The current occupant of the presidential office has given the number 45 a pretty bad rap. I also tend to get more reflective and introspective near birthdays and anniversaries.  So, in light of my 45th birthday last year (and my 46th birthday coming faster than a speeding train), I thought I’d jot down some lessons I’ve learned over the past 45 years:

  1. I can’t do it all.
  2. I can’t do everything right.
  3. I can’t know it all.
  4. I need life-giving people in my inner circle.
  5. Listen faster.
  6. Conflict doesn’t have to end relationships.
  7. Smell the roses.
  8. Prevention > intervention.
  9. Representation matters.
  10. Nothing is truly wasted.
  11. Rest is critical to longevity.
  12. Get a mentor.
  13. Don’t procrastinate.
  14. Cherish old friendships.
  15. Seasons change.
  16. Insecurity is a life-sucker.
  17. Invest in others.
  18. Live by convictions, not whims.
  19. Be content.
  20. Teach the right things.
  21. Laughter really is good medicine.
  22. Learn from other people’s mistakes.
  23. Grow up.
  24. Season hard truth with love.
  25. Confess, repent, and move on.
  26. Grieve with hope.
  27. People-pleasing is a never-ending cycle.
  28. Be courageous.
  29. Speak up.
  30. If you want friends, be friendly.
  31. Obey quickly.
  32. Believe other people when they show you who they really are.
  33. Take better care of yourself.
  34. You cannot want more for someone else than they want for themselves.
  35. Love deeply and sincerely.
  36. Forgive people who have offended you–even if they never repent.
  37. Live a lifestyle of repentance.
  38. I cannot see clearly on my own–I need the perspectives of others.
  39. There’s always a reason to pray.
  40. Sing for joy.
  41. Leave a legacy your unborn grandchildren can be proud of.
  42. Wear a *good* shoe.
  43. Ask, seek, knock.
  44. Don’t orient your life around comfort.
  45. Live generously.
  46. Be thankful.

I didn’t aim to come up with 46 things when I started this list, but once I got started, that became my goal.  And while I didn’t flesh these things out in depth, many of them stand without explanation.

I’m still learning these things and so much more–growth is a lifelong process–but thought I’d take a moment to capture a snapshot on this leg of my journey with Jesus.  Thanks for sharing the view with me.


“You’re a housewife.”

My husband said these words to me the other day and they almost knocked me out of my chair. If you knew me years ago, you’d know that these were the last words I ever expected to come out of anyone’s mouth to describe me.

In my teens, I fully expected to make enough money to have someone cook & clean for me. In my twenties, when friends started marrying & having kids, I expected to remain a single corporate career-minded woman for years to come. By the time I’d hit my thirties, I’d already realized that corporate American life just wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

The stuff that feminist perspectives had been feeding women for decades was turning my stomach. Why were so many women feeling so run down after trying to “have it all”–family, higher education, and career? The truth is that nobody can have it all at once and not have some part of her life suffer for it. We weren’t created to be wholly contained individuals, but to be interdependent. I started to feel like the more I gave to my corporate life, the less I had to give to any other area. I had a sense that I was made for more than pushing papers. So I quit my job, entered seminary, & became an urban missionary to Philadelphia; I met and married my best friend in the process. (That last sentence carries more weight and life lessons learned over the course of 6-7 years than will fit in a blog post. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.)

Now, as I enter my forties in less than two weeks, I’m grateful for the change of heart I’ve been graced with over the years. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than watching my newborn daughter stretch her arms after nap time, or fixing a dinner plate for my husband after he’s had a hard day’s work. It’s taken four decades for me to get here, but I’m embracing this new season of life!