Be Wise. Stay Young. Happy Birthday

I am so grateful for my birthday.  A day to commemorate all that God has done.  A day to reflect on all that I have managed to overcome (bio).  Aging is beautiful.  If you are lucky --- aging becomes a process in which you begin to love yourself.  You no longer need the insurance of other's approval. With age and wisdom you begin to recognize that life is a gift with its curves, dips, sharp corners, and disappointments.

Life has taught me to be wise.  

I left for college at 18.  I remember my grandmother hugging me on the jet bridge (back then you could do that) she told me to watch out for Jack, Jimmy, and Johnny hugged me and I was off.  I would soon find out that she meant Jack Daniels, Jim Bean, and Johnny Walker.  Did my grandmother have some kind of insight that my childhood insecurities would try to find insurance in illegitimate friendships and alcohol?  Maybe she was a prophet. Many young lives are destroyed this way.  

In hindsight, I realize my grandmother was the wisest person I know and taught me a grave message that day.  Stay away from shiny things.  Nothing that comes easy lasts.  If you want to be better you have to do the hard work and do better.  There are no liquid cures.  These were good lessons for my 20s and lessons I try to pass on to those who are younger than me.

My 30's began with an attempt at paying penance for my tumultuous 20's by working myself nearly to death.  I overlooked the memo that read the price of redemption had already been paid.  We live in a society that affirms hard work but I forgot that the best work comes out of a time of rest.  

Now, I know to play, have fun, travel, laugh, take breaks, go for hikes, read, sit at the beach, watch water lap over and over again on sand.  No one will give you time --- you have to take it and make it work for yourself. Spend time with your family.  Listen to people who have lived more life than you.  Find a mentor and ask he or she to mentor you. Hang out as much as possible with your best friend.  Find a person to be in your life who will speak truth and does not have blind spots when it comes to you. You will grow in leaps and bounds.  Pray as if your life depended on it. This will revolutionize your soul. 

Today is my 39th birthday and I am learning to rebel.  

My father has always taught me that a vision is just a dream without goals.  I have a goal that this will be 1 of 52 blogs over the next year.  Quantify your dreams so that you can see them.  Make your dreams real.  We get one life on earth.  I have learned not to expect so much from people no one can stand under the weight and uphold the expectations typically created out of my brokenness.

I am grateful for friends.  At this point in my life I believe every individual needs a best friend maybe two.  Treat them well.  You will learn a lot about yourself through these friendships that are not sustained by blood ties but an objective desire to see the best in one another.

Worry less about what people think and spend more time asking God what HE is saying to you..and what HE wants you to do about it. 

Today, I begin the last year of my 30s.  I begin this journey strong out of the gates: I am committed to God, committed to loving people, and committed to taking risks and living as if I am alive. 



Tikalong, Indonesia

Tikalong, Indonesia