32 Lessons Learned in 32 Years

Yesterday, I turned 32. Last year, I made a list of 31 interesting things I’ve done in my life, and so keeping with the same theme, this year I’m reflecting on 32 lessons I’ve learned through the years.

It’s amazing how time gives you perspective, and perspective gives you wisdom. Some lessons can’t be learned any other way but through sweet time. I’m sure I’ll be much wiser at 42 and 52 and beyond than I am today, but looking back through the years, I’ve certainly come a long way. Here are 32 lessons I’ve learned. Some are serious, some are silly and some are specific to me, but I hope most of them encourage you too.

  1. The problems you spend countless hours worrying about always turn out okay.


  1. The only way to not spend $200 at Target is to just not go in there.


  1. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to not say anything.


  1. Even when you think He has, God has not forgotten you.


  1. You can always do more than you think you can.


  1. The closer you get to God, the less you care about being right.


  1. Your parents have done more for you than you’ll ever know.


  1. Always do the right thing, no matter what it costs you.


  1. “You’re not as fat as you think you are.” –Ruthie (my friend)


  1. Do things you’re afraid of. It always pays off.


  1. The spouse God has for you is worth the wait.

  1. Everyone does not want to be your best friend, no matter how hard you try to make them.


  1. You will fail sometimes, and you will get embarrassed sometimes, and the only way to get over it is to get back up and keep going.


  1. “There is a God, and it’s not you.” –Pete Wilson (my pastor)


  1. Being nice always goes further than throwing a fit.


  1. You will not always be broke.


  1. Platinum blonde hair looks good on very few people, and you are not one of them.


  1. Of anything you have ever accomplished, nothing will make you more proud than having a child.

  1. God never gets tired of you asking him for help.


  1. You accomplish everything in your life and career through other people. Never think you got there alone.


  1. God will use the weird and difficult parts of your past to help people in your future. (Even the crazy fainting goats.)

  1. Gratitude is the quality that leads to every aspect of a happy life.


  1. Anything that tears you down is not what God says about you.


  1. If you don’t decide what your priorities are in life, everyone else will decide for you.


  1. When people are backing up from you when you’re talking, you’re talking too loud again. (A little self-awareness can go a long way, y’all.)


  1. Just because you have the money does not mean you have to spend it.


  1. It’s more important to be kind than to be right. One is all about other people and the other is all about you.


  1. God cares about every detail of your life. Even the health of your dog, the kitchen paint color you stressed about for weeks, and the necklace you thought you lost. He cares about everything.


  1. Rest is an accomplishment.


  1. Stop stressing and just wear sandals. No one notices your ugly feet.


  1. The biggest competition for your time won’t be other people. It will be your phone.


  1. God has plans for you that are truly greater than anything you could ask or imagine.


Whether it’s around your birthday or not, I hope you’ll take some time to write your own list. Journaling a list can help you reflect on how far God has brought you in your life. Write a list of interesting things you’ve done, lessons you’ve learned or places you’ve gone. Whatever your list looks like, I hope that you’re reminded in writing it—as I have been—of what a good, faithful and loving God we have.