I’ve survived 48 years on this earth, and I’ve learned many lessons during that time. Today I’m sharing some of the wisdom I’ve gathered.

Find something to be grateful for every day.

Be honest with yourself. You and God both know the truth.

Keep trying.

Keep praying.

Take care of your teeth.

Appreciate time with your children when they are small. You will miss their sticky hands someday.

Everyone has a story to tell, and every story has meaning.

Don’t sabotage yourself with impatience.

You are loved. God does notice and care.

You can’t reason with unreasonable people.

Toxic people are not worth your time and effort. Shake the dust off your feet and move on.

Have your car’s oil changed regularly.

Listen more than you talk.

Pray more than you worry.

Forgiveness is a process. Honor your own process and acknowledge your true feelings.

Show up every day and work hard.

Pay attention. The best moments often happen when we are focused somewhere else.

Life is not fair. Some people seem to have it easy, and some have more than their share of struggle.

But everyone has some troubles, and I wouldn’t really want to trade mine for anyone else’s.

Do the best you can in whatever circumstances God has given you.

Believe God knows what He’s doing in every situation.

Everything works together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

Always be willing to learn something new.

Always be willing to encourage someone else.

It is easier to clean the house a little every day than face a big mess on the weekend.

That goes for life too. Deal with small issues before they become big problems.

Take off your sunglasses before innertubing on the lake.

Turn off your phone and talk to your children when they come home from school.

Be happy to see them when you’ve been apart a while.

All people want to be seen, acknowledged, and heard.

On a long hike, a slow and steady pace will get you there. Keep walking.

You will grow and learn as long as you live, so be patient and go easy on yourself.

Walk more.

Read more.

Eat more vegetables.

Friendships are fluid. Some people will come and go throughout our lives.

But the right people will always be there when you need them.

You are wise.

You are capable.

You will fulfill the purpose God has planned for you.

Do the most difficult part first and the rest will seem easy.

Whenever possible, invest in quality shoes. Don’t waste money on shoes that don’t support you.

Whenever possible, invest in quality people and relationships. Don’t waste time on people who don’t support you.

Be at peace today.

Look forward to tomorrow.

Have faith for the future.

Remember God is with you always.

Say thank you, be happy, and know you are blessed.

What have you learned in the years of your life?

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One day last spring I discovered these two guests visiting my patio – young crows who rested from their flight lessons by perching on my air conditioner and outdoor loveseat. I studied the crows from my window and snapped a few photos while their parents squawked overhead, then I left the crows alone to complete their important work while I considered how we all learn to fly.

Leave the nest (or you will be pushed). To discover anything new, we have to move out of our comfort zones and explore dangerous, unknown areas. If we linger in one place too long, we outgrow our safe surroundings and find ourselves forced to change our perspective.

Let go. We can’t learn to fly while clinging to the past. We have to release those burdens that hold us back and make an effort to propel ourselves forward.

Expect to fall. Often we find ourselves moving downwards before we can rise. Sometimes we have to hit the ground before finding the way to lift ourselves up again.

Keep trying. Regular practice builds strength and power. We may have to make several attempts before we develop the stamina we need to succeed.

Encourage others. While baby birds struggle, their parents perch in the trees overhead, calling to their offspring on the ground. When we gain knowledge and understanding, it is important to offer encouragement to those who are still learning to pick themselves up.

These plaques hang on my office wall, reminders that to reach our dreams, we need courage to leave our safe spaces, commitment to do the hard work, and vision to reach heights we’ve only dreamed of before. This week I hope you take a leap and find yourself able to fly.

Where are your dreams leading you now? How can you step out and learn something new?

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This week the car needed new tires and wheel alignment, an oil change and a brake exam. Waiting for our car to undergo this necessary overhaul reminded me of all the time I have spent waiting in repair shops while guys in matching blue shirts installed a new battery, oil filter, water pump, timing belt, or brake pads. Here are a few things I learned while spending time in the auto shop waiting room.

Maintenance is important. Whether in relationships, roles, or reaching our goals, we have to pay attention to what is most important to us. Taking care of small problems early prevents larger problems from developing later.

Name the problem before planning the repair. In life, we can’t fix what we can’t identify. We have to understand what the real problems are before we can choose and apply the correct solutions.

Use waiting time to regroup and rest. We all have periods in life when we have to wait for the right circumstances before moving on, and impatiently pacing won’t make those happen any faster. Wise people use down time to relax and reflect on where they are headed before moving forward.

Make sure all the work is done before returning to the road. Sometimes we have to work on ourselves before we are ready to accept new challenges and assignments. Doing the necessary upgrades before moving on prevents future breakdowns so we don’t end up in the same place we started.

This week our car repairs took little time before we were on the road again. I am grateful for the many ways God reminds me of his presence and keeps me moving in the right direction.

What can you do the next time you find yourself waiting? How will you know when it’s time to move on?

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Know thyself. ~~ Socrates

Sometimes I need to pause and reconsider what I know about the world and my place in it. I need to redefine what I believe and what I still need to figure out before I proceed with a choice or a plan. This week I am endeavoring to know what I know, and here is what I’ve figured out so far.

I value true friendship. I recently reconnected with someone I haven’t talked to in 15 years. For hours, we discussed the news about our children, our careers, our address changes, the death of her stepson. Our lives have changed, but much has remained remarkably the same. That conversation reminded me how much I appreciate true connections with people who care about me despite the time and distance between us. Knowing I have true friends encourages me to share my friendship with others who need my support.

I believe God always has a plan. Spring begins a new season, a time of hope and promise for the future. I am ending a long winter of rest and contemplation; but I know I have been constantly growing, exploring, and expanding my interests to new areas. I am eager to embrace new possibilities. This year we began attending a new church where we’ve been warmly welcomed and invited into a large and extended family. I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, because I know God always has a plan laid out for me, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.

I have learned that I am always learning. Last month I celebrated another birthday and spent an evening enjoying pizza and cake with family, the people who mean the most to me. As I grow older, I realize I still have much to learn about life and what is truly important. As I learn more about what I know, I realize there is still much I don’t understand. I am always questioning, wondering, asking for answers; and I am always grateful to find new leads. I look forward to following new directions from God, finding new places to explore, and discovering new horizons.

Thank you to all who read these words, share my friendship, and help me see that we still have much to learn together. Thank you for teaching me and reminding me that we are not alone on our travels through this world. I pray you are richly blessed in faith and friendship today!

What are you learning today? How have your friendships contributed to the lessons you’ve learned?

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It has been a month for staying indoors. Winter storms and freezing rain made driving dangerous. Streets and parking lots became icy pools. I’ve enjoyed the warm and safe confines of my cozy home, but I look forward to spring when the sky grows warm and the world feels welcoming again. I’m excited to greet the new experiences that present themselves with sunny days and balmy nights.

But in truth, every morning of any season presents an opportunity to try something new. Each day is a chance to begin a different journey. We don’t have to wait for a date on a calendar or a change in the weather to begin again. God gives us many occasions to open the door and follow the path he has planned for us, and each morning we are free to step out and explore a promising future.

Why are you waiting to begin something new? This morning, I pray you strike out for a changing horizon. Remember God is always with you on your travels.

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