Monday, September 4, 2017

Ten Things I Have Learned in my 30's

10 things I have been learning in my 30's.
I will be turning 38 in a few short months. It's time to reflect on what my 30's have taught me in my walk with Jesus so far. Perhaps you can relate to some of what I share here.
10 lessons from my 30's:

Lesson 1. 30 is the time, Biblically speaking, to WALK IN a greater fullness of YOUR CALL. It's time to come into full adulthood and maturity.
-Joseph became the Vice-Pharaoh of Egypt at age 30,
-David was anointed king at age 30, and
-Jesus began His public ministry at age 30.
My 30's have truly been a time of increase: in maturity, in responsibilities, in authority, in anointing, and in ministry. In a nutshell, I was able to follow the Call from God. I believe God placed this call on my life in my childhood. I started answering the call in my 20's. But it was in my 30's when I saw the strength of this calling... and how it had survived many losses and adversities and actually flourished. Like David, Joseph, and Jesus, I had come through adversity in order to be tested and purified in character. The trials of my 20's prepared me to walk in a greater fullness in my 30's.

Lesson 2. You start to trim off the things that don't work in your life. By the time I hit 30, I had already gained experience through ambition and effort and tried many different things, including small business and travel.
 Not everything in my 20's worked. Some of it was VERY successful and carried into my 30's, such as my success in retail and in local church ministry. So failures are not a negative point... they are positive... because they allowed me to zero in on what DOES work for me. Every failure and every success contributes to my overall learning and growth.
So by the time I was in my 30's, I realized I don't have to achieve all the goals I once held in my 20's. I just need to be faithful to the Lord Jesus and walk in the path He calls me to. I simply do what works for me.

Lesson 3. I learned to let go of my young naive ideals about how life should be. By the time I was in my 30's I had a much more realistic and mature perspective on life and goals. I faced some huge disappointments and losses.
Life can deal some tough blows sometimes, and one has to learn that God only works GOOD, using both GOOD and BAD circumstances. He transforms all things for His plan. He only does GOOD, but He does not waste the BAD things that happen to us. They become a part of His design to form us into the image of His son, Jesus Christ.

Lesson 4. I don't have to be like everyone else. Don't compare yourself to others or gauge your "success" on what others have achieved.
There are many things I don't have, that others do. And now I realize, I don't care. Things went differently for me, and God blessed me in this path. So I simply do not compare myself to others, for that would rob me of contentment and it would rob God of the glory that my intentional gratitude brings to Him.

Lesson 5. I need to rest every now and then. I was constantly go go go in my 20's, but now I can see that rest should ALWAYS be a part of the equation. God rested on the seventh day after creating heaven and earth. Jesus invites us to come to Him to find rest.
I now notice that stress can creep up on me more often than it used to. So I have learned to work hard during the week, and rest just as hard on my day off.... if that makes sense!! I have 2 jobs, but I choose to take a rest day every week.
I rest with intention. I do things for fun sometimes. Like playing piano, making music, taking photographs, going for walks, writing.
I never really valued time off from work in my 20's. But let me tell you, I do now!! I have always loved working, and I still do. But now, rest is an actual priority for me. If I don't make it a priority, it could take a toll on me later in life.
So I make sure I am booking a week off from work every now and then. And I rest one day every week. And if I have other odd jobs to do that do not have a time limit, I pace myself. I no longer rush everything, because I realize I am only one human being.

Lesson 6. When I was 20, I wanted to be seen as "mature and old enough". But now, I welcome being called "young". Why? because in the next decade, I will likely start to show my age more. Right now, people usually underestimate my age by as much as ten years!
I am now being seen as both "young" and "old" at the same time. Young adults at work will joke with me and call me "old" and then 5 minutes later, a customer older than me will come by and call me "young man".
Of course, I welcome all the "young" compliments I can get!

Lesson 7. Humility has been a power tool in my life.  I have been discovering this in my 30's. I was practicing it in my 20's. But now, in my 30's I feel God is refining that character trait.
 I have discovered that being meek and pliable in God's hands is very empowering. And showing grace and humility to others also opens many doors. A lowly and humble man is one that does not think he is better than everyone else and does not always think he is right. A humble and gracious man is one who knows that he is never done with LEARNING. Such a man is powerful enough to receive constructive criticism without retaliating or falling into the emotional tank. Humility is an awesome weapon against satan, whose greatest downfall was his pride. And as the Bible states, Pride comes before a fall.

Lesson 8. Your body is not invincible. I was never reckless in my youth. But I also never fully realized that health issues could eventually happen to me, either. That is why I got so many cavities in my teeth in my late 20's. I just did not clue in that I needed to floss in order to keep my teeth clean. Brushing alone does not do the whole job. My dentist was always after me to floss. But it was not until after having all those cavities filled, at age 29, that it really dawned on me.
I entered my 30's with a renewed body can fall apart if I don't look after it.
This new experience brought on a different kind of awareness. It was not mere head-knowledge... but it was now an active reality to me that caused me to take action. 

Overall, I have had very few health issues in my life, Praise God. But I HAVE had a few (other than cavities), and they mostly happened in my 30's. Bursitis, Shingles, and S.I. Joint dysfunction were among those issues. Each problem has been brought under control because I was humble enough to pray and also get medical help when needed.
So be aware of your body and never ignore signs of illness. When you see something happening to your body, Pray first - in Jesus Name. Then, as needed, seek medical advice from your doctor. Remember, if it is happening now, in your 30's, then that could be a problem later if left unchecked.

Also, because of this, I eat more fruits and vegetables now. I'm still eating other stuff, like sweets. But I have been more conscious of my diet lately and been eating more fruits and vegetables than I did in my 20's. I am a tall lean person, but I can't take it for granted. What I eat in my 30's will shape what I become in my 40's- and that decade is just around the corner. So getting nutrients from raw fruits and veggies has become more important to me.

Lesson 9. You start to realize that you don't have to defend your position or justify yourself to everyone. Practice being accountable with God and with your local church and your loved ones. But by the time you are in your 30's, the random opinions of uninformed ignorant observers will mean less and less to you.
I have learned this lesson. Yet I still need to be reminded every once in a while: don't take every comment personally. Explaining my heart to someone can actually work against me if I do not have a deeper connection to that person already. So my 30's have taught me to say less in general, and to listen carefully.

Lesson 10. Your Experience Pool has some depth to it now. When we are young 20-somethings, we have little personal experience to go on. That is why we often try so many things... we are trying to find out where we fit in. By the time I was in my 30's I had some significant experiences to draw from. Marriage. Divorce. Small Business. Retail. College. Ministry. Your personal pool of experiences hopefully helps you make wise decisions in your 30's. 30 is a time of GREAT OPPORTUNITY in the Lord. You are still young and energetic enough to try new things, and yet your are also old enough to have a set of experiences to draw from. It's a great time of life and an interesting mix. One of my sales reps at the store who has known me in the business for years, once described me as being "young and experienced"! THAT is a decent description of a 30-something.

 And THOSE are 10 lessons I have been  learning in my 30's! But there are more lessons I have learned. And there will be more lessons to BE learned too!

If you are in your 30's please share:
What have you learned in your 30's?

If you are in a different age bracket, tell me:
what age bracket are you in, and what have you learned so far?

God bless!
1:11am EST
Tue Aug 22 2017

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