Today I officially leave my early 40s behind as I turn 46. In my 46 years I’ve experienced joy (like marrying my best friend @lisaleonard, the birth of my sons), I have known sorrow (being bullied as a kid, David’s arrival with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, a marriage crisis), I’ve studied to attain degrees to the doctoral level, I’ve battled life-long,—sometimes dark—depression and more. With all that I can say truly I am more content and happy than I have ever been. It’s come like all things worth having, through intentional hard work with help from people along the way. So, as I celebrate my birthday, here’s a few learnings of my 46 years.
1. We are made in God’s image—reflections of His design, each of us possessing inherent dignity and worth.
2. We live in a world ruptured and twisted by greed, selfishness, comparison, isolation, and belief that enough is never enough.
3. Intimate relationships require investment of time, energy and resources. Without vulnerability we don’t experience intimacy.
4. Most of what we fear is the stories in our heads rather than external reality.
5. God gives each of a life to design—he gives us skills, heritage, experiences, passions, opportunities and freedom to experiment and try things without fear of missing “God’s will.”
6. People are more important than money, titles, or success.
7. A listening and empathetic ear is a rare salve healing many wounds.
8. Integrity is often undervalued, but we’re always grateful to those we encounter who possess it.
9. We’re drawn to that which is real and authentic.
10. Everyone fights the tape loops that say I’m not good enough, So and so has more…than me, if only I had…then I would have…, and feel some need to prove worth. (See Number 1 above)
11. True life is only found in knowing you are unconditionally loved, and the freedom it provides for you to who were designed to be.