Tuesday, July 2, 2013

30 for 30: 1-3

OK, in the last post I probably led you to believe that there would be no 30 life lessons coming from me on my blog in honor of my 30th year. Well, through some mysterious process, the notion planted itself in my noggin and actually wound up sounding like a bit of a fun challenge, so I think I'm going to impart 30 life lessons after all. You'll also see random pictures from my phone, because, as always, I'm not sure what else to do with them! :)

The girls love pulling all the pillows off the couch and the big chair and rolling all around on top of them.
You know I do love a good blog series.

T's face here is what makes the picture.
Maybe it's also that I suddenly feel like a full-fledged 30-year-old, thanks to a random injury I sustained last week. Y'all, it appears that my body is finally showing its age. Two Sundays ago, my arm hurt, and then it hurt and hurt and hurt until this past Friday I could hardly lift the thing, so Saturday I made the trek to Campbell Clinic to get checked out. One cortisone shot later, with one physical therapy appointment and another follow-up appointment on the horizon, I am happy to say I feel like a new woman! Here's to getting my 30-year-old rotator cuff inflammations out of the way early on, and here's to using my arm to its full potential once again! :)

Watching Sesame Street
And since I've reached the point in life where I can inflame a rotator cuff and not even know it, surely I have something decent to say for myself, right? Maybe not, but I'm hoping something I say here will be of some value to someone who stumbles across it. I'm sure much of it will be pure cheese but maybe something will be beneficial.

OK, let's get started!

Who needs one of those fancy book nooks you see on Pinterest when you can share a pillow with your sissy and improvise your own?
1. Seek God's Kingdom first (see Matt. 6:33). This one is totally not original, but then again I highly doubt any of these are! :) And in this case, I'm not sure you want to be too original.

If you go back to Matthew 6 and read what's said right before Jesus issues the advice to "seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness," you'll see that he's talking about the fruitlessness of getting all worried and anxious about things like clothes, food, you know, the things you have to have to live. The things you can actually be the most tempted to worry about. Then he says that if you seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all these things will be added to you -- which means that they have a way of sorting themselves out. If you focus on God and the things God cares about, He will take care of the rest.

So seek His Kingdom first, no matter where that takes you, no matter what that looks like for you. No matter what, it will be worth it, and "all these things will be added to you." Of course, that doesn't mean that life's going to turn out delightful always, but that does give you good cause to remember to adopt the truth of verse 34 as your own: "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Now to learn to live that out even when it's not easy...
Hearing them "read" their books is always a favorite of mine. It's amazing what they absorb just from listening to me read to them.

2. Don't be afraid to shine like a star. Philippians 2 talks about "shining like stars in the sky" while living a "blameless and pure" life as "children of God ... in a warped and crooked generation." I have seen that if you have convictions and stand by them, sure, you'll get some flack for it -- but more often than not, people will also respect you for it. And of course, you should never let people's respect be a motivator, but I have found this to be shockingly true over and over again.

Life with a man: I see Chris has found my Vera Bradley clips and is using them to keep bags of veggies nice and tidy in the fridge. I'll bet he probably didn't even notice how cute they are when he pulled them out of the drawer.
3. Be suspicious of anyone who discourages you from being smart. Growing up, thanks to being in APEX and whatever else for advanced kids from the beginning, I felt like I always had a reputation as "that smart, quiet girl," and I despised it. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed learning then as I do now, but I didn't particularly want that to be the first thing people thought of when they thought of me. And I LOATHED being thought of as "quiet." Not that I wanted to be loud, but I mean who wants to be known as the smart, quiet girl? Really? Hello, boring! Ugh, I was so self-conscious of that!

In 7th grade I accidentally wound up qualifying for a school-wide spelling bee, and I was just beyond mortified that I had done so. On the day of the spelling bee, I stood in front of a cafeteria packed with my bored, listless, way cooler peers, and suddenly I just felt like I was doing nothing but solidifying my ho-hum reputation in their eyes. I couldn't take it anymore. When my turn came around, I misspelled "avalanche" intentionally -- just so I could get out from under their stares, just so I wouldn't look like some kind of know-it-all girl who was actually very smart. When I went home that day, I told my mom what I had done, and I wound up feeling overwhelmed with guilt. Slowly it sank in that I should never, ever be ashamed to be a smart girl. In fact, I should embrace it!

As I became older and saw the way girls who at least pretend to be dumb are embraced in our shallow culture, it hit me one day: I should always be suspicious of anyone who doesn't want me to be smart. Why wouldn't I want to be smart? Nowadays, if you tell me I'm smart, I'll take it as an extreme compliment! Smart = awesome!!

So while I have come to embrace and encourage the smart, I really don't know that I'm all that quiet anymore, and I'm happy about that. I'm still an introvert at heart, but I've learned not to worry so much about what others think of me, and that has freed me up to be more outgoing over the years. More on that later!

Maybe I'll cover some more life lessons next time. I do have a Pages document ready with 30 of them! :)

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