A month after my birthday and countries apart and I couldn't help but reflect on my last 24 trips around the sun. Maybe I've still got last Monday's total solar eclipse on the brain!
I turned 24 in Florence, Italy. B and I had finally made it on our first international vacation (and Mom was right when she told me those trips with girlfriends didn't work out for a reason; it was worth waiting to go with my husband).
That seems so old. Wasn't I excited about finally being 21 just days ago?
Friends back home already have babies and children. Family is probably counting down the days until B and I will have some exciting news to share. But for once, I feel almost satisfied with where I am and how my life is going. Hey, there's always room for growth and improvement!
We have friends that are the same age as us, interested in the same things we like. We can actually do life together. They don't have kids yet. Heck, some aren't even ready for a plant or a pet. I have a job that is using my degree and skills, pays well, and I enjoy. We have a church we're helping to plant that we can walk to on Sunday mornings.
I am content.
One day, we'll be ready for kids, or at least a pet. One day, I'll have wisdom to pass on. Right now, I only have 24 years worth and I'll have to pass it on to you.
- What you expect from life may not be what people in your life expect of you. Values don't always align and friendships will be tested. Let others have their opinions. Stay true to yourself and your ideals of yourself.
- The world may hold disappointments for you. It may be cruel. You may get hurt. You can choose to be kind and to choose joy.
- When you're stressed, worried, unsure, unfit, or unprepared PRAY.
- Pursue peace. Do not give into pettiness or small revenges when you've been wronged. Seek the Lord in decisions, small and large. That peace will serve you well in tough times and good.
- Read more books than you'll ever remember all the titles too. Fill your head with knowledge and stories and history because no one can make you do this. Learn to love learning and never stop absorbing the written world around you.
- Falling in love can be easy. Staying in love can be more difficult. It is a choice, a commitment, and if it grows into marriage, a covenant. Honor love and treat it with care.
- Respect yourself and expect others to respect you too. There is no glory or reward in being less than you are or allowing others to treat you as if you are worth less. Know your value and your standards as a child of God.
- Don't fear getting lost. If you're traveling and you lose your way, you may just be opening yourself up for the part of your vacation you couldn't have planned anyway.
- Take your time. Discover every city, every relationship, every study at your own pace. You have your experiences and memories to draw from for the rest of your life; don't let someone else rush you through them.
- God's timing is not our timing. It's better.
I had originally wanted to have a list of 24 things to go with my 24 years, but that makes for a long list!