This past Sunday, October 20th, 2019 I turned 27 years old! Although one close friend told me I’m still a baby :D, I couldn’t help feeling this was a mini milestone in my life.
I spent the day surrounded by loved ones and feeling incredibly blessed by the life God has authored for me and the people I’m privileged to know and do life with.
Some of you may know my story, but I never would have imagined at 27 I would be leading the life I do or would have gone through the many experiences I have (most good, some bad, a few ugly). By God’s grace I’ve been able to truly live for God in my twenties, overcome depression, anxiety, and self hatred, marry an incredible man of God, together have three of some of the most beautiful, hilarious, adventurous, and energetic children (in my opinion 😀 ) you’ll ever meet, graduate from two institutions, travel the world, and speak to women on everything from my water birth stories to being a married millennial. It’s been an adventure, at times its felt like sinking at other times like walking on the water, but above all it’s been the greatest journey I could have every asked for and one I’m so grateful to be able to continue.
I began to reflect on the lessons learned from these “baby” 27 years and wanted to share some of the biggest takeaways I’ve had. I still have so much more to learn and to grow in, but I at least have learned one thing a year and whatever I’ve learned I want to give to you :D. These are my 27 Takeaways I’ve gleaned from my journey of life, love, and motherhood.
27 Takeaways for Year 27:
- You will never regret the steps of Faith you took, even the ones you feel were missteps or you took and seemingly fell on your face. The very mistakes you were embarrassed to make will end up being the very areas you will help others in and that others will ask for your advice in. What you may regret is times you didn’t step out due to fear of making a mistake.
- Take time for a break when you need it. You don’t have to be superwoman. You were made for more than just work, but need rest and refreshing. Sometimes a break is a nap, other times it may be a run, a bubble bath, or even a girls getaway.
- Forgive yourself and let go of guilt from past mistakes, many of them you made when you were still discovering who you were and what you believe. You’re human and you make and will continue to make mistakes. Make amends as much as you can but don’t hold yourself a prisoner, forgive and free yourself to more forward.
- Nurture your creativity. In the grind of life, it can be so easy to forget to take time for the things you love most. In especially busy seasons it can even seem overly indulgent to take time to do something creative, but it’s so important to your well being and quality of life to allow yourself to be creative. Whatever creative activity makes you come alive, whether its painting or spoken word, make time for it and make time for it often.
- Don’t be afraid of hard work, many of your dreams will take hard work to achieve and that’s okay, you can do it. I remember after giving birth being amazed that I was truly stronger than I ever realized. I was capable of doing hard things and didn’t have to be afraid to work hard or give it my all. As women we’re often told we’re beautiful, but I also wanted to tell you you are strong and can do difficult things.
- Let go of or create healthy boundaries with people who feel entitled to you rather than grateful for you . It took me a while to learn that no one is entitled to me. I used to struggle with attempting to please everyone and believing I had to do whatever was expected of me. Of course I love others and want to support them when I can, but I now know I belong to God not people and this truth informs my actions and decisions with how I spend my time.
- You are worthy of being pursued by the one God has for you and your time is precious. When you meet the one worthy of committing a life together, you’ll realize past relationships were only counterfeits, not preparing you for marriage but instead distracting you from the true preparation of being focused on your own self development and passionate pursuit of God.
- Go for it! If it’s a dream you have, this is the time! Ask for godly counsel to step out in wisdom, but step out! Launch that blog, travel to that country, take that job, go to that school, this is your time to build the life you want to experience in your 30s, 40s 50s, etc.
- Never underestimate the power of mentorship in taking you to the next level. As an African Proverb says, You can go faster alone, but further with others.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. “Adulting” was a term our generation coined because so many of us realized we hadn’t been taught or coached in the basics or intricacies of being an adult. Your twenties have some of the greatest learning curves ever.
- Serve into someone else, selflessly, with love, not out of what you can gain but what you can give. It doesn’t have to be everyone, it can be one person. Life isn’t just about us building our own kingdom, it’s about love and relationships . There’s something beautiful that happens when we serve into the needs of someone especially older and wiser than us, we end up growing in wisdom, in compassion, even in gifting.
- Use your gifts now but don’t feel pressured to use them all at once.
- Invest in yourself, your health, your gifts, passions, spirituality, you are worth it.
- Health matters, don’t wait until a health crisis to make your health and wellness seriously. Start eating healthier now, start drinking water now, exercising, eating greens, taking vitamins now. It seems small but you are laying the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for you and your future family.
- Mental health matters, take it one day at a time if you need to, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and find 3-5 things you love and work it into your life regularly. Like Joyce Meyer said, try to include “work, worship, rest, and play” in every day.
- You’re not missing out. In certain seasons you may not be able to make it to every event, party, especially as a new mom, a busy student, a newly wed pinching pennies. In these seasons you can feel like you’re missing out but be assured that you’re nurturing what’s most important. You’ll be amazed in a few years to see that God truly restores and redeems every sacrifice you make.
- Comparison is a trap set to steal your joy and time, there’s only one you and you are so needed as your authentic self. Let go of comparison and bask in your unique beauty. You are one of a kind!
- Try new things be open to explore, you have your entire life ahead of you. It’s okay to try something out of your comfort zone, who knows it may unlock whole new passions and experiences for you.
- Let go of doing things out of wanting the approval of others, it will make you a disgenuine person, live for the applause of the only One whose opinion of you truly matters. You are already amazing, beautiful, unique, full of boundless potential, whether others fully see it or not.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself if you’re not where you wanted to be it takes time, you’re in marathon not a sprint. Take it one day at a time if you need. Don’t underestimate the power of taking one step forward.
- Choose to honor honor-worthy people in your life, and your parents, as one of my mentors said “give them their roses while they’re still here”, if it’s a birthday, holiday, or just because give your words, time, and presence as a way to honor.
- Keep sharpening your gifts and allow others to sharpen you.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you, you should have people pouring into you, people you feel sharpened and inspired by walking with you, and people you are reach out pouring into.
- Be who Gods called you to be, go where he’s called you to go, say what he’s called you to say
- Take time to cultivate the disciplines of praying, reading your word, serving at and going to church weekly, plugging in to a local church. Now these things are seen as religious but I know God used these regular spiritual practices to keep me and develop me into the woman I am today
- Reach out for help you weren’t meant to do this alone and we need each other. We were made for community and the beauty of having community in your life far outweighs the cost of letting go of perfectionism in order to enjoy authentic relationship.
- Allow yourself to grow and redefine who you are. You don’t have to just accept who others say you are or who you were in elementary middle or high school if that person doesn’t align with who you know you truly are or are becoming, you are allowed to change and evolve and most likely you have and will continue to.
I pray these 27 life lessons have been helpful to you and encourage you in your own journey! As I always say, I truly believe God is writing our stories, Page by Page. When we allow Him, He’ll write the greatest masterpiece we ever could have imagined. I’m a living witness to this and I can’t wait to learn more about your own story!
What life lessons have you learned? Did any resonate with you or any you would want to add? What advice do you wish someone shared with you in your twenties? I would love to hear from and respond to you!
Sending so much love your way!