I don't aspire to be one of those prose-y type writers, ya'll. I'm a down-to-earth, middle-class-raised, say-it-simply kind of gal. I'd love to write like a poet, but I've had to accept that it's just not me. But I have a couple of thoughts, inspired by an email received from a family friend and spiritual giant of a man, Dave Gibson.
I have chain on the brain, lately. I'm working on some beautifully handcrafted links and chains for a brand new class. Exciting! As I read through this email from our friend, Dave, it helped me to remember that life is a chain; each event, every person we come into contact with, all of our choices (good and bad), everything we say and do, a link. Some links are strong and some are weak, even threatening to break. The best way of living is to develop strong links through honesty, integrity and respect/worship of our Creator...surrounding ourselves with those devoted people who truly care for us and giving back in like fashion. It can be tricky, for sure.
As always, Dave has provided me with some profound (and funny!) insights to make life a little smoother and strengthen those weak spots. He calls it "30 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was 30." Don't miss out on the 5 bonus points...they're the best of all:
Here are thirty things I wish I had known sooner:
- The nearness of God is my good.
- “I love you because you are mine” is immeasurably superior to “You are mine because I love you.”
- It is more blessed to give than to receive.
- Whatever a man sows that he will also reap.
- Flossing your teeth is absolutely essential, non-negotiable.
- I was a fool to give more energy to my work than to my family. Nobody comes to their death bed and says, “I wish I had spent less time with my family and more time at work. Nobody.”
- It is foolish to allow your entire emotional condition to be driven by the won/lost record of a sports team—no matter how good they are and how long you have loved them.
- Humor is very, very, very valuable.
- The two foundational relational tools are grace and truth. If you are not gracious your relationships will flounder. If you are not truthful your relationships will flounder.
- “You cannot at one and the same time convince others that you are clever and that God is great.” I don’t need to appear handsome, accomplished, clever, smart, rich, or gifted to anyone.
- Man looks at the outer stature but God looks at the heart.
- I am not automatically a bad steward of God’s money if I pay someone to mow my yard.
- Life is better lived as a sprint/rest, sprint/rest, sprint/rest,…than as a marathon.
- Many, many things that I cared intensely about did not matter at all thirty years later, or even ten months later.
- God is far more committed to my Christlikeness than to my health or wealth or fame.
- A man should not be looking for a woman who will go to bed with him for one night but for a woman who will get up with him for 19,000 mornings.
- The glow wears off of new stuff in a big hurry.
- “Materialism is its own punishment.”
- There are pet people and there are non-pet people. (Pet people should stop looking down on us non-pet people, and, OK I’ll say it, and visa versa.)
- The challenges of parenting go up when you are outnumbered.
- Getting old with the wife of your youth is really quite a kick. “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be, the end of life for which the first was made.”
- Grand kids are among the very best things God ever invented.
- I am personally responsible for my boundaries and if I do not exercise that responsibility with skill and firmness others will walk all over my boundaries and I will resent it.
- Most clothing will shrink just hanging in the closet.
- Addiction is bitter. If you are addicted to anything right now your addiction is out on the lawn doing push ups.
- Sleep is far more important than we think.
- “If you can honor God at a 90% level by not taking a pill and at a 91% level by taking a pill you should take the pill.”
- “I will adjust to live immediately, completely, and graciously.” Dr. E. Edmund.
- “The past is always present.”
- “If you keep doing what you have been doing you will keep getting what you have been getting.” The situation you are in is perfectly created to get the results that you are getting.
Bonus Thing #1: There is a difference between forgiveness and consequences. I can completely forgive someone and still not trust them.
Bonus Thing #2: Comparing yourself with others is utter insanity—it will either lead to pride or to envy or resentment.
Bonus Thing #3: One of the greatest virtues, which is mostly ignored in America, is humility.
Bonus Thing #4: Never step on a Lego barefooted.
Bonus Thing #5: Sabbath is one of God’s great gifts to us—a refuge from work every week!