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23 Lessons

1. Sometimes the emotions I know are easy to fall back into. I think of sadness for example. I can learn from it and learn with it, but when times get tough I tend to fall back into it out of familiarity, rather than say, “this isn’t what I need right now,” and build a new emotional habit.

2. The idea of growth is often easier than the reality of it. I think back to the prayers where I asked God to make me uncomfortable or grow me in optimism. Yet, when God started pruning I started squirming.

3. God works best behind my back. No matter how hard I try, I seem to still be my own biggest obstacle. Yet, no matter how many arguments I have with myself or how many times my house of cards falls over, He is building a solid one for me while I’m not looking.

4. Daily bread. Daily bread. Daily bread. After years of the Jewish people placing emphasis on bread, and Jesus telling them to request daily bread, Jesus refers to Himself as the bread. If I don’t sit at the table each day to eat, I will always be hungry.

5. Let it breathe. I am somebody that likes quickness, efficiency, and immediacy. I need to take intentional steps back to let friendships, relationships, work, and my own journey breathe and be tended to.

6. Farming is a mix of human work and the “out of my control.” I can sow the seeds, place fertilizer, and watch the fields. But if pests come, or rain doesn’t fall, or temperatures rise, the field might not yield as much as I want it to. The full success or failure of things is not dependent on me.

7. Take my headphones out. Be willing to attempt finding peace in chaotic rhythms.

8. Don’t let my phone be the last and first thing I see in a day. In fact, make the hard decisions do delete and adjust. Don’t let a joy turn into a dependency.

9. I don’t know what’s going on in other people’s minds. To assume is to diminish both of us.

10. Remember who’s timeline I’m on. (Hint: it’s not mine).

11. I need to be honest about my intentions, with myself and with others. I need to be willing to ask myself, “what is my motivation here” and answer truthfully.

12. Trust God with my finances. He is a better accountant than me, and my treasure isn’t there anyway.

13. Sing. Not for money, not to impress, not for any other reason than to make a joyful noise.

14. My worth isn’t equated with what I do or what I accumulate. It wasn’t as if I got more friends, recognition, a fancy job, and my worth grew in correlation. My worth is on its own chart-----constant and consistent.

15. There is power in admitting my need for a Savior, there is foolishness in trying to be my own Savior.

16. Who I am is kind of like my natural hair. I could dye it or spray it or straighten it, but eventually, whether by water, soap, time, or the wind. The real thing will be apparent.

17. The best people are the ones that love me for that natural appearance. The ones that love me on my worst day. The ones that show up for the big and the little.

18. Frustration and anger are parts of everyday life. I need to surrender them even when I’d rather express in other ways.

19. Surrender doesn’t mean the problem goes away. In fact, it sometimes intensifies. Sometimes I’m just going to have put my head down and march forward in prayer and persistence.

20. Don’t build so hard of a shell that I’m stopping love from entering.

21. “Even sinners love those that love them back.” Take time and energy to show love to people that don’t give me the time of day. They may need it the most.

22. Give more hugs and make them count.

23. I tend to romanticize the past. “Oh this time was so much better” “this was so much easier” “I want to go back to this.” When in reality the past was hard for me too. The past, present, and future are all difficult. Life is difficult. But the reminiscing can remind me that there is joy and love in life amidst the difficulty.

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