I am 32 years old! To God be the glory.
January 9th, 2019 marked my big day and to be completely honest, I really thought I was turning 31 again. But I soon remembered that wasn’t the case. For some reason, I stopped counting once I turned 30. I’ve just been living my life and really loving it.
I couldn’t always say that. These past 5 years have been a struggle. A progression that has challenged me in the greatest of ways. I’ve experienced heartbreak like I’ve never experienced before. I’ve experienced what it means to be far away from God in my heart. I’ve been lowly in spirit, bitter, and have had a chronic negative attitude. I’ve been a severe people pleaser, placed myself and my wants over my family, turned my back on blessings from God. I’ve kept drama going in my life, I’ve not walked in love toward my husband, I’ve fallen over and over as a mother, the list goes on and on.
But this is the year of restoration. God is restoring the relationship between Him and I. He is personally waving His banner of love over me. He wipes my tears, lifts my head, is healing my heart. He is showing me how to forgive others who have wounded me. He is showing me how to ask for forgiveness. He is showing me that I am worthy of being a wife loved by her husband. He is showing me what real community looks like. He is showing me I am worth having children who are healthy, brilliant and strong. He is showing me how to repent often and to quickly turn back to Him. He is showing me how to truly love and shine His light in this world. He is showing me Himself and I’m just overwhelmed with gladness and gratefulness. I very much still do have hard days, but I know I can lay my burdens down at the feet of Jesus and He will help me.
I’m not an expert in the least bit, but these are a few things that I have learned as a married mama at the age of 32:
Make time for God, no matter what.
Pray about EVERYTHING. Pray about you and God’s relationship. Pray for your husband. Pray for your children. Pray for you ministry. Pray for people when God prompts you. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Ask Jesus to come into your situation. I have learned, nothing is too big or small. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)
Choose to do what God says in His word over how you feel.
It will save you from having to go back to apologize for something said or done because of a fleeting emotion. (Isaiah 40:8, Ephesians 4:26, 1 Peter 3:9)
When you mess up, repent.
God is faithful to forgive us when we confess our sin to Him. (1 John 1:9, Romans 3:23)
4. Always choose to please God over pleasing people.
Always be strong and courageous in this. (Galatians 1:10, Joshua 1:9 - my birthday verse)
5. Me and my husband are one.
Treating him like the second most important relationship (after God) will pay off. I’ve seen God bless me when I am intentional about that. (Genesis 3:21-25, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
6. Submit to your husband’s leadership.
If what he is asking you to do isn’t going to harm you or lead you away from Jesus, do it. It will be hard at times, but that’s when we zip our lips and pray. We are not doormats, we speak up when necessary but we allow God to correct our husband’s hearts. God is faithful to do it. We are accountable to God to do what His Word says. We can’t just look at our husbands and what they are not doing, we have to allow God to work on us. God will handle our husbands. I have seen this first hand. (Ephesians 5:22-23,1 Peter 3:1-2, Proverbs 21:1
7. The people outside of your marriage are not more important than your husband.
Listen, don’t put yourself through the heartache caring about outsiders over your man. They are not in your home with you. They are not doing living with you. They didn’t marry you, your husband did. It’s important to care and love people, but NOBODY but God comes before your spouse. NOBODY. I have learned. Honor, serve, respect, help and pray for your man. (Genesis 3:18, Hebrews 13:4, Mark 10:9, 1 Corinthians 7:34c)
8. Don’t go man hunting. The world will tell you to do it, but don’t. Your husband will find you.
I am a witness. It might take longer than you would like, but just wait. Allow God to cultivate you, transform you, grow you while waiting. Have fun, see the world, enjoy your single-hood. It’s not a death sentence. God knows what your desires are, He has not forgotten. When it’s time, it will happen. When it happens, let your man find you running after Jesus. Let that man pursue you. It won’t matter if you are on a desert island, when it’s time for your husband to find you, God will lead him straight to you. God knows exactly where you are located. (1 Corinthians 7:34b, Proverbs 18:22)
