I don’t shy away from telling my age. I wouldn’t say I am proud of my age but I never want it said that I wasn’t thankful for the life God gave me. I am thankful for my testistory (pronounced TEST-I-STORY). I have had tests and it is all part of MY STORY hence the reason the “I” is in the middle.
Today, I can truly say that I have been blessed. I have learned a few things along the way.
MY LIFE LESSON #1: GOTTA LOVE YOURSELF to LOVE LIVING.
I am so thankful Momma taught me how to love myself. She used to say that I was the most conceited young woman she knew. But I tell you for sure, I know my love of Nikki has helped me to stand. I truly believe that a strong love for who you are and who God made you to be, makes the difference in your attitude and pursuits in life.
MY LIFE LESSON#2: HEALTHY is HIDDEN.
I started gardening six years ago. While producing my own food has been substantially rewarding, it is what I have learned in the garden experience that has truly affected my perspective on life. We walk around just like seeds that go into the ground. On the outside, we look good, but what produces from the inside of that seed is really what we care about (or at least we should). Our spirit is hidden to everyone except our Heavenly Father. And if our spirit isn’t healthy, neither are we. Many people today are unhealthy because they are spiritually anemic (a phrase Pastor Harold McPherson uses often). Health is really a condition of your blood and spirit. I have learned that even blood relationships can be viciously unhealthy because of years and years of hidden sickness in our families. Just like those plants that grow from the seeds in my garden, the conditions that may cause them to yield plentiful, good fruit is what I have to work to maintain. Good nutrition, good sunlight, and water. A health coach once told me, “you have to watch what you put in you in order to stay fit”. What is in you is hidden to the world but you need to tend to it. When you do, you will be healthy.
MY LIFE LESSON#3: LOVE has a LOOK.
Some lessons grow on you and this one matured me this year. Because the Bible says that love endures (1 Corinthians 13:7), we think that love bears even the unbearable. Yes, broken hearts can be a part of God’s plan. But intentional harm is never a part of His plan. Mistreatment, malice, abuse, and deliberately inflicted wounds were bore on the cross of Calvary so that I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT. When you accept harm as a condition of love, your picture of love is distorted. The picture of love looks like an embrace, always, always, always. And love consoles even the broken-hearted.
MY LIFE LESSON#4: HISTORY and LIFE are two different things.
I learned to love history during summer school my junior year at the Naval Academy. For the first time, in my life, I felt connected to the place in which I was born because Mrs. Knutson taught American History to me that summer. For much of my life, I was thinking about my family’s history as a condition for which I based my decisions about living. I realize now how flawed I was in that thinking. History is past and life is present. If I constantly live my life, looking on the past mistakes of my ancestors, I live in their shadows. I will never carve out my own path because I am constantly trying to better theirs. I think that is an unfair weight for anyone to bear. History is good to know. But it is just a reference. It is not the road map. If you put your history in front of you to direct you, you will never find your way.
These lessons have helped me navigate my journey. They help me be a better wife, mother, and daughter. They help me to live my life. And ultimately in living my life, I pray my Heavenly Father is pleased.
Happy Birthday to Me.
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