Friday, October 31, 2008

40 Things I’ve Learned So Far

In honor of my 40th birthday, I thought I would post 40 things I’ve learned so far in this crazy life of mine. Maybe you will find something helpful in my list. Or maybe you’ll feel pity on me for taking 40 years to figure some of this out. Or maybe you’ll just get a good laugh. In any case, here they are, in random order:

  1. I am (sadly) very skilled at sinning.
  2. God is better at saving than I am at sinning (PRAISE THE LORD!).
  3. I am happiest when I feel like I’m being productive or helpful.
  4. My kids won’t live with me forever, so I need to spend as much time with them as I can now.
  5. When the kids are grown and gone, it will just be me and Jameel, so I need to spend time with him now and keep our relationship strong.
  6. I have never had a unique thought in my life.
  7. Reading good books is time well spent and helps me to be prepared to help others when necessary.
  8. Most generic brands are just as good as the name brands… and some are actually BETTER (case in point: Kroger’s chewy chocolate chip granola bars)!
  9. We all make time for what we truly WANT to do.
  10. I have learned to say “no” sometimes. Really! I have! Stop laughing.
  11. If I don’t have money for it, I don’t need it. (The possible exceptions to this would be food or healthcare.)
  12. I don’t have to be the “best” at something for God to use what skill I have.
  13. Sometimes the simplest gifts mean the most, especially if someone took the time to make it themselves.
  14. Carrying a smaller Bible to church really helps lighten the load on my back (Thanks to Jennifer H. for that suggestion!).
  15. Butter cooks better than margarine and they’re both 100% fat, so why not use it?
  16. Wealth is relative. Growing up in the United States is a huge blessing and even our poorest citizens are rich in comparison to some in other countries around the world.
  17. There is a lot of wisdom in the song “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see…” because once you see an image or hear something, it’s hard to get it out of your mind.
  18. Television, by and large, is a time-waster.
  19. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’ll keep getting the same results.
  20. Don’t “answer a matter before you hear it” (Proverbs 18:13). In other words, listen to all sides of a dispute before you make any judgments.
  21. Honesty is always the best policy. It may be hard to tell the truth sometimes without equivocation, but it’s always the right thing to do (Proverbs 12:22).
  22. It’s important to remember and acknowledge people’s birthdays. They are wonderful opportunities to express gratitude for their friendship, their ministry, and the unique way God has blessed my life through them.
  23. We all live in a fishbowl. There are times when I’ve felt like nobody even knew I existed, but that’s simply not true. I have often had people mention things to me that I didn’t even know were noticeable. People do watch us (especially the little people in our homes!) and they see more than we realize. While ultimately our accountability is to God, others in a watching world can be blessed or caused to stumble by our actions.
  24. Sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone. The trick is knowing WHEN it’s good…
  25. If I appreciate something that someone has done, I should tell them.
  26. Time is the most precious gift you can give someone.
  27. Scrapbooks don’t have to be elaborate works of art, but organizing your pictures, adding captions, and journaling make them more meaningful for future generations.
  28. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Always assume the best.
  29. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong.
  30. Be willing to admit when you don’t know the answer to a question.
  31. To maintain a proper perspective, focus on the best in others and the worst in yourself.
  32. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all (thanks to the grandparents for that one!).
  33. Slow and steady wins the race (props to the Tortoise and the Hare for this one). This applies in so many areas. I may not be the fastest at some things but I eventually will get to the goal if I push forward, however slowly.
  34. “Can’t” never could do anything. (Got that one from my grandma – Can you tell?)
  35. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
  36. If I don’t write something down ON MY TO DO LIST then there is a 60% chance I will forget to do it. (You may laugh, but if you ever want me to do something for you, this is valuable information!)
  37. Never exaggerate your abilities; if you do, people will just expect more from you.
  38. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
  39. When you’re tempted to feel sad, count your blessings. You will soon find your mood changing.
  40. I am blessed with a bunch of great friends and family who love me. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them! Thank you! :)


Half A Dozen BOOTH's said...

HAPPY, HAPPY Birthday to a WONDERFUL friend!! This was a great list, and yes, I am still laughing at #10. 40? NO WAY. We were 18 just last year........
Cove you, Stephanie

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Steph! And it *does* seem like just yesterday, doesn't it? (Drat! I sound like an old woman now!) Cove you, too! :)

Summer said...

Happy birthday to you!! Happy birthday to you...happy birthday dear Jennifer, happy birthday to you!! hope your day is filled with treats and not tricks!!!

Baroness Insomniac said...

Well now, we've known each other for almost 40 years, give or take a month here or there, I'm sure. =))

Great 40 thoughts! I do take issue with #6. ;-) But oh the memories of "Cain't never could do anything." =))

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND MANY MOOOORE... on channel 4.... =))

Gina said...

I feel certain that #6 is not true and I'm certain that #10 is...though I'm still laughing about it because I know you! :) You're 40?! Really? I'm too young to have a 40 year old! ;)

Happy birthday!!!!

Jennifer said...

That's just what my mom said at lunch today! Ha ha! :)

Elizabeth said...

Oooo, you mentioned me in #40 :) I love you! Here's hoping you had a truly wonderful day.

Kim said...

I loved reading this Jennifer! You are very wise...thanks for passing some of what you have learned on to me! I hope your day was great!

Krista said...

Happy Birthday, Jennifer! I really enjoyed reading your list. Thanks for taking the time to pass on your accumulated wisdom! :)

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