9. I am literally pouring into the next generation as I raise our son and daughter.
Listennnn. It took me a long minute before I really grasped this. I have the honor and privilege of being a full time mommy and have been with them since the day they were born. At first, I was super self-conscious about that. Here I was a young, married college educated young woman who couldn’t find a job for nothing. Trying to get my sea legs as a new wife and then BAM! Elijah was born. On top of that, I still couldn’t find a job. So I was bitter and mad and didn’t take on motherhood with much excitement. I was scared and nervous and truthfully insecure about it. I complained for years that I had to be at home. But God helped me. He checked me and woke my behind up. Now, I am running so hard after being the best mommy I can be to our little blessings. Now, I could care less what people think about me as I raise our children. All I know is, these babies are going to be educated, they will be discerning and they are going to know who Jesus is, ok? They have seen their mom argue, yell, run away, repent, apologize, dedicate my life to God, worship hard, pray, serve, stand up, be bold, fight for them, and more! They have seen it all and God has been right there. My prayer is that I am a testimony that no matter how FAR you fall, God will be there to help you get back on track. (1 Timothy 5:8, Psalm 127:3-5, Matthew 21:15-16, Matthew 18:2-6, Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:7, Matthew 18:10, Mark 10:13-16)
10. Learn to always walk in the fruit of the Spirit.
Pray that God will help you not to slack in this. (Galatians 5:22)
11. Don’t chase friendships.
By God’s grace, I don’t say that bitterly. This is a tender thing. Sometimes, it’s hard to know when to keep going in a relationship or to just peacefully walk away. Sometimes, it’s a gradual drifting. I’ve learned over the years to let the process happen. We can’t force people to be our friends, no matter how awesome you think you are. If a transition is happening, pray and continually be led by the Holy Spirit and not how you feel. He may say pull back or lean in. Trust His promptings. He will make whatever is suppose to happen, happen. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
12. God will lead you to the right friends, to the right relationships, and to the right church community in His perfect timing. (Psalm 68:6a)
13. Some people are not going to like you, you may not know why but still love them.
This can be a hard one. For me it is. Why? I am a reflector by nature. I give people the same energy (not that new age “good vibes” crap) when I say energy, I mean, emotion wise. If someone is genuinely excited to get to know me, I will give them that same excitement. If it seems like someone doesn’t want to be bothered with me, I will write them off in my heart. (and possibly unfollow them on the ‘gram. Just being honest.) That’s the world’s system, though. And honestly, it makes sense. But God charges us to love the people who don’t like us. I’m not saying make people your enemy, but when you know, you know. And once we know, we as daughters of God have a responsibly to love them. Not be extra or kiss behinds, but just love them when you get the chance (Romans 13:8, I Corinthians 13). I still struggle with this, but I’m learning.
At the end of my life I want to hear from God that I pleased Him in the way I loved people who loved me and in the way I loved people who didn’t love me. (Matthew 5:23-48)
14. No amount of makeup not even a super fly hairstyle can cover up a nasty spirit.
Let God cultivate a beautiful, unfading spirit within you. (1 Peter 3:3-6, Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 31:30)
15. Learn now to say “no” and stand by it. (Matthew 5:37)
Be firm. Have a backbone. People will respect you for it.
16. Mind your own business. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
There is too much going on in my life to be obsessing and worried about what someone else is doing.
17. Trust that God will bring to pass what He has put inside of you.
He hasn’t forgotten you. Don’t be afraid. (Philippians 1:6)
18. Everything that glitters isn’t gold.
Test every spirit and carefully examine your own heart . (1 John 4:1, 2 Corinthians 13:5)
19. Finally, the older I get, the more I value peace.
There is a difference between, God disrupting my comfort so that I handle a urgent matter. I doesn’t always feel good, but following God’s direction and completing what He says only brings about more peace! However, If something is not of God and it’s disrupting my peace, it’s got to go. There is too much kingdom work to be done tangled up in mess, distractions and confusion. Let it go. (Psalm 34:14)
These things are just scratching the surface and God is still perfecting this and so much more within me. I welcome the process.
God is just so good. He has loved me so well all these years. I just make to make Him happy. I want to do a good work for Him while I’m still here. Praying He continues to get all the glory from my life. So thankful the Lord has allowed me to see another birthday.
What have you learned over the years? Please share your wisdom from the Lord below. Can’t wait to ready what you share!
The Lightingale exists to encourage and empower imperfect women in the perfect love of Christ.