1. Let go of the past – It does NOT define me – there’s so much in the present to be thankful for and concentrate on. This includes people and circumstances I can’t change.
2. Friendships cannot be forced – if you have to try to convince someone they should be your friend – or continually be the only one reaching out – then these people are not your friends – pray for them – but let them go. True friendship should not be hard work – it is a meeting of the minds and a ‘heart’ connection. Comfortable like an old pair of slippers.
3. Surprises in life happen when and where you least expect them – my husband and I started attending a ‘church plant’ of about 50 members last fall and have found ourselves in a new season with new ministry opportunities – and new relationships – something we never thought would happen.
4. Making a stand for things that are right can make you very unpopular with friends and family – but we do it anyway.
5. Sometimes painful things can resurface – it’s okay to cry, hit something (or someone) jump up and down or SCREAM!! Just don’t stay there long. Get up and don’t allow yourself or others to do that to you again. Ever.
6. Make your relationships a high priority – marriage can be hard work – but it’s worth fighting for. Don’t allow it to become stale and boring. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! Fall in love with your spouse all over again – it can be done – just ask me!!
7 . Find an outlet for your creativity – I’m a musician first – a writer second. I know that I have to do both of these activities in order to feel healthy and ‘get it out’. Find something you are passionate about and DO IT.
8. Invest in people – even if you have been burned by doing this in the past – by even one other person – don’t give up on investing in them. We need other people and they NEED us!
9. Give advice only when it is asked – and even if it is asked – keep it short and to the point with A LOT of love and graciousness.
10. Treat others like you would like to be treated – It sounds good on paper but it does not always translate well when applying it to those in your life. Always say to yourself, ‘would I like to be on the receiving end of this email, phone call or conversation?’ If not – then don’t write or say it.
This is just a glimpse into some of the things I learned this past year as I continue on my journey. I hope you are doing the same!