,  she pictures me laughing.  I want that to be the picture she always remembers.

37.  I am a role model, whether I want to be or not.  I have people who look at me and will see what I do.  My girls watch EVERYTHING I do,  and they are so much like me.  I have little people that I teach and interact with at church on a regular basis.  Do I show them how much they mean to me?   Do they know how valuable they are?

38.  Imperfection is OK.  I used to be the kind of mom/wife who had to have the house in perfect order before anyone came over.   I’ve learned over the years that people don’t come over to see the house, they came to see us.   I don’t have to have a 4 course meal planned.  I am a wife and mom and I’m a busy lady.  I don’t have time for perfection, and that’s OK.

39.  Life is an adventure.  It has its ups and downs.   I’m glad I’m on this adventure with the ones I love.

40.  There is still plenty to learn.  Learning keeps you young.  I’m still learning.   So, onto the next 40 years…let’s see what I will learn.  Bring it on.

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