The most valuable lessons I have learned in my 30 years;
In this life people will disappoint you, you decide if the relationship is worth fighting for and if your strong enough to forgive. I have been encouraged by the fact that if you see people as who they will become rather than who they have been, your grace may just be one of the biggest contributing factors to them actually becoming. At the point it would all have been worth it.
Have a good relationship with your mom, especially if you are a woman. I understand that for some of you this is not really an option but for those of you that it is. TRY! There is something about that bond that creates a strength and a resilience within a woman, the type of quiet strength that leaves you not feeling like you have to prove to anyone who you are. There is an assurance because you feel deeply rooted as a woman, knowing the women that you have come from.
If you have a man in your life that is a father figure or just a father in your life, do not take that for granted. There is stability in such a relationship and there are people without it that will have to scratch and claw through this life searching for security that was never provided to them. You are blessed and never forget that.
There will be people in your life that are not family but they will love you as if, cherish these people because they have chosen to love you.
Prioritize your family because although there are friends that may feel like family, there is a reason that God specifically placed you where you are. If you feel different, it is your different that is needed. Sometimes there is a separation that is for your own good, and that is absolutely needed. If there isn’t just make time for those people because even though it can be hard it is absolutely worth it.
It is ok every once in a while to have a day where you put your needs first. But most of your days are better served giving of yourself to those around you. If you needs are constantly above the needs of others in your life then there is a level of intimacy with others that you will never tap into. There is a place of deep love when another knows you have inconvenienced yourself even slightly to serve them in some capacity.
If you live the majority of your life giving towards others, God has a funny way of placing people in your life that will be able to see your needs and have the ability to fill in the gaps. It may not feel this way in seasons but that is always a reward for the things you do in love.
When doing things for others don’t publicize it and seek recognition from others. In an effort to show people how good of a person you are you have limited the reward that you could have gotten from God. For when it is attention and approval from man that you seek and that you receive you have robbed the opportunity for God to edify you himself. Trust me God’s edification is much better than man’s.
There is a certain amount of normalcy these days in sharing our lives with others but there are some things in your life that should remain yours. Share moments and memories but in order to do so, don’t miss out on them yourself. I may not have every moment of my life document but because I didn’t experience that moment looking through my cell phone, my memory of it is vivid and I can replay it over and over again in my mind.
If you are thinking about someone, tell them. Right then in that moment or the next time you see them. People need to know that they are thought of, it reinforces your love. And you never know why that person was placed on your heart. A simple message from you in that moment could be just what they need.
Say I love you more. Yes it is intimate. Yes sometimes with certain people it can be awkward and you may not always get a response but if you love someone tell them. You will be shocked at the amount of people that just haven’t heard that in a while or maybe they have never had anyone say that to them. JUST SAY IT you could change someone’s life.
If you tell someone that you love them, then you had better act like it. There is nothing worse than words spoken that are not fulfilled with deeds.
Never regard yourself higher than another. It is good to have self respect and it is even ok to demand respect. But to demand respect is to treat that person as higher than yourself to have patience, understanding and kindness, never to diminish them. If you have treated someone as such your demand to be respected through your actions will be met.
When deciding whether or not to keep someone in your life ask yourself this question. Do they make you happy more often than they make you sad? If the answer is yes than they are worth fighting for. If it is 50/50 it can be salvaged. If the answer is no, than you may have to choose to move on. If it is a relationship that is supposed to be in your life then that person will recognize your absence and realize that change is needed.
Learn to never let material things that can be replaced cause sharpness or anger towards another, especially with children. There are accidents that will happen but people are more valuable than anything so do you best to make sure that the people in your life know that. Through muddy carpets and broken glass, just your peace and patience validates their importance to you. In true accidents people feel guilty enough as is.
Grandparents are special. They are a treasure. They are the life’s that formed what brought you life and they will no doubt be a part of shaping your future. It doesn’t matter how completely out of touch they are, spend time with them. Enjoy them. You will miss them greatly when they are gone. When grandparents pass, so many things change because whether you realized it or not they were the glue that kept things as is. Most importantly don’t forget them and never stop talking about them, carry them on. This will teach the next generation of the importance of knowing where they came from and treasuring family history.
There is not pain that stays sharp and lasts forever unless you want it to. God gives freely this extraordinary healing power and we humans are resilient beings. We don’t have to be broken by the struggles in this world. We can rise again from any of the ashes that fires have caused.
Become a home and a safe haven for people. When you are a person that represents refuge to others, yes you will end up sometimes having to carry the burdens of others but you in turn will ensure that you always have a place that you can go. Those people will become emotional real estate.
Take the time to slow down in order to respond to the things that life through at you. If you remain in a hurry through the trials in your life then you will find yourself being the person that reacts to everything. I have been a reactor and it has caused me to take action or speak words that I deeply regret. I have learned to not be in such a rush to get out of a mess because that tends to only make it worse.
Also stop speeding. If you get a ticket because you were speeding, then that is your fault. Police officers could absolutely being doing “something more important” but you could also just follow the speed limit. Allow more time to get places so that you aren’t always in a rush If you know it takes 15 mins to get somewhere don't give yourself 10 give yourself 20.
