I love New Years, not because of parties as much as the idea of a new start! A new year! This is how I have felt about turning 40, which happened last Friday. Instead of being annoyed that I’m “getting old,” I really do just feel like its an opportunity for a new decade! As many of you know I’m intentional and a planner, so turning 40 was no different. I wrote this at 38 in preparation for this day. One of my friends keeps teasing me that she’s never known anyone to plan for a birthday like me. Again, it’s nothing about parties or birthday plans as much as being intentional, being focused and on mission for who God has created me to be.
If I’m honest my 30’s was for sure my hardest decade so far. So part of my desire for my 40’s is to get out of it. I also will admit that I have learned THE MOST in my 30’s than any other decade.
So in honor of turning 40, here are 30 things I learned in my 30’s…
In relationship with God
- The absolute best thing I have grasped onto and KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true, is that God really does satisfy… more than food, alcohol, relationships, work, ministry, vacations, money, etc. God really does satisfy ALL our needs if we go to Him in relationship.
- I’ve been reminded again recently that we REALLY can’t earn our own salvation! I know this is biblical, and I’ve been hearing it since I was young. However even in my attempts to hit 40 well… I learned scripture, read, fasted, prayed, started new ministries, told people about Jesus, etc., God has had to show me over and over it’s what I DO! I still fall short. My flesh still takes over some days. I still need a Savior, because I can’t DO enough good things, even Spiritual things.
- Scripture is LIFE GIVING. Just read it or listen to it. It has power!
- God is a God that we bow down to at the throne AND climb up on His lap because He is our father!
- We can learn new spiritual disciplines. I don’t know why, but this was an amazing new revelation for me. I didn’t used to love prayer, but about 7 years ago learned to love it and would now call myself a prayer warrior. The same thing happened with scripture memory. If we desire a spiritual gift/discipline and move toward it, God will help us grow in that discipline.
- Prayer rooms are THE BEST! There’s something about a space where the only thing you do there is interact with the Creator of the Universe.
- Christians still sin. Somehow we have too often talked about Sin as though we did that “before we were saved” but never talk about continuing to struggle with sin and temptation. I remember just last year someone saying, “You don’t sin. You’re Noelle Beck.” I was so shocked and confused by this statement. I do absolutely still sin! It’s why we STILL need Jesus! And I am amazingly grateful for his continual grace!
- We are free!!! Jesus really has set us free, and we don’t have to be bound by guilt, shame, unforgivenss or decisions of the past. Jesus really did pay the price, we are FREE! (Galatians 5:1)
- Anything that drives us more than God is an idol. My largest revelation of an idol in my life is when I realized fear was an idol. (1 John 5:21)
- What you put in your mind really does impact you. For most of my life I assumed this was a conservative or legalistic mindset. But in my 30’s I’ve recognized how much it helps when I’m not intentionally destructive things in my mind. The less I make the dark and sinful things the norm, the more my mind can stay present with the spirit (Romans 8:6).
- Complete trust in God and grief/disappointment CAN co-exist. One does not negate the other.
- Everything is a gift! We really DON’T DESERVE anything from God. He owes us nothing!
In Relationship & Leadership (several of these apply to both)
- Words of LIFE are so powerful! It’s amazing how much we can encourage others by simple words of the positives we see, rather than the negatives. I don’t know why we wait for birthdays or funerals to talk about how great a person is. We need to say it all along the way. Even a one line text goes a long way.
- My friend Kara Ulmer says, “If you really love someone you, you genuinely want what’s best for them.” Although this sentence seems simple, if you pay close attention, sometimes you will see what you thought you were doing for someone else really is about you. And similarly, you notice when someone’s desire to do something for you is really about themselves.
- In relationships, forgiveness eventually comes. So move toward it sooner rather than spending days in anger, hurt and resentment.
- Relationship over rule needs to be applied the majority of the time. Sometimes I create disciplines, especially with eating and exercise. But I try never to let the “rule” of my eating interrupt my relationship, especially when my niece asks to go for ice cream.
- Understand the root of the issue. When someone is interacting or responding in a particular way, work to understand the root of what is happening. It could be something they were taught, a habit, something they are unaware of, are protecting themselves from hurt, or something else. When we understand why someone is responding in a particular way, it often has little to do with us.
- Don’t give power to people who don’t have power. Often we give people power over us who shouldn’t have it. We allow particular people’s opinions to change our behavior, rather than doing what we know is best for us or for what God has asked us to do. In addition we elevate people to place of power or authority that also don’t have it. Lebron James often is worshiped more than Jesus, but he really is just a kid from Akron.
- Time is one of your most valuable assets. Be intentional with where it goes. You can’t get it back, and sometimes we spend it in the wrong spaces.
- Leadership is about EMPOWERING others to live up to their potential.
- Learn from EVERYONE. Don’t be the expert. Allow others to be the expert, encourage it in them and learn from them.
- Intentionality and vision keeps you from ending up where you didn’t mean to be.
And in my personal opinion 🙂
- Embrace who you are! I didn’t own who I was for many years of my life. Now I do, which is why I can share these very important insights with you.
- Jeeps are the best vehicles. No doors is freeing and feels like vacation!
- Apple over PC. Every. Single. Time.
- Converse and glasses are the best accessories.
- A ruler is a necessity in your Bible for straight lines.
- There is an app for every thing and they make you even more efficient.
- Coffee is only delicious frothy!
- Tim is always the cutest man in the room…especially with his recently shaved head.
I’m excited for my 40’s. I’m excited to continue to apply all that I’ve learned to this next decade… knowing full well, I’ll have to keep learning some of those lessons.