33 years

On Saturday, I will celebrate my 33rd birthday.  Here are a few things I’ve learned (hopefully learned well) in these short years:

Keep it simple (thanks, Mom!).  Whether it’s travelling, hosting people in my home, maintaining the family schedule or working on a project– simple is better. Enjoy the experience rather than stressing over a million details.

People more than things.  Relationships are the meat of life… things aren’t. Take time to talk and take time to connect. It’s too easy to take relationships for granted.

Forgiveness.  Everyone sins, in large ways or small. Everyone has their blind spots. Circumstances are often much more complicated than they seem.  “it could have been me.”  Forgive as I have been forgiven.

Listen before you speak. Don’t make assumptions. So many times, I have thought I knew what someone was thinking or feeling, and those assumptions caused huge misunderstandings and hurt feelings where there didn’t need to be. Listen, listen, listen.

Life is hard. Relationships are hard. Decisions are hard. Transitions are hard. The brokenness in the world is agonizing. Sickness and death are so difficult. It’s the reality… yet God is near.

Life is good. In the cycles of birth, living, and death– even in the midst of so much pain and change– life is rich and full and there is joy and peace.

Humility is key. I am quickly tiring of the labeling, the pigeon-holing, the lack of humility between us. There is no reason we cannot listen to one another and respect one another’s views. We will disagree; we will see from different perspectives, but the name-calling and disrespect are not worth it. Being right is not worth the damage we do to one another. Let’s be humble before one another and God.

I’m sure there is more I will think of later… but for now, this is what I’ve learned in life. May I be moldable and humble to learn more. Thanks, God, for the richness of my life, even the painful parts, even the parts I did not choose for myself, yet you gave them anyway. I hope my life pleases You.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anya
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 13:47:06

    Happy Birthday KrisAnne! Thanks for your continued thought-provoking blogs.

    Reply

  2. Loretta
    Jul 07, 2008 @ 11:06:05

    AMEN!!!

    by the way Happy Birthday – I hope it was a good weekend

    Reply

  3. Robert Martin
    Jul 07, 2008 @ 14:12:14

    Hippo Burp-Day, a few days late.

    Some thoughts on your “learnings”.

    1) My quote from my mother is “It’s not about the programs, it’s about the relationships.” Your comments relationships being the key rings true in light of this. Amen sister!

    2) Life is hard/Life is good – It’s life. We live in a fallen world and live in a fallen creation. We cannot expect life to be easy and simple in light of this. Bad things will happen to good people, it is inevitable either because of simply the world we live in or because there IS a very real enemy set in opposition to us. But we know the end of the story and, because of that, we can quote Job and say “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away, Blessed be the name of the LORD”.

    3) On humility – Is pointing fingers and saying that everyone else needs to learn humility any better than what is already going on? The first step is to admit my own failings. I KNOW I deal with issues of humility. It’s something I face everytime I step up to the pulpit. How much of what I’m going to say is me and how much is God? The same can be said in all aspects of our personal walks. We can’t do anything about everyone else’s issues of pride…all we can do is confess our own failings and pray for our brothers and sisters.

    Reply

  4. krisanneswartley
    Jul 07, 2008 @ 14:33:48

    I’m sorry that you feel I was pointing fingers, Robert! That was certainly not my intention. I know you have been reading my blog pretty regularly over the past few months… that being the case, I would have hoped you would have remembered me confessing various times that I also need to repent of my own pride. I am not calling for something from everyone else without also pointing it out in myself. I did not share these learnings to preach at anyone or point fingers. I’m simply sharing what I’m learning and hope to continue to learn.

    Reply

  5. Robert Martin
    Jul 08, 2008 @ 09:10:31

    Hey, that’s cool, Kris! Honestly, it wasn’t you I was making that statement to, but just generally speaking. It disturbs me in the circles that I frequent to hear the calls for humility but at the same time, and many times in the same breath, claiming perfection. You, by far, do NOT do that. Even in this post you ended it with a prayer for personal humility. I wish that all believers could do that and admit that failing. Generally speaking, in the church over the centuries, it is this lack of humility that has caused more schisms and hurts than anything else. I only hope that our generation, as we grow up and start to take leadership in our churches, will not repeat the mistakes of the past and embrace each other in love and grace.

    If I offended you, I’m deeply sorry. Sometimes my words come out in unintended ways, a failing of mine that I’m working on retraining. My brain works one way but my mouth has not caught up with it yet. 🙂

    Reply

  6. Jamie
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 16:26:04

    I hope you had a great birthday, Kris Anne!

    Reply

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