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9 Things I've Learned In My 30s

Emily Saunders

 

9 Things I’ve Learned During 9 years of my 30s

I just turned 39.  I’m so close to 40 but not quite there.  It’s an interesting place to be.  As I reflected last week on the past (almost) decade, I quickly jotted down 9 things that I’ve learned really without thinking. At 39 I have 4 little boys.  I worked full time in the corporate world when I turned 30.  Now I’m a part-time entrepreneur.  I was obsessed with fitness and nutrition at 30.  Now I just want to be strong and healthy.  I was a perfectionist at 30.  Now I’m so much more laid back about ALL things (kids will do that).

Here are my 9:

  1. Parenting is NOTHING Like I thought it would be.  The input doesn’t always equal the output. Life is messy.  Kids are messier. The peaks and the valleys are all bigger than I imagined.
  2. God only gives you the grace you need.  No more.  No less. I’ve had 1 kid, 2 kids, 4 kids, 2 kids again, and back to 4.  Never did I have extra grace.  Never did God leave me without enough.
  3. I am not the Holy Spirit for my kids. I am the bow, they are the arrows. All I can do is pray, listen, point and shoot with the wisdom that He provides.
  4. Marriage is so important. It matters so much more than it’s valued.  It is NOT about my personal fulfillment.  It’s about communication, encouragement, constantly falling in love again and again (seasons change and people change), figuring each other out in each new season, and sacrifice.  It’s about growing together as we grow closer to Jesus.  Any other way just won’t work.
  5. A perfect body will never fulfill. The hard truth is skin gets saggy, wrinkles happen, metabolisms and bodies change.  Honoring our bodies is important but so is living life.  Eat well and exercise most of the time but remember finding our identities in our looks will always fail us.
  6. Being a “strong woman” means growing in grace not power. I don’t need more power. I need relationships and with God and His people.  There is absolutely nothing to prove.
  7. You can only be loved to the extent that you’re known. I give my pastor, Brandon, credit for this one.  He says it almost every Sunday.  We live in a world of highlight reels, but real life is real life and every single person is messy, yes even in church. So many people are lonely and seeking relationships.  Everyone wants to matter.  The world encourages us to seek community in all the wrong things. Building a foundation on authenticity and approaching life knowing we are each depraved sinners is the only way to truly thrive.
  8. True Success is defined by obedience to God.That’s it.  I don’t care how many millions of dollars you have, if you’re not obedient to God’s plans and will then you will never be satisfied.  On the other hand, you can fail and fall on your face in the world’s eyes, but if you’re walking in obedience, you will never truly fail.
  9. There is room for everyone. Comparison, jealousy, envy. They all happen when we put ourselves at the center.  When we are doing #8, we will realize that God is abundantly generous.  We don’t need to feel threatened by others’ successes. There is plenty to go around.

 

Thanks for following along!  I pray that He never stops teaching me and pulling me in toward Him yet pouring me out for others!

-Coach Emily


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