Birthday Reflections:: Life Lessons Learned on Life and Love

September marked the month I made my debut into the world. This year I turned 37 years old. I thought it would be fun to do a list of life lessons I have learned over the years. I wanted to list them out in random order, #1 – #37. As I was listing them out, I realized that 37 was a big number, so I decided to take a different direction and I ended up picking my top three life lessons and discuss their importance and why they are my top three. 

Lesson #1: Love Your Parents

Birthday Reflections:: Life Lessons Learned on Life and Love

This might seem like an easy one, right? Well, you may be surprised that some women have a hard time realizing this truth. From the moment of conception, my parents loved me and cared for me. For as long as I can remember, they have provided for my needs in more ways than one. I remember when I became a parent. That sense of love and protection for the being inside me overwhelmed me with so much emotion. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I completely understood the sacrifices made for me by my parents many, many years ago and in many, many ways. I knew that I wanted my children to ‘be better and have better’ than I had growing up. I now recognize that in certain situations and in certain circumstances how my parents provided for me and my brothers and sister. 

I do realize that we live in a broken world. I know that there are people in this world who did not have the same opportunity to grow up in a two parent household, or even with parents. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, or your grandparents. Maybe you are a child who was raised in foster care or adopted by another family. My point in listing my parents  as my number one life lesson is to give them praise and value to the sacrifices they made when I was younger. Were they always perfect? No. Were they hard on me? Yes. Are they perfect now? No. But I love them with all my heart and will continue loving them regardless of their flaws.

Lesson #2: Love Hurts

Birthday Reflections:: Life Lessons Learned on Life and Love

This leads me to the second of my life lessons… Love Hurts. I read somewhere {I think it was on facebook} where someone said “Love isn’t supposed to hurt.” I remember reading that and was like “WHAT???” I really hope she doesn’t believe that, because love does hurt. It hurts a lot! As parents, our hearts ache when we discipline our children, but why do we do it? Because we love them and we want them to know the difference between right and wrong. Our children will say hurtful, mean things to us, and we all know that words hurt. I always think of Proverbs 15:4 which states, “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Or what about the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I beg to differ. 

My husband and I have a very honest relationship in terms of how we communicate to one another. Our words to each other hurt at times. One thing I absolutely loathe about my husband is that he is quick to call out my sinful side, and yes, it hurts! But he does it because he loves me and wants me to be better. Like when I have a short temper with the children. I am NOT saying that it is okay to abuse one another, whether that is physically, verbally, emotionally, or spiritually. That is NOT what love is. Do you want to know what the perfect example of love is, for me?! All I do is look to the cross of Christ. It is there that Jesus Christ, himself, bore my sins and died for me so that I may come to God’s throne of grace and be accepted as a child of the Most High. When I think of love and why it hurts, that is what I think of.

Lesson #3: Asking For Help Does Not Make You Weak

Birthday Reflections:: Life Lessons Learned on Life and Love

This one should be an easy one, but it is the one I often struggle with it, especially as a mom. I used to think that asking for help was a sign of weakness. But is it really? NO! Get that out of your head right now. As parents, we have the blessing of raising the next generation. That, in and of itself, is a HUGE task. Then throw in your daily obligations, like laundry, cleaning, cooking, extra-curricular activities, AND then some of you work full-time or part-time jobs. WOW! Typing that out makes me anxious already. If you are like me, you already have help in the form of a loving spouse. Some of you may be reading this as a single parent and seek the assistance of grandparents, a nanny, or close friends. Whomever your tribe is that helps you, trust me, they do not think you are weak. They think you are a pretty Bad A mom! So, next time you second guess whether or not to ask for help, girl, lay aside that inner voice that says “people will think you are weak” and just do it! Taking care of yourself enables you to take care of the loved ones you are entrusted with.

So there you have it. My top three life lessons that are important to me. I hope and pray that these brought you encouragement. Please feel free to share with me {and our readers} a life lesson you have learned. We would all love to hear them. 

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