Everyday I get a devotional thru email by Rick Warren called "The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional." A couple of days ago I got one called "Sharing Your Life Message" - and it really made me think about my life and the lessons I have learned. Part of the devotional said: "While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn't enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another. The Bible says "A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than...jewelry made of the finest gold." (Proverbs 25:12)
When I started thinking about my major life lessons - I realized that maybe what I've learned could help someone else, or at least make someone think before they make the same mistakes that I have. Here are just a few...I'm sure there are many more, but I will share just a few. I wanted to not only think back about the last couple of years, but my whole life. So here goes:
1. When I was in the 6th grade, I had the biggest crush on a boy named Greg Dean. I mean one of those laugh at everything he said, blush when he walked by, prank call him at sleepovers kind of crush;)!! At the end of our 6th grade year, he told everyone he was moving. Yes, you guessed it, I was devastated! That summer, he moved, and I knew I had missed my chance to tell him how I felt. My cousin, Zach (one of Greg's close friends) told me later that summer that Greg had really liked me and wanted to "go out" with me before he found out he was moving.
Greg and I have kept in touch ever since - we wrote letters back and forth thru high school, visited each other in college, and then he ended up teaching at a school very close to here. We look back now and think about how funny it was that we both had crushes and didn't know it, I'm just glad I got the chance to tell him about it!!
LESSON LEARNED: Never put off telling someone how you feel - you might lose your chance! If you love someone - tell them! If you are holding a grudge against someone - confront it! If you want to tell someone thank you for the influence they've been in your life - let them know! There might not be a second chance.
2. When I was in junior high, I was in my mom's bedroom one day looking for a book to read. I came across this "journal" and of course being the curious person I am - had to sneak a peek. What I found surprised me very much! It was a journal about me and my brothers when we were very little - just day to day things that happened and how much she loved us. At that moment I started to comprehend the bond between a mother and her babies.
LESSON LEARNED: Document the love you feel for your child, one day they will read what you've written and begin to understand just how much you love them. I began journaling the day I found out I was pregnant with Maxwell, and have continued to this day. I have 3 journals full (for his 3 years of life). I know one day he will find these and begin to read them - and know that I put him first...that I loved him with my whole heart, and the way only a mother can love her son.
3. Probably right around Jr. High again...I began to realize just how important privacy was. If you've ever been to my parents house, you know that as I was growing up we never had doors on the bathrooms. My dad built this beautiful log house...but for some reasons never finished certain parts of it. One of those parts were the bathroom doors. With two younger brothers - there were times I yearned for privacy! I remember hanging up blankets with push pins to cover the door:)!! In the last few years - my dad has FINALLY put up doors to the bathrooms!
LESSON LEARNED: Some things are just meant to be kept private. There are many things that I believe should be between me and God - that's it. Yes, I'm pretty open about things (I have a blog for goodness sakes)...but I rarely lay it ALL out on the line - there are things about my life that are only shared with my heavenly Father!
4. I've always had a "timeline" for my life - and wanted to follow it no matter what. When I was a senior in college, I met Gil. Not to say that I didn't fall in love with Gil, because I did - but I overlooked some of the qualities he had and some of his morals - because it was "time" for me to meet the one (according to my timeline). I wanted to get married, get a good job, and have children...now. I feel madly in love with Gil - the blinding kind of love, and put some of my hesitations aside. Looking back - this has been a huge life lesson for me!! I wish we would have addressed those isssues then, instead of ending our marriage now because things have gotten out of control.
LESSON LEARNED: God has a timeline for my life - and it is perfect. No timeline I can ever come up with will compare with His - and more importantly, it will fail. He is the only one who knows the plans he has for me, and from now on I need to leave it up to Him!!
Ok, I think that is enough for tonight - just take a minute to think of "life lessons" you have learned and what you know now that you wish you would have known sooner:)!! I would love to hear yours...maybe I can learn a life lesson from you:)!!