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Reflections From The Birthday Girl

I turned 31 on Tuesday.  And I did what any self-respecting, brand new 31 year old would do...

I baked myself a cake that looked and tasted like a giant Oreo.

It was a sweet ending to a week of special birthday celebrations!  My friends had brought me a surprise cake and spent a fun evening playing Scrabble with us, my mom threw me a delightful surprise brunch where all my girlfriends wore aprons and luscious Southern fare was served, and my husband, kids, and I spent a beautiful day at the beach.  

And actually, I did a lot of reflecting in between the celebrating on the life lessons I have learned from the ages of 20 to 30.  I pondered what insights I have gained through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful of the past decade of my life.  I could honestly write for hours about this, but I chose to narrow it down to three statements....

I do not know everything.  

When I was in college, I claimed James 1:5 and started praying for wisdom, trusting that God would indeed give it to me as the verse promises.  Through the years I have asked and seen Him grant wisdom liberally to me, and it has been invaluable as I have encountered so many interesting situations as an adult.  However, the more wisdom I gain, the more I realize how much wisdom I need.  The more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know.  The more I learn, the more I realize how much I have to learn.  At 31 I have come very far, but I have a long, long way to go.  I do not know everything.

I cannot do everything.

One of the lies that we as women often believe is that we can do it all.  Interestingly enough, as women have bought into this lie and tried to be and do everything there is more depression, dissatisfaction, and discontentment than ever before.  By nature, I am an overachiever and people pleaser.  I like to work hard and make people happy.  I like to take on a lot of roles and do my part to change the world.  Even though I grew up with a very wise dad who talked a lot about balance, I sometimes lost mine.  I would take on too much and become overwhelmed physically and emotionally.  Having kids changed a lot for me; it was when I realized how much I was responsible for their health, development, and well being that I became a better manager of my time and priorities.  I realized that I cannot be effective to mentor, lead, and care for others if I am not properly taking care of my husband and kids.  I awakened to the fact that when we try to do it all, something or someone always gives.  I have learned that sometimes busy is good, and other times busy is just busy.  And I have been amazed that as I have tried to intentionally lead a balanced life putting God and my family first, I have seen God use me as this love for them overflows into the lives of others.  In fact, I am still able to accomplish quite a bit and am better at what I do when I admit I am not superwoman and I cannot do everything.

God is everything.

He is my savior, my redeemer, my truest friend.  My comfort, my shelter, my defender.  My stability, my rock, my protector.  My first love, my next breath, my only hope.  He is the beginning and the end, the creator and sustainer of all things.  He is above all, through all, and in all.  He is the giver of abundant life on earth and eternal life in Heaven. God is everything.  

So as I blew out the birthday candles on my giant Oreo and embraced another year, I could do so joyously acknowledging that I do not know everything; I cannot do everything....

But God is everything!

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