Recently a very dear childhood friend of mine posted a list of 32 things she had learned about life and herself in honor of her 32nd birthday. It was an incredible list of things, and being inspired by said list and friend, I decided that I would blog about life lessons from the lyrics of song in honor of my 32nd birthday. Which was 3 weeks ago. But who cares really. My life lessons will be limited to five, however, since (1) I am an underachiever and (2) I seem to dribble on about whatever it is I am writing about and nobody (except maybe my mom) would read 32 of these things. So, here goes:
1. "If you hold the nails, I'll take the hammer. I'll hold it still, if you'll climb the ladder. If you will, then I will, build." From We Build, Nichole Nordeman. This is a song about a love relationship and the idea is that you gotta work at it. My husband and I have been married for 5 years, so that clearly makes me an expert on relationships. Clearly. Anywho, my lesson learned here is that any marriage worth having takes work and requires both parties to do their fair share. Please do understand the meaning of the lyrics here. She is not saying that when you get mad at your man, you ask him to go hold some nails while you angrily wield a hammer and (oops!) give him a broken finger.
2. "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers." From Unanswered Prayers, Garth Brooks. Ok, now that your eye roll is complete, let me tell you what triggered me to include such a cliche song. My husband and I happened across this show on CMT called Sweet Home Alabama. The premise is similar to The Bachelor. All these women are competing for the affection of some guy named Dribble or Tribble or some such and half are "southern" girls, the other half apparently represent every other region in the U.S. The southern girls are all grits and greens, rifles and Red Wings and the other girls are.......well, they require strategically placed double sided tape to keep their clothes on and they sound funny