At the start of 2013, we had our house up for sale, because my husband’s company “hinted” at opening an office in a major metropolitan area within a few hours of us. Well, they took their time, we had little real interest in a sale, and it just got to be too much of a hassle to keep it clean. ALL. THE. TIME. After 6 months or so listed, we took it off the market. Breathed a sigh of relief. And got messy. We let our house be lived in again. So of course – of course! – his company let us know within literally 2 months after we unlisted, that they’d be opening an office the next month. Sigh… Hello freakish woman who insists on keeping the house clean at all costs! (I hate her, I do.) What does this have to do with what I’ve learned? Well, it got me thinking. What lesson did I learn from this? (Introspective person that I am, I often ask what lesson is to be learned…) In fact, this got me to thinking about the lessons I learned in 2013 as a whole. So sit down, and just pretend that you’re my children, and I’m boring you with my best “what I learned and you should too, because I’ve already learned it for you” diatribe… Cue: Prolific Eye Rolling
1. I learned that God has a way of letting us know in no uncertain terms that our plans are not His.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21
Yeah, I’ve learned this before, but for some reason, I have to keep re-learning it. Which brings me to…
2. Relearning the same lessons in my life seems to be a theme. It’s a little like my dogs learning each and every day that if they don’t scratch at the door to be let in for breakfast, I’ll generously let them in without them having to sit, stay, and not bark until I’ve invited them in. When I adhere and obey God’s will for my life, I don’t have to perform any stupid dog and pony tricks either; He just as generously invites me to His table to feast!
I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23
3. I learned that as a mom who has spent years pouring her life into her children’s lives (and I don’t care whether you are a stay-at-home homeschooling mom like me or working in the main campus building at Microsoft in their marketing department), it’s depressingly difficult to let them go lead their own lives. When your identity has been found in growing your kids to be smart, capable individuals that can happily live on their own, and then (of all the nerve!) they go and do just that, it’s HARD. Hard to let them go. Hard to know what your purpose is for the next act in your life. I have one left at home, and already, I’m struggling.
4. I learned that I can eat what I like. Just… not on my terms. My terms are that I would eat as much as I want of whatever I like and whenever I want it. I noticed a few years ago that doing just that was going to be difficult. If I exercise, and if I practice moderation 90% of the time, and if I make good food choices on a day to day basis, there’s no reason I can’t have a big cheesy slice of Chicago style pizza. Or some Christmas cookies dunked in hot chocolate. Or a zillion calorie Starbuck’s concoction. Or a margarita. Just never on the same day…
I learned #4, but my husband hasn’t. Which brings me to:
5. You can only learn the lessons for yourself. Try as you might, and as much as you want to, you can’t teach someone a lesson until it’s meant for them to learn it themselves.
What did YOU learn this year?