Never stop learning. Teach yourself new things. Let other people teach you things. Just never become the person that “is good”. If you are not growing you're dying. There is a sweet adrenaline when you do something for the first time, when you conquer something because you decided to expand your mental capacity.
There is nothing that speeds up time faster than having a child. Don’t wait until then t realize how valuable your time is because at that point it is no longer about you, but about the child.
There is no greater skill to develop than common courtesy and awareness of others. You can develop people skills but that allows you to manipulate situations and people whether you are doing it maliciously or not. To have common courtesy and to be aware of others will cause you to look outside of what is most beneficial for yourself. Sometimes it will end in finding a situation that is mutually beneficial and sometimes it will lead you to a place where you have to make a decision because what you know is right to do in that moment has no benefit for you but will greatly benefit another. You still have a choice in these moments of course and some people would rather remain ignorant of others but then you will never have the opportunity to show people how much you care.
There is a difference between your gifting and your calling. Your gifting is where you flow naturally. Your calling will be completely outside of your comfort zone. Both are important to pursue.
Let your yes’ be yes’ and let your no’s be no’s. So many people would be so much happier in their relationships if they adapted this concept. People say yes to things that they don’t want to do and it creates so much tension between them and the asking party, even if the other person is unaware. I would rather say no and look like a jerk in the moment then do something and then grumble and complain the entire time. That serves no one and the chances are that whatever it is will not be done in excellence and there is definitely an awkwardness created in that relationship. When you adapt this concept into your life, then what you do say yes to will be done in excellence and without murmuring.
Don’t make the people in your life now pay for the mistakes of people from your past. This was important in my marriage as well as in my friendships. Trust even when it has been broken before. And be vulnerable even when it has bitten back at you. The people in your life now need that from you and they may be the people to heal those broken things but that can never be if you don’t give them that chance.
Find your own truth. What is true for someone else may not be true for you and that is ok. If you live in someone else’s truth than you short change yourself and you perpetuate cycles that could have had the potential to be broken. People will speak their truths and sometimes with the intentions of it influencing you, don’t feel the need to argue it out. Know that maybe their truth cut them deeply and their desire to influence you is only to keep you safe.
Speak your truth once you find it. Be mindful on how you deliver messages and sometimes it is good to be sensitive with certain audiences. But just remember that it is important for you to speak truth that breathes life into others. May you will be awareness, maybe you will bring hope, you never know but you change nothing when you remain silent.
What remains in the dark will eventually come to the light in some way or another. No point in hiding things. If you are not who you say you are eventually people will find out. Might as well be honest with the people in your life, you will never regret being honest even with the ugly truth. There is such freedom in having no secrets.
Trust your intuition and if there is a lead that you feel in your gut don’t ignore it. Chances are it will prove to be correct. It is not always a call to action, sometimes it is just knowledge that prepares you, and sometimes it is a warning that keeps you from harm. But don’t ignore that, you’d rather be safe than sorry.
Find ways to shock people. Shock them by going above and beyond for them. Shock them by being vulnerable and showing that you can be weak and you are not perfect. Shock them by being your own version of weird. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them feel. When you shock someone in these ways, the chances of them forgetting you is slim. Paths may separate but we all want to be remembered.
Every single thing that you go through has the potential to help others. No matter how terrible the situation is. No matter if it is your fault or if you are a victim. If you chose not to let negative things define you. If you chose to let go of shame, guilt, pain, anger and unforgiveness. If you learn from your experiences than at some point in your life you will find the opportunity to use that experience to minister to another. In that moment it will all make sense and you will have absolutely no regret.
People are the most worthwhile investment of your time. When you invest in people you will be blessed. Either that person will bless you in return or God will find a way to bless you for that investment.
Time is the one thing that you can not get more of. You can buy future time but you cannot get back the time that you have lost. Do not spend your time on things that don’t matter. And do not let the drive for money cause you to give your time to things that have no eternal value.
You leave this life with nothing but your soul. All the things you gain mean nothing. Who you become means everything.
Don’t have kids if you cannot be selfless. The hurting people in the world were raised by selfish people.
Seek to understand before you seek to be understood. When you value your point of view above the thoughts of others you will always be feeling like no one gets you and you are always having to explain yourself. You may never agree but when you choose to find out the why someone thinks they way that they do even if you have differences there doesn’t have to be division. You can never influence people that you refuse to understand.
Don’t obsess so much over how you look. Looks are fleeting but your character will last in the memory of others forever. It is amazing how “beautiful” you remember people to be when they were good to you.
If you can do one thing. One thing more valuable, more enriching and more life changing than anything it would be to get to know your creator. Fall in love with the one that formed you. It’s really the only thing that matters and if you feel lost it is the only thing that will make you feel found. There is only reason that I have learned all of these things. It is because I have sought my savior and in that seeking I have been guided and taught so many valuable lessons. Most importantly in the relationships I have with my savior I am loved and I am whole.