Some people make a list of 30 things to do before 30. I considered doing one fun thing each month leading up to my 30th birthday, but I’m not that big of a planner. (Some people might try to dispute that) So I decided to just list, in no particular order, 30 things I’ve learned over these years. Here goes….
1. God is ultimate, awesome, in control, worth giving all to – even if it’s hard. He never promised our life would be easier as a Christian, just that He’d be with us. (“He makes it rain on the just and the unjust…”)
2. I’ve had enough possible death scenarios that I know He has a purpose for me still and I’m not done. (I might still have residual PTSD from the earthquake)
3. Set boundaries; personal and work wise – even if its difficult. I don’t always stick to mine but I’ve learned I’m a much healthier person when I do.
4. Relationships can be hard but worth it. We become better (hopefully) because of them. Cross-cultural relationships add flavor to your life and even more depth.
5. Not all romantic relationships end badly. If they do, learn from it and move on.
6. On the same note – listen to others and ask people to be blunt about what they see in the person you’re dating. Don’t be afraid to end things.
7. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Make lasting memories (as my dad calls it) and have fun.
8. Forgive. Even if they don’t “deserve” it or they haven’t changed. Your unforgiveness and bitterness only affects you and closes you off to taking risks. Love hurts, but we have to be willing to be vulnerable.
9. Family is important and you have them for life. It’s worth fighting for and rebuilding those relationships. I may not talk as often as I should with mine but I know I can always count on them.
10. Life goes more quickly the older you get (when did I get to 30?!).
11. Skip, jump, dance, climb trees no matter how old you are. Just ’cause you’re an adult doesn’t mean the innocence in you has to stay locked away. Be a kid and marvel at God’s creation.
12. Work in what you enjoy doing. Don’t keep working a job you hate. (Why?)
13. Read! Let your imagination grow. Read for learning too, even if it’s hard and boring. (Leadership books are hard to get through, but I’ve learned from them)
14. Love an animal/pet. They teach you responsibility while giving you unconditional love. (unless it’s a cat)
15. Go scuba diving. The beach is nice, but seeing the world God created underneath it – wow!
16. Learn to give. It’s so much fun to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Committing to give regularly means believing in something and being willing to sacrifice so someone can go on your behalf. (And no, not saying this because of what I do; did this long before this path)
17. Sing Hymns. I grew up singing them and they were always my go-to when hiking 4 hours down the mountain. They teach truth and bring comfort when you need to remember who God is.
18. Learn to play an instrument, or sing….something musical. Music adds so much to life and makes you laugh, cry, and reaches into your soul.
19. Not everyone has special talents. I’ve learned that I’m a generalist – I can do about anything and do it well, but I don’t necessarily have a specific talent that makes me awesome or puts me on a career path….and that’s ok.
20. Find what brings your smile out. For me it’s dancing, being with friends and laughing, motorcycle rides, mountains, and pets.
21. Stretch yourself in how you learn about God. (Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas) Learn about Christian traditions, connect with God by being in nature, dig into the Word. Don’t stay in the same old pattern and grow stale.
22. Have friends of all ages. I’ve learned a lot from all my friends, whether they were trying to teach me (not usually) or not.
23. You can relearn pop culture from your generation, or even recent pop culture…but it’s not super important. 🙂
24. I cannot remember to move my laundry from washer to dryer. Something to do with getting distracted or forgetting….
25. Stock up on Girl Scout cookies when they comes out in March (I think). You’ll make people jealous in December and can help friends who crave them and don’t have a stash.
26. Do something you’ve never done and probably wouldn’t consider. I’m doing a 5k called the Color Run – and I don’t run.
27. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet. Since 2003 I’ve wanted to go to Urbana (a triennial missions conference). I finally got to go in 2012, although not as a student. But super cool! I’m still waiting for the Ireland visit. 🙂
28. Sometimes to let go of things, I have to say them out loud or tell someone. Not always easy because it could mean jeopardizing friendships or admitting stuff I really would prefer not to admit. But I find that until I do it stays in my mind and won’t go away whereas when I tell someone it then disappears and I can go on.
29. It’s ok to not do what others say is “normal.” Who defined normal anyway?
30. Age is a number. No, the body doesn’t take well to abuse you’ve given it in your twenties. But don’t let age be an excuse keeping you from doing what God wants you to do or something you’ve always wanted to do.
I hope you enjoyed my list! A little randomness from the Random Queen in her birth month 🙂