24 things 24 taught me- lessons on friends, marriage, faith, and finding myself

okay. if i had to choose a post that i was most nervous to hit publish so far- this is probably it. and honestly, it’s not because of putting it out there to people i don’t know personally (yet!), but because of the people who i live life with on a day to day basis who have either lived these lessons with me, or have been gracious enough to allow me to learn them when i don’t put them into practice consistently. 

so hear me out. you ready? this is not a list of things i do well. most of these things i am learning the hard way through trials and uncomfortable conversations, hurt feelings and lots of tears. if i could make a goal for my next year of life, it would be to read this list regularly and remind myself to put these lessons into practice. 

so here goes nothing:

FRIENDSHIPS

1. don’t cling so tightly to the way a friendship used to be that you can’t allow it to grow and change as your life changes.

2. give your friends grace, because there’s probably more things they’re giving you grace for than you realize or care to admit.

3. support your friends the way they need to be supported, which may not necessarily be the way you would want to be supported. 

4. don’t project feelings onto your friends. don’t read into a text message or comment with a tone you’ve assigned to them- it creates a problem in your mind that probably isn’t there.

5. facetime and marco polo are some of the greatest inventions when your friends live hundreds of miles away.

6. quality is always greater than quantity- with conversations, time, and friends. surround yourself with people who will lift you up and encourage you to be who God is calling you to be. 

MARRIAGE

7. two words that are the hardest but most necessary to say (and mean): i’m sorry.

8. just because you’re spending time just the two of you, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s quality time. make sure you’re carving out time that is specifically dedicated to your spouse. (no phones, no work, no distractions!)

9. seek advice from others wisely- don’t share grievances about your spouse with anyone and everyone. keep your words ultimately honoring of your spouse.

10. if you notice a little thing your spouse is doing for you- say something! don’t assume they know you’re thankful for it. 

11. it’s okay to ask for help. marriage is amazing and so challenging all at the same time, and you don’t have to always act like you have it figured out!

12. remember you’re on the same team. it’s not you vs. your spouse, and i need to learn how to approach “constructive conversations” (arguments) with this in mind.

FAITH

13. it’s never too late to take a step you feel like God has been calling you to take, even if you feel like it might be “out of order.” (spencer and i were baptized this year, even though we’ve been believers for most of our lives.)

14. your gifts are always going to be most fulfilling when you’re using them for the glory of God. 

15. LOVE. OTHER. PEOPLE. that’s it. no ifs, ands, or buts. “a new command I give you: love one another. as I have loved you, so you must love one another. by this, everyone will know you’re my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35

16. no sin is greater than another sin. who am I to judge? i’m called to love, and through that love, point others to a life that is fulfilled to it’s greatest potential.

17. i should NEVER ever let myself feel like i have it all figured out. because I never will, and my prayer is that by pressing into learning more about Him, i will never become hard hearted towards others. 

18. i serve a loving God who wants the best for me. this is not something i have always believed when i really allowed myself to think about it. 

WHO I AM

19. my greatest area of weakness is self confidence. this has caused me to miss out on opportunities to be who God wants me to be. 

20. i am an outgoing introvert, in a very extroverted job. when i’m feeling overwhelmed, i need to remember it’s okay to take time to get recharged.

21. it’s okay to say no. i’m a people pleaser through and through and this is SOHARD.

22. i am very heavily influenced by other peoples’ expectations and opinions.

23. i have a lot of strengths that i immediately dismiss. for the longest time, i’ve viewed this as a form of “humility” but in reality, i think it’s a disservice to the way i’m uniquely gifted and doesn’t allow me to fully use those gifts to their fullest potential.

24. i love blogging. and even though a lot of people make fun of it- i’m becoming okay with that. this little corner of the internet has allowed me to learn so much about myself and the way i view the world. 

so thank you for your support and kind words. i have a feeling 25 is going to be another crazy ride, and i can’t wait to look back on this list in a year, and see how much more God is teaching me and helping me grow. 

here’s to another year full of laughter, new challenges, adventures, trials, good food and conversation, love, and life.

xoxo

love, laura