Dear thirtieth year,
You were an adventure. I was unsure about how you were going to go. The start of a new decade felt big, it felt hard, and it felt so fresh slate to new adventures. And that’s what you’ve been. You’ve been big, hard, clean, new, exciting, and full.
You brought a lot of growing and stretching. Sometimes, I feel like I’m aging in that I don’t feel quite as flexible as I used to be. But I’ve learned that when I stretch consistently, I am more flexible, more pliable, more bendable, and much more humble about this whole mortal experience. So, thanks thirty, for stretching me out and helping me maintain my range. You reminded me that “people can make choices.” And I am people and I can make choices too. You reminded me to be empowered by my ability to choose! It’s one of the biggest blessings I experience everyday!
Thinking back on you thirty, it has been fairly uneventful as a whole. No exotic vacations or destinations. The only time I even got on a plane this year was to go to Cincinnati for work. That seems so strange after some of the years I’ve had recently. But thirty, you became the year to focus and intentionally focus my efforts closer to home. I wanted to gain some ground on paying off my house, finish house projects, prepare for the future, and embrace the present. It has been a year where I have finally really honed a budget and stuck with it ALL YEAR. It has been a year when I have gotten organized in so many areas of my life. It has been a year where I have tried to be really intentional about how I’m spending my time, my energy and my efforts. Essentially, I think it’s been a year of sowing.
Now, that’s not to say adventures didn’t happen, because they did! I finally went paddle boarding…thanks to Nicole! I spent lots of time at the cabin and whole-heartedly loved every minute! I experienced my first mid-day total solar eclipse…probably one of the most awe inspiring things I’ve experienced in life. I went on lots of walks and finally faced my fear of bears by hiking in Yellowstone. I’ll be honest…I was completely freaked out the entire time but would do it again in a heartbeat! I went to a new temple. I savored another year of being an ordinance worker. I drove a lot, maintained my relationship with the library, built a relationship with podcasts, and finally conquered my hill. Thanks thirty!
Thirty, you also saw a lot of hobby embracing. You focused in on your “priority hobbies” of cooking and sewing and really worked to keep “like hobbies” and not get any major new ones…except maybe tennis. 🙂 I made Indian food, about 20 different banana bread recipes, and lots of freezer meals to go in the deep freeze. I am now a person who owns a deep freeze–and I use it every day! I’ve embraced meal planning and I’ve been a lot happier as I have eaten food more consistently. 🙂 I remembered how much I love walking and have been going on walks a lot more consistently. I finally learned about podcasts this year–I’m way behind the boat on that one but I embraced them–especially Dave Ramsey, Gretchen Rubin, and then other audiobooks and CDs. I love how portable learning has become! I’ve done a lot of reading this year and I have loved everything that I have read. I’ve now read all of Traci Hunter Abrahamson’s books. I’ve also read a bunch of personal productivity/self-help books which I also enjoy.
Thirty, you have blessed me with an abundance of relationships. You challenged me to be brave, to invite along, and to let people in. You were surrounded by incredible family, friends, ward friends, work friends, neighbor friends…such a great network of people that I love and learn from. You welcomed scripture share into your life and your home. You invited friendships. You said yes when you could have said no. You said okay apprehensively which still counts as a yes! Maybe not a Christin “heck yes” but it’s still a yes for you!
Thirty brought lots of lessons…here’s a few of them, or a lot of them.
- Hope is the anthem of my soul. –Switchfoot
- The answers to today’s questions are in today’s reading of the Book of Mormon. –Bishop K
- Small and simple things matter and make a difference.
- The only requirement to get along with someone is making the decision to do so.
- Missions teach you things you can’t learn any other way.
- Keep the commandments. In this there is safety, in this there is peace.
- Good things will come as you consistently pray for them.
- When you find yourself needing help, reach out to those around you. Be vulnerable. Let them hug you. Let them help you.
- I’m so glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me.
- Music can bring to our remembrance important things we know and have felt.
- Everything works if you do. Nothing works if you don’t. –Aunt Jean
- Let the Lord define success in your life.
- The Lords is a fourth watch God, except in regards to forgiveness, then he is always a first watch God. –Bishop W
- We might think that God wanted simply obedience to a set of rules: whereas he really wants people of a particular sort. –CS Lewis
- To get more you have to give more.
- Covenants provide a means whereby the Lord can magnify our obedience.
- You don’t realize how dark it is until someone turns the light on.
- “I’ll cast on him my every care and wait for thee sweet hour of prayer.”
- Are you both ready and willing to do what the Lord wants you to do? –Sheri Dew
- We must be able to handle the questions that the world throws at us. –Sheri Dew
- “Trusting my all to thy tender care and knowing thou lovest me.” –Hymn 274
- The greatest joy comes through making and keeping covenants. –Sheri Dew
- You don’t have to catch the balls that are going up, only the ones that are coming down. –The Kings
- Put yourself in a situation where you can serve the Lord for good. –Bishop K
- Get to a place where we are willing to take on the name of Jesus Christ and then seal it with our obedience. –TH
- Our progress is measured by how well we keep our covenants. –TH
- Allow others to support and strengthen you so you can support and strengthen others.
- You can’t do it alone. You’re not alone. It was never intended to work that way.
- “Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.” –Spencer W Kimball, Oct 1979, The Role of Righteous Women
- Do good. Love God. Serve Him. –Impression in Bountiful Temple 092817 via Moroni 7:13
- What’s one thing you can do about it? –CB
- The Lord wants our whole hearts. He doesn’t want us to reserve any portion for our own preservation or comfort. –September 2017
- Will it matter? –J9
- There are no qualifiers for joy.
- We may have been placed where we are, near the people we are because of our ability to serve them. –Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Oct 2017 General Conference
- Act on first promptings. Act now.
- Want different? Do different.
- “Everything will be okay in the end. If its not okay, its not the end.”
- The road to success is dotted with too many tempting parking places.
- “There are still peoples lives who you can bless.” –Bishop W
- “I gave you this opportunity.”–ATAP 102317
- Comfort comes when you embrace where you are.
- Discerning truth is empowering.
Thank you thirty for setting this next decade out on the right foot.
Thirty-one, I have no idea what you’re going to bring my way but all I have to say is…let’s get to it!