The day has come! I’m officially 30 years old today! It feels pretty weird writing that since I don’t “feel” 30, but I’m looking forward to all that my thirties have to offer. I bid a bittersweet farewell to my twenties, with all the great memories, heartbreaks, disappointments, triumphs and lessons learned. I’m hopeful for all that awaits me in this next decade of my life: adventure, career changes, love, peace, happiness, assurance — I want it all. With that being said, I present to you 30 New Adventures While I’m 30. Follow me on this journey as I make these aspirations a reality.
Read all about it after the jump!
This past weekend, I attended my church’s annual women’s retreat, and, (wo)man, was it an awesome, transformative experience. With the theme of “Brave: Empowered to Produce,” I truly do feel like I confronted some fears head on and left better equipped to endure this current season. It requires complete trust in God and total surrender of my plans for His will, even more so than I have in the past. This quote accurately encapsulates what I’m feeling at the moment. I may not have it all figured out, but I look forward to looking back at this post as a benchmark reminder of how much I’ve grown.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Seriously, guys. Where has the year gone? It’s already the end of June, which means we’re more than halfway through 2013. That prompted me to go back and see how much progress I’ve made on the goals I set for myself this year (see 2013). I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished a lot of things thus far (My passport arrived last week; I’ve been blogging consistently; I’ve developed an attitude of gratitude, and express my love and appreciation toward family and friends more frequently; I opened a savings account; etc.).
But, I’ve still got work to do. I mean, who can’t stand to improve? More specifically, I need to get better with being punctual, completing everything I start and procrastinating less, among other things. Though I realize that certain goals, especially those pertaining to my spiritual maturity and walk with Christ, are fluid endeavors that I’ll constantly pursue, it’s good to be honest with myself and take inventory of where I stand. Small victories count, too.
As the famous Winston Churchill quote goes, “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
Enough about me. What about you? How are you doing with your goals or New Year’s resolutions?
The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. The grass is green. God breathed life into my body. I have full use of my mind and body. I woke up in a bed, in an apartment, with a dog who likes to cuddle. I have clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, a scarf on my head and a song in my heart. My car started. I have a job to go to, a computer to type on, a phone to call and text on. There is a slice of carrot cake in the fridge with my name on it. I will ride on an airplane to the Bay Area and see my best friend in less than two days. Life is good. So rather than look elsewhere for happiness today, I will look within and at what’s directly in front of me. And know that I am blessed. There I go, enjoying the little things.
What if I started living out the me who I see in my mind? What if I pushed past the doubt, fear and negativity? What if I stopped comparing myself to others and dared to believe that I am uniquely awesome in my own right? We all have moments when we feel like we’re not good enough. I’m at a point where I need to start walking in that greatness that’s already on the inside of me. I look forward to this process God is taking me through, and coming out of it a more confident and well-equipped person.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'” Hebrews 13:5-6
Hi, my name is Ashley, and I’m a worrier.
I’m not proud of that fact. Why is it that when the most miniscule roadblock arises, I can get stressed out and start worrying? I wish I weren’t that way, that I was much stronger. Thankfully though, it doesn’t take long for God’s Word to rise up in me: God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). I mean, we’re talking about a God who can move mountains, birth life into a barren womb, provide harvest in a drought, send down manna from Heaven, make water flow from a rock, and even make a donkey speak. Nothing’s too difficult for Him. If he showed up then, why won’t he show up for me? Duh. I’m beyond grateful that I serve a God who has never let me down. Time and time again He has come through. What a blessing that He lovingly redirects my focus in the midst of a trial and reminds me that He is in control.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).
God is in control and will catch you when you fall, so you may as well do what this quote says. It reminds me of a line in B. Reith’s song, “Next Move,” that goes “Even if I crash and burn, I’ll wake up tomorrow with a lesson learned.” Or when he says “No excuses, I’m learning how to lose, ’cause that’s the only way to fine tune and make improvements” in “2 Steps Forward.” I’m learning that I’ve spent too much time in the safety of my comfort zone. I’m going into this new year with a fresh perspective and am beginning to see that it’s better to try and fail, than to not try at all. Be encouraged. Whether you’re stepping out on faith expecting a miracle or believing God for the most trivial thing, don’t let anything take your eyes off the prize.
Happy New Year to you and yours! What a difference the start of a new calendar year makes. Not only is it a time to leave behind the things that no longer need to occupy space (bad habits, hurtful memories, unhealthy relationships, etc.), but it’s a time of great expectancy for the new things that are to come. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to 2013. I thank God for letting me see it, and praise Him in advance for what He’s going to do in and through me.
Today I’ve been reflecting on 2012 and what I’d like to see happen for myself in 2013. I look back on the past year with joy over beautiful moments with loved ones, spiritual growth and personal career advancements. But I also have some sadness over relatives who passed away, regrets for not pushing myself harder and other little disappointments.
While I dislike the connotations that come with the term “New Year’s resolutions,” I have some “goals” I’m very serious about accomplishing. Here they are (I know this list will grow):
‣ Trust God for EVERYTHING, and seek Him first ALWAYS
‣ Don’t add things to my life that don’t need to be there
‣ Take the time to express my love and appreciation for family and friends
‣ Blog, freelance and network frequently
‣ Remain optimistic
‣ Always arrive on time for work and appointments
‣ Get a passport
‣ Finish everything I start
‣ Grow spiritually
‣ Save money for reals, and better utilize what God has already entrusted to me
‣ Don’t talk negatively about myself, or criticize others
‣ Hand write letters and send them via snail mail more often
‣ No more procrastinating
‣ Actually read the books on my wishlist
‣ Give more of my time, and be a blessing to someone else
‣ Care less about what others think of me
‣ Live freely
Now that I’ve put these goals out there, I guess I have to actually follow through with them. We’ve all heard that quote (from Thomas Jefferson, I believe), “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” It’ll be a challenge, but I’m determined to succeed in this endeavor. I won’t back down. It’s GO TIME!
I stumbled upon this video today on Facebook, and let me just say it’s nothing short of amazing. The little girl is just so juiced about life. It’s like nothing stands in the way of her day.
What if we adults had the same childlike enthusiasm over the smallest things? What if by speaking affirmations over your life you could bring into existence those very things you spoke of?
It reminds of the Bible verse about speaking things that are not as though they are (Romans 4:17). Maybe you’re struggling with the cares of life, or, perhaps, don’t feel like you have a lot to rejoice over at the moment. Just imagine how quickly things could turn around by thinking positively instead of dwelling on a temporary circumstance.
I think it’s an experiment worth trying.