Between 10-19 growth is fast. And massive. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. And if we're not paying attention it can seem that nothing's happened at all between 20-29. The evolvement is slower and more allusive, yet sweeter and deeper.
In a week and a half I'll turn 29.
To be honest, it's a little scary. Scary because I see the external circumstances of my life in the flesh and I think, this. is. not. where I want to be.
Doubt and discontentment seep into the walls of my heart. So I sin.
Combatting that only comes through speaking Truth to myself in so many ways.
So I began thinking about all the (29) things I've learned in my 20's.
Some I've really learned.
Others are places I'm aware I need improve.
Some of these are very spiritual.
Others are just kinda practical.
All are things you've probably read over time, here on the blog.
But regardless, all marks on the measuring stick of life, so speak.
But boy, THIS ALL SOUNDS DEPRESSING.
It's not (anymore) I promise, so let your soul be encouraged.
(Not really through my words, but through the Word mentioned below.)
Here they are - in really no order.
1. When you're prone to envy and jealousy and materialism and wanting ALL THE THINGS YOU DON'T HAVE. Speak this truth to yourself: YOU HAVE ALL THINGS THROUGH JESUS. (2 Peter 1:3)
2. And then say, "I know the end of the story."
3. Hold on to, cling to, this verse: "Hope (in the glory of God, our eternal future) does not disappoint because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:5.
4. Many high school days were spend discussing over an open fire whether it is better to have "loved and lost than to have ever loved at all." Back in those days, I would have fought, "No! Never love!" until I discovered that's quite contrary to what the Scripture says.
Say Yes! to love even when it hurts and is hard. When your heart is trampled on and you get nothing in return. There's great joy hidden there.
5. Allow the people and the situations and the circumstances that hurt, annoy, frustrate and cause you fear to drive you to the cross and motivate you to serve him. "Entrust your soul to a faithful Creator while doing good." 1 Peter 4:19
6. Spend your time discipling F.A.T. people. Thank you Chip Ingram. These are the faithful, the available, the teachable. But pray for those who aren't.
7. "Like what you like!" - my friend Brittany's mantra. Stop trying to be or not be everyone else.
8. The smart phone was the worst thing that happened to me - to be a little dramatic - in my twenties. It is the biggest unnecessary eater of my time and attention. Turn your phone off. And don't touch it when with people you love. Teach those people to reprimand you. And go buy an analogue alarm clock.
9. Getting up when the sun has yet to rise to read my Bible and pray has been the best discipline I could have ever hoped to unintentionally implement. It's been subtle and slow growth over nine years, but growth I am grateful for nonetheless. I'm thankful to Hannah and to Emily - roommates who were faithful to create peer pressure early in this decade so that now it's a fairly cemented habit. Let's not live under the law, but it is so sweet to spend the first moments of the day setting and submitting your mind to Christ.
10. Continually read through the Bible. All of it. Because it's all profitable (2 Timothy 3:16). Often an arduous process, it's well worth it. Even the seemingly weird parts. Like Leviticus and Numbers. Gems are hidden there.
[Abrupt ending, I know. But Part 2 to come soon.]