What i've learned this past year

Thursday, March 12

{this dress is from Free People, but of course I got it from a yard sale. I'll be sharing more pics next week!}

So my birthday was on Monday, and it was a darn good one. Thank you all for making it extra special…your comments on IG, FB, email and the blog were a joy to my heart. So thank you.

The last few weeks i've been mulling over the things I've learned this past year. Because I KNOW I'VE LEARNED SOMETHING!!! right? Now, if I can only remember, hehe! Last year I wrote a post on all the things I had learned in my 30 years….and it has been one of my most read posts. You can read it here. 

So today, I give you all the life lessons i've learned in the previous 365 days:

1. You're never too old to start something new: This past year, I did something a little scary, and a little exhilarating. I started a new career! It felt daunting to go back to school at 29. I felt so out of the "school-thing", but God empowered and reminded me in such beautiful ways that His timing is PERFECT! After 8 years in the non-profit world, traveling and speaking and living in other countries, God sweetly lead me into the field of counseling. I'm now in my final year of my masters, and am seeing clients. I could not love it more!! To walk with my clients through their life is such a privilege, I feel so honored to be invited into their world. But none of this would be possible unless I got past my fear of starting something new! If you are fearful of stepping out, look to Jesus for courage. If He is calling you to something, know that He will provide the way. Be Brave! 

2. Learn to be grateful for friends who are in your life for a season: Sometimes friends are in your life for a season, and you have to embrace the fact that maybe it's only for that season. For most of my life i've wanted every friend i've ever met to keep in touch with me ALL the livelong days. I like talking on the phone, I like email chains, I like social media connections…basically I like to stay in touch. But not everyone is like me. Some of my friends don't like the phone, or email, or social media. But that doesn't mean they don't love me, it just means they prefer face to face, which we only get every few years. I've learned I can't change anyone, so I have to just be eternally grateful that God allowed us to be together for that special time.

3. Life is Short, so tell your spouse you love them every day: If you've been following my blog this past year, you'll know that my beloved husband had a full-blown heart attack in June {read here}. For over an hour, as he laid in surgery, I had no idea whether the doctor was going to tell me he had lived or died. It was terror, my worst nightmare. By the GRACE of our tender God, Kevin lived. Even though i've always cherished my husband, this past year has taught me that life is short, and that even a 30 year old athletic and in-shape man can be inches away from death. Every day I thank God for an extra 24 hours with this man. So hug your spouse and count your blessings each and every day!

4. Trust God, instead of taking matters into your own hands: You'd think I would have learned this long ago. #slowlearner #forreals For most of my life, if something happened, I would feel the need to confront the issue right then and there and find "justice". But God's been softening my heart, and asking me to give up the reigns, and let him take over. This past year I had a few situations that came up, where I was able to sit back, pray, and let things blow over instead of confronting them. Because I didn't become so sucked into the drama and the perceived injustice of it all, my feelings just subsided and my negativity decreased. And the end result was a strengthening of relationships. I may be a slow learner, but at least i'm learning, and let me tell you…it's been a banner year because i've allowed God to be the leader.

5. Get rid of all synthetic fragrances! This one is random, I know, but synthetic fragrances caused me massive headaches. I remember last Spring I got my favorite perfume for my birthday, and that same day came home with the worst headache ever! My perfume, my candles, air fresheners, you name it! This year, I threw out all my perfumes and candles. I now use natural Essential Oils for my perfume {mostly Joy from Young Living}….I smell good, I feel good, and no more headaches! I also use soy candles with natural essential oils for fragrance! {like these, these or these from Urban Outfitters} It's a game changer friends. And you'll be shocked at how many amazing scents are totally natural! If you're suffering from headaches, make the switch. I promise you'll thank me!

6. Don't be afraid to say no: I struggle with serious FOMO! It's alive and well, and only this past year have I been able to make some headway on it. In the past, I was so afraid of saying no, because my fear was that I would be missing out on the BEST thing ever. If I wasn't where all the action was, I felt like I wasn't as valuable, as liked, or cared about. But this year, I've learned that sometimes saying "no" actually gives you a piece of yourself back. "No" can give you back time to recharge, "no" can mean setting boundaries that are healthy for your emotional health, "no" can mean sticking to your values and not compromising the person you want to become. This year I said "no" to some lucrative blog advertisement deals because the product didn't align with what I value. I said "no" to being a part of some collaborative endeavors because I just didn't have the time to give it my full attention, and needed to make space to rest and recharge. Saying "no" has given me a richer, fuller, more meaningful life.

There is more, but those are the biggies!! What have you learned this past year friend?? 

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