Things I’ve Learned – Reflecting on 30 years


The title above sounds silly because really our consciousness dates only so far back. My earliest memory was when I was 2.5 on a houseboat in Lake Havasu. I remember my dad letting me “drive the boat” and even at 2 I remember feeling scared I would crash it into the rocks because (shhhh…I didn’t know how to drive yet.!) I remember that same trip getting eaten alive by fire ants on an island we stopped to eat lunch at, and then being tossed into the water nearby to rid me of their stings. Oh the memories…

Today has been a day of reflection. I worked a bit. Picked up Jack from pre-school, hung out with Charlie and drove thru Starbucks. Nothing out of the ordinary or dramatic. Just a regular day. I tend to like birthdays. Even as an introvert, I love celebrations. I might blush when people sing to me or get a bit awkward opening up gifts in front of a group of even my closest friends, but I do love celebrating. There is so much in life that doesn’t call for celebration and so I try and enjoy the memory making. I absorb it. So, I tried to make this a day of inward celebration & reflection.

So, on to that list. I know you’re all dying to hear it. I’m not someone that keeps a bucket list or has a “to do before I die” list. I think I never really knew what to put on them. I like lists though, so I’ll put it all out to there, as simply as my mind will allow it. Sometimes my brain has a hard time succinctly capturing the nugget I’d like to share, until it’s fully digested. Maybe that’s why I like to write instead of speak. It’s like a brief therapy session on my screen.

My #1: Be present for all seasons of life. Whether it’s filled with joy or sorrow, choose to show up.

  1. No matter what, guys don’t replace toilet paper rolls. And…just for the record, it goes over, not under.
  1. The days I don’t’ do my hair I get the most compliments. Note to self: Never do your hair.
  1. Pickles are the best vegetable. They’re salty and crisp and fresh and forever will be one of my favorite snack foods. Disneyland has the best ones. Just incase you needed any convincing about a pickle.
  1. Pain is pain. Experiences are different, but it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve been thru., Just because someone hasn’t walked your same journey, doesn’t mean you’re alone in it. That’s the cool thing about love.
  1. Little boys are like fresh air to the soul. They test, they’re silly, they teach and exhaust. I work every day to be better for them. Jack is like beams of light on pieces of my soul that can get murky from life’s experiences. I’ve never met a child with the ability to sense a spirit and speak to it directly. Charlie, even though young, is my contemplator and I enjoy watching his mind take in the scenes of our day and surprise me with a giggle or belly laugh over the simplest of things. Their uniqueness shows me the creativity of the creator.
  1. Make sure to say thank you. I’m sure there are plenty of thank you’s I’ve missed over the years. A thank you can change an entire perspective.
  1. Don’t be defined by the roles you have in life. I am a wife, mom, business owner, pastor’s kid, ministry spouse, blah blah. Defining WHO I am rather than what I am, has been rewarding. Hi, I’m Lisa. A few pieces of me: I am passionate, creative, trustworthy, discerning and loyal. I love to laugh and love a good story.
  1. Marriage is about forgiveness. (Yes, to all you Parenthood fans I stole that line, but I’m pretty sure I thought it before I heard it)
  2. Life is indescribably the single most fantastic gift there is.
  3. Just because you tell the truth, doesn’t mean someone wants to hear it. Save your truth telling for matters of the heart, the things that REALLY count. Don’t lie in the other in between moments, but tread lightly and hold your tongue more than you think you should. Honesty might be easy to give, but it’s a lot harder to receive it. Be willing to do both.
  4. Prayer is powerful. Faith looks foolish. Both are necessary for tackling life. And…after you take hold of these two, it doesn’t mean life gets easier. It just means you’re anchored and have a phone-a-friend lifeline.
  5. Be true to yourself. Don’t fit the mold of ‘normal.’ Be you bravely and by bravely, I mean all of you. Every broken, messy piece.
  6. Ask questions instead of making statements. There are lots of people out there. Asking has helped me continue to learn and most of the time it’s something outside of my worldview. Perspective is everything. Once you learn something new, don’t be afraid to share it.
  7. Comprehensive health is work, but it’s a good work. Counseling doesn’t mean you’re messed up and crazy. It means you’re willing to dig out. Working out doesn’t mean you’re concerned with appearances. It means you’re willing to fight to feel comfortable in your own skin. Prayer doesn’t mean you’re ignoring reality. It means you’re grasping for just a touch of the worn threads of grace. Rebuild & mend so we can do and encourage the same in others.
  8. Commonality. Trust. Respect. Love. Relationships are usually formed along that pattern. Only then can we speak truth to an open and accepting heart.
  9. Don’t trade what’s unique to you for something else that someone else can do. – Thanks Andy Stanley for that one!
  10. Cooking is like writing. There is structure to it within a recipe, but throwing in pieces of you is what makes a dish or piece of writing, truly great. I love writing. And cooking. And eating.
  11. Pinterest mom, supermom, rockstar mom – I will never place myself consciously into a category of competition. I’m just trying to give my kids the best nuggets of wisdom, discipline, love and direction as I know how. I figure other moms are too, so I know we all don’t got time for the other nonsense.
  12. A husband who washes dishes for you is gold. A husband who tells you you’re also going out to dinner that night so you have clean dishes the whole day, priceless.
  13. Nascar is more than just cars driving in circles. Who knew I’d enjoy watching it for hours on a Sunday with Steven?
  14. I hate doing laundry. That will never change. Ever.
  15. Listen to your gut. It speaks a lot and you’ve got to train your heart to listen. Sometimes it’s fear and sometimes it’s to heed warning. Learn to decipher the difference.
  16. The statement “I WILL NEVER…” has been retracted for good from my lips. Seems as if God likes to make that a false statement in my life every time it’s uttered.
  17. Boundaries are essential for rest. Make sure you create good ones. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
  18. Learn yourself! Learning that I was a fully functioning midline introvert (meaning I can swing either way depending on the situation) and not a dysfunctional extrovert was freeing on so many levels. Read QUIET by Susan Cain if you think you might be or might be married to one. I love people. I’m not shy. I love depth to conversations. I hate small talk, being in front of the camera, and having an entire rooms attention on me unless I’m presenting something.
  19. Phobias don’t tend to just go away. My phobia of flying insects is still ever present 18 years post Japanese beetle hair entanglement-episode, during communion one fateful Sunday morning church service. If you want the full story, I can share in detail the events that took place.
  20. I enjoy building fires. It’s relaxing to me on this strange level of building something and then benefitting from it’s warmth. I’m sure there is a nice analogy in there somewhere.
  21. Sipping coffee has the ability to relax my entire being. Just the smell of it can bring me to a place of nostalgic calm.
  22. SHARE YOUR STORY! Everyone has one. Everyone’s needs a place to be heard and it just might help someone else share their’s.
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Article by: Lisa