This post will probably be one you come back to multiple times. I am not saying in any way that these are things I have perfected, but they are realizations and things I am actively, mindfully, and intentionally working on every day.
I hope you will make changes when I share these things with you. I hope you can soak in this wisdom, and take action. I hope you will hear these things and not let them sit in your mind until you forget them. I hope you will act faithfully in what you hear and be intentional about it.
I have gained a ton of what I will share with you through various resources—listening to people – wise women, friends – convictions, repentance, and brokenness.
Lessons often come through pain, and I am thankful for that. I’m really thankful for the hard because, without the hard, I would be a different person than I am today. Going through that allowed me to see things a little more clearly and with a little more hope.
I hope this encourages you.
1. If I live by people’s praise then I will die by their criticism.
I have always been a people pleaser. I have lived my life for the opinions and praise of others. I have grown so much in what I care about and how it impacts me. I am very conscious of my motives. People always have opinions, and we can’t give power to that. If I live in fear of criticism, I will never have the ability to think for myself. I will never have the heart to honor God with everything I do because I am so afraid of what people think. It is not about me. It is about the gospel and being obedient to what God has called me to in the thick of my imperfection and my mess. I only want to please God, who tests my heart. He has called me to share His word, and even when I am fearful, I do it anyway.
Gal 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
1 Thess 2:4 “but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.”
2. What am I sacrificing the present moment with God for?
I did a poll on my story on IG and over ½ of my followers said they don’t read their bible, but 98% said they are Christians. I want to call you up to more. We aren’t called to be lukewarm (Scripture actually said that God will spit us out of his mouth if we live out a lukewarm faith). We don’t want to be “chilling” as Christians. He wants to transform our hearts, so we must get in His word faithfully to let Him equip us, and propel us forward to share the gospel and love others. Only God can change our hearts. When did we start thinking we could live out a mediocre life and get by? This is me calling myself up while also calling you up. I want to give the present moment my best – with God, my spouse, and my children.
Eph 5:15-16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
3. Life is most challenging and less joyful when I’m filled with pride.
I have really grown to understand why God repeated in the Bible that He hates pride. Humility affects everything I do and every relationship I have. When I seek humility, I feel more joy. We think we will have joy when people get us gifts or do something for us, but more joy comes from giving or doing for others. The way that I view God is impacted through humility. The way I treat my children is impacted through humility or lack thereof. The way that I see those or pray for those who have hurt me is impacted by my humility or lack thereof. I want to remember with humility how much of God’s grace has been poured out on me and how much that has changed my life. And therefore, that same grace should be bestowed upon other people.
Prov 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
4. This too shall pass.
I repeat this to myself often. The 4 words that have changed motherhood for me. The hard moments: Sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, insecurity with my body, not feeling like a human until 11. I had to remind myself that it’s okay that I don’t LOVE this season. That does not mean that God won’t use it to grow and strengthen my heart.
The sweet moments: it will be the last time my kids want me to give them a bath or kiss them goodnight. It is a crazy thing to think that these really sweet moments will pass. I think it makes the hard moments that we want to pass a little bit sweeter because it makes us realize while the bad is passing, so is the good. So let us try to cherish all of it.
5. The moments of growth that happen in private are often times far more sanctifying, real, and permanent than those that happen in public.
The person you really are is the person you are inside of your home. Are you proud of that? Consider that. In the moments when it’s hard, and you are in tears, allow God to penetrate your heart with his strength and wisdom so he can change you. Those quiet moments are when you can get to know God in a closer, more intimate way.
Job 12:12 “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.”
6. Life Isn’t over because I’m 30.
Society makes you feel like you’re life is pretty much downhill after you turn 30. I struggle with comparison like any other woman, and I know what the enemy tells me is a lie. Outer beauty fades. What truly matters is our heart, and allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify it as we walk daily living for Christ is the most beautiful thing we can do.
7. Pray hardest for those who hurt you because refusing to forgive only hurts me.
I have been bitter and resentful and all the things that lack forgiveness cause. All it has done is wreck my own heart. The person who hurt you is not affected by the fact that they hurt you. You are the only one being hurt by that. You are the only one carrying that weight, and you have to let it go so you can move on. Think like Jesus. He was betrayed on the cross, but his teachings were to forgive. Resentment sucks your soul dry.
8. Always go beyond what is required of you.
As Christians, we are supposed to work as if we are working for the Lord in everything we do. There is nothing that produces more joy than giving and serving. As we go about our days rejoicing in the Lord and not our circumstances, we are drawing others into Jesus. There is enough joy and strength available to draw from the Lord to go beyond our daily tasks.
Matt 5:40-42 “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
9. My marriage is happiest when I communicate well or bring in others to help us sort through things.
It’s such a bad habit for our flesh to want to figure everything out on its own. If you’re in a marriage and you’re trying to figure everything out on your own, but you’re struggling, it’s because you’re trying to figure everything out on your own. It’s not helpful or healthy. I would probably be divorced by now if I didn’t have “our” people in my life. Don’t try to do the hard stuff by yourselves. Seek out your village, and don’t be afraid to communicate the things that you need.
10. People weren’t created to be like me. I need to embrace differences.
I’ve spent years thinking differences were an issue, but now I have seen how much it strengthens our relationship, humbles, and sanctifies me. If everyone were like me the world would be a mess. I am so glad for the balance others bring me. I truly have some of the best people in my life that call me up and encourage me to be who God created me to be.
11. Who are you, and are you the type of person you would want to hang out with?
You really are the five people you surround yourself with, and one of those five people is you. Are you the type of person you would want to hang out with because you talk to yourself more than you talk to anyone else throughout the day? Bad company is company that tries to drag you down, gossips/ bashes others, and doesn’t want to do or be better. People that call you and themselves up listen to convictions, change bad behavior, and work hard. They call you to be a better wife and parent. They challenge you. I have some of the most incredible people in my life genuinely. All the people close to me make such an impact on my life and how I love my children and husband, and how I approach my business. I challenge you to find those people.
1 Cor. 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.””
I hope this encourages you as you grow daily towards who you were called to be. Time is something we can’t get back, and the decisions we make today will affect tomorrow. I pray you lean into the Holy Spirit to guide you.
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