This little birdie just turned 30 and I have to say that this year has been eventful to say the least! I have grown leaps and bounds! I got engaged, planned my own wedding, got married in Big Sur, California, honeymooned in Muai, Hawaii for 10 days, moved 1 week later to another state into a house after being in NYC for 27 years, I got a brand new car, and I’m looking for a new job! What else could I have possibly wanted or have done for my 30th birthday??? I didn’t want a thing! I already have more than I deserve and I give all the glory to God for taking my mess of a life and turning it into something I could have never imagined or dreamed up for myself! Here are 30 things that I have learned along the way.
1. Change is good. Change makes you grow! Change is an uncomfortable thing because we are creatures of habit and comfort. But if your not changing then it means your gonna keep doing the same old same old. So if you’re too comfortable it means you’re not growing.
2. Be transparent. You can’t grow and get help if you’re not honest with yourself and others. Living a facade to maintain an image is a waste of your purpose. Concealing your reality stunts growth and prevents true change. Every meaningful relationship requires transparency and openness. This means leaving the blinds open with your spouse, family, and friends.
3. There is a definition to love. Here it is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. -via NIV Bible
4. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering – Miguel Ruiz
5. Don’t believe everything you think and feel. Instead say, God show me what you want, teach me to think like you, and help me to feel what you feel. I know in my past I have felt like running away a few times. That would have meant leaving my son Jaden behind. I have also felt suicidal, that would have meant leaving all my loved ones behind. I also thought that two other guys I was with before my husband were my soul mates and I was gonna have an island of their babies. What I’m trying to get at is, I was wrong despite how I felt and what I thought. Trust in what you “know” rather than what you think and feel. Trust me, your thoughts and feelings will eventually follow.
6. Don’t let anyone or anything define you. My past, my clothes, my ethnic background, my college degrees, my role as a mom, my hair, my body, my relationship with my husband, Urbanbushbabes, my job, my friends, my family, my appearance, my creativity, what someone thinks of me, none of these things define me. My identity is in Christ. I can’t base my identity on anyone of those things because they can fail me at anytime. It also allows insecurity and jealousy to creep in because you end up constantly comparing yourself to others, trying to compete against others, and will always have to one up yourself. But I know God will never fail me and I don’t ever have to compete because I know who I am in him and that he has a plan for me. Once I realized this, I stopped living for these things, I stopped trying to prove things to people, and I stopped seeking validation from others. I’m nothing in myself, but I’m grateful that I know who I am in him!
7. Imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery. Not only do you annoy the heck out of the person you’re copying from, but you are just doing yourself a disservice when you do what someone else does. You end up following their vision and purpose and not your own. God created you as an original and he has a plan for you that doesn’t look like anyone else’s plan. You can’t enjoy someone else’s gift if your busy trying to be what they are. And when your busy trying to be what someone else is, you can’t fully be yourself.
8. Don’t project onto people and don’t let people project their reality onto you. Thanks to the cleverness of the unconscious mind, we are able to manipulate our picture of reality and see it as we wish to see it—usually in a way that initially makes us feel more comfortable. For example, an unfaithful spouse might conclude that everyone is unfaithful, since this would reflect his or her own experiences. As a defense mechanism, this allows people to feel more comfortable about themselves because they think they see traits in common with others.
9. TRUE BEAUTY: The world bombards us with messages about what is beautiful and handsome. It sets standards for our physical appearance and our material success that penetrate our minds and shape our personalities and goals – often without us even realizing it. It is difficult to ignore these loud and ever-present voices as they speak to us from magazines, television, movies, the Internet, and advertising. The problem is, these messages can lead us astray. To cope with all this, we need to ask God to help us be content with the way we are. God made us, and it’s wrong for us to think He made a mistake. Some of the most unhappy people possess great beauty or wealth, yet their lives are empty and without meaning. God loves us just as we are! We must also focus on what the Bible calls true beauty – the beauty of a godly character, “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” ~ 1 Peter 3:4. – via I Want A Godly Marriage
10. Who ever said, “you can have it all” was very mislead. You can’t have everything without sacrificing something. Ask the CEO of Google if she has enough time to spend with her family. So figure out what means the most to you and then prioritize.
11. Don’t marry someone you wouldn’t want your children to be like.
12. Live a life serving others. Take the focus off of yourself and find out what you can do for someone else on a daily basis. That’s where true joy begins!
13. It’s not what someone says it’s what someone does. Don’t believe what people say, believe what they do .A lot of times we see people who may be successful on the outside, but inwardly are empty and confused. The way we live speaks far louder than our words.
14. Always forgive no matter what! And forgive quickly! God forgives us a million times over, so who am I not to forgive someone?!
15. Always believe the best in people. Don’t assume, get the facts! This is something I just started to do because I’ve been hurt so many times by people I always kept my guard up.
16. Be very careful with who you take advice from. Make sure they are living what they speak or have experienced it themselves. Also make sure the “word” they have for you lines up with the “Word” of God.
17. Be humble. The humble are quick to forgive & difficult to offend. They are peacemakers who adapt & adjust in order to keep peace. – Via Joyce Meyer
18. Let go of your plans and let God reveal his purpose and plan for your life. God’s plan is better than my plan. I ask God to not give me things that aren’t for me. God is the author and finisher of my faith, but God doesn’t have to finish anything that he didn’t author. God please, if I’m asking for anything that is not you don’t give it to me! The worst thing I can do is be in a place that you don’t want me to be in.
19. Learn from your mistakes, don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Albert Einstein defined this as insanity.
20. Have a teachable spirit. Allow loved ones to correct you and tell you about yourself. Correction doesn’t feel good, but it’s necessary for growth.
21. Surrender. As Dr. Phil always says, “How’s that working for you?”. If you have been doing certain things or living your life a certain way and it hasn’t been working for you, then it’s time to do something different. My life was full of worry, stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, and panic attacks. I was a control freak who was happy one moment and down the next. I was addicted to dysfunctional relationships and weed. I held onto to people and things that God wanted me to let go of. My life completely changed once I surrendered and let God take over my life.
22. Don’t stress, don’t be anxious, and don’t worry. Prayer replaces worry. There is no tea, no exercise, no medication, etc… that can replace the peace that God can give you once you really have faith and trust in him. You can’t have faith and worry at the same time.
23. Don’t complain. Instead praise and give thanks! I use to be a chronic complainer, until I learned that the root of complaining was ungratefulness and selfishness.
24. There is beauty in simplicity. Less is more! It teaches you to appreciate every little thing!
25. You can fix things, but not people. Don’t try to fix people, I don’t care if they say you’re the only one who can fix it. You’re not God and only he can heal whatever deep rooted issues they have.
26. Accept people for who they are now. Everyone has potential but many never fulfill it. Many people hang onto the past or let future hopes and the pretty pictures they’ve painted cloud their vision. They don’t realize that the past and future doesn’t exist, only the present exists. So accept them for who they are today, not who they were yesterday or who you think they will be in the future.
27. If you live off man’s compliments you’ll die from his criticism.” ~ Cornelius Lindsey
28. Judge not. So many people take these words the wrong way. Convinced that those who follow God should be accepting and tolerant of everything – even sinful things. When we hear such attitudes, remind ourself that God have asked us to strive for something the world does not understand: Holiness. He wants us to stand out, to stand strong – and at times to stand against evil – but for the right reasons. So the issue is not for us to bend over backwards to accept anything in the name of tolerance: the issue is for us to be discerning and loving in all our ways, in honor of His holy name.Judgement belongs to God and God alone. Wisdom and discernment are what He gives us so that we can humbly present His truths and yet speak for Him in love. When our words are seasoned with His grace rather than judgement, just watch – He will use our words to draw people to Him. When we do wrong in our relationships, marriages and lives, we can’t just expect everyone to turn their heads and not speak truth in love to us. Now that we know better, we must do better .Matthew 7:1-12 -via I Want A Godly Marriage
29. Get help. If you have issues from childhood, are dealing with issues now, seek professional therapy or spiritual counseling. Mental health is the biggest part of maintaining any type of healthy relationship. And beyond that it’s just awesome to have a mentor or someone who is living a transformed life to seek wise council from. If you have been trying to do it by yourself and nothing has changed, then do something different and get help. I was in therapy for 2 years and it help me understand where stuff was coming from, it also allowed me to hear a professional give me feed back and shut me down! In addition to therapy and what I still continue now is reading the Bible, praying and meditating on it, listening to my pastor at church, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and my husband and friends praying with me. I also seek council from people who I know are serious with their walk with God. They have a lot of wisdom. This has all transformed my life.
And lastly I will leave you with these words from an unknown author:
30. We are always waiting for something, for it to be the weekend, to be finished school, till summer, till we are 18. We are always got dang waiting , and what’s sad is we miss every beautiful moment in the ‘present’ because we spend our whole lives waiting for tomorrow and for the future , we end up skipping our whole lives and one day we will spend our last day waiting on a tomorrow that will never come.
Don’t live in your past or your future! Live today! It’s all we really have! With love Nikisha <3
*Picture taken by my hubby