43 Birthday Gifts

birthday presentI’ve been on the journey of life for 43 years as of today….not nearly long enough to absorb all the knowledge in the world, but long enough to gain a little wisdom. Funny how “on the job” training teaches so much more than a school book. Here are 43 bits of wisdom I’ve learned over the years:

  1. Expect big things from God because He is able to do far more than my feeble mind can comprehend.
  2. God cares more about who I am than what I do. Character matters.
  3. Plan my work and work my plan. Satisfaction comes when I’ve accomplished my goals.
  4. My failures don’t define me. My passion for God does.
  5. I must look beneath the surface in order to judge correctly. Snap judgements can be costly.
  6. Instead of a “Woe is me” attitude embrace a “Let me at ’em” attitude. Pity parties don’t solve problems.
  7. I must train myself to accept the pitfalls of life and respond in God-honoring ways…to be happy on the mountain top and in the valley. It won’t happen naturally.
  8. God stands beside me like a great warrior. I am not alone.
  9. Almost all of God’s commands have something to do with how we are to treat other people. Relationships are a BIG deal to God.
  10. The discipline of my emotions is found in the training of my responses.
  11. I am my children’s best teacher.
  12. Drop the super-hero mentality, and reach out for help.
  13. The goal is to win the relationship, not the fight.
  14. I might bear a good name but I can choose to sully it. I might bear a sullied name, but I can choose to reestablish it.
  15. At the end of my life, I’ll most likely be measured by how well I loved (and was loved) rather than by how many tasks I accomplished.
  16. When I choose my own wisdom over God’s, I deceive myself and invite disaster.
  17. Jesus hung out with the wrong crowd. I should, too.
  18. Remembering what God has done in my past gives me confidence that He will provide for my future. Walking down Memory Lane with Him builds my faith.
  19. Know the difference between a criticism and a critique. Teachability is valuable.
  20. “One more” of anything won’t make me happy. If I’m not happy with what I have now, I won’t be happy when I have more.
  21. If my giftedness outweighs my character, disaster awaits me.
  22. Dysfunction is not deviating from the norm. Dysfunction is deviating from God’s best.
  23. Laughter is good medicine. Laughter with my family is the best medicine.
  24. Life as a Pastor’s wife means I’m on display for all to see. Therefore, I will model transparency with integrity….not perfection.
  25. I must take care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Neglecting any area will hinder my overall health.
  26. The way I steward my leadership role effects they way other people think of themselves, their abilities, and their value.
  27. It is possible to accomplish every goal I set for myself and miss God’s purpose for my life.
  28. Life was intended to be my time to get to know God and His ways.  I shouldn’t substitute that for chores and a honey-do list.
  29. It is refreshing to let my hair down and forget the demands of life for a while. Do it often.
  30. “Take care of self” and “Look out for #1″ sound good in theory, but those thoughts fly in the face of God’s way of living. To model my life after the example of Jesus, I should serve, give, and love generously.
  31. Don’t protect my time. Don’t guard it. Give it all up to Jesus. Use myself up for Him. He will refresh and protect me better than I ever could.
  32. If God commands it, do it.
  33. If God prohibits it, avoid it at all costs.
  34. My daily choices reveal my trust – or lack thereof – in God.
  35. Most bad decisions are the result of asking the wrong questions or tying to impress the wrong people.
  36. A desire to please people can cripple me when making leadership decisions. Aim to please God alone.
  37. Finishing well is its own reward. To know I’ve done my job in a spectacular fashion….to know I’ve improved…..to know I’ve impacted people…..that’s fulfilling.
  38. Unresolved issues only lead to more issues.
  39. I cannot control how others act, but I can certainly control how I react.
  40. Showing kindness, mercy, and forgiveness in the face of hurt and betrayal is a better choice than living with anger and resentment.
  41. Don’t let life catch me off-guard. Do the work necessary to be prepared for the opportunities God sends
  42. Compliment loved ones. To their face. To others. My encouragement means more that a thousand pats on the back from well-meaning friends. 
  43. My life is a stage, and it is a privilege to stand on it. Thank God daily.

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