When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher gave us a pretty simple assignment: to list what we had learned.
I’ve never considered how overwhelming that ridiculously generic topic seems until now… but then again I guess it didn’t feel that way to 7-year-old me.
I must have shared some pretty epic wisdom in that little assignment because my Dad still has that piece of paper. I think there was something in there about how eggs should always, ALWAYS be salted and how dogs will forever be better than cats. Duh.
It seems like Dad mentions the assignment every time I come home for Christmas – and I must admit, I don’t completely hate that he does. We were discussing it again this Christmas and it struck me how important it is to take the time to think – I mean REALLY THINK – about what you’ve learned in the previous year.
I do have resolutions for this year that I could share, but in lieu of the legendary wisdom that came from this little elementary assignment 20(ish) years ago, I decided to try it out again. It’s my hope that it awakens some overarching mantra that I can cling to as I leap into my own Shonda-Rhimes-kinda-year-of-yes.
Lessons Learned in 2015:
- Fear only has as much power as you give it. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!
- Fear is an illusion – anything you cook up in your head is typically much scarier than reality – 80% of the time nothing even remotely close to that even happens.
- Life is too short not to chase after the dreams God has placed in your heart.
- God is bigger. End of story.
- Anxiety is always heightened at the intersection of your dreams & talents
- The longer you run away away from your fears, the bigger they will seem. Run towards them and let God tackle them first. Life is more enjoyable that way – or so I’ve been told – I’m actually gonna try it out this year. 🙂
- When you don’t challenge the lies you’ve believed about yourself for years, at some point you come to believe them as truth. It’s best to see what your creator says about these “opinions.” His is the only one that matters. (Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal 1:10)
- He’s bigger than your flaws, your high horse, your self-righteous attitude, your selfishness, your weaknesses, your inability to show love, your strengths, your finances, your talents, your passions, that one person in your life you avoid at all costs, your family – AND he’s bigger than your fear of failure.
- God is not the author of confusion. He wants GOOD things for you and those things, those passions that are trying to ignite, smoldering beneath the coals, trying to burn free of the charred blackness – those passions are His. Whatever you feel fulfillment in creating, he GAVE you that and he’s next to you supporting you as you continue creating.
- If you decide to hide from your dreams, God is really really REALLY good at finding you. He’s the ultimate champ at hide-n-seek
- Things are only as big a deal as you decide to make them.
- When you choose to laugh at your mistakes and stop taking yourself so seriously, you make room for God to heal what you’ve been trying to patch up all these years. Let him do his thing and heal your wounds – he’s pretty freakin’ awesome at it.
- God wants an intimate relationship with us and sometimes the only way to get that intimacy is to be woken up late at night just for him to remind you of his love. Take advantage of those sleepless nights. Those moments are precious and lovely. Cherish them.
- Anxiety is a choice. You have the power to say “no” in the face of anxiety and cast it at the feet of Jesus, in His name. Anxiety has no hold over you. God is so much bigger than a panic attack – just ask him to show you how big. (Phil 4:4)
- Be kind to everyone – you never know the affect it could have on others.
- God is speaking – you just have to stop talking to hear it. (you will seek me and find my when you seek me with all your heart)
- Bitterness is not attractive. Ever. “She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could.” (Thanks to the friend who gave me this saying.)
- Relax in the knowledge that it’s impossible to know everything. Acknowledge that there’s something about faith that relies on mystery and that’s kind of beautiful.
- It’s impossible to be attentive 100% of the time. You can try, but you’ll probably miss something pretty important if you do.
- Christ died for nothing if we can’t learn to forgive ourselves.
- We are constantly being renewed and reshaped. There’s so much hope in that:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what it seen but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what it unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18
- A positive attitude wins out over talent any day. (“Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.” Winston Churchill)
- A friend can’t be a true friend if you don’t fill them in on what’s going on. Speak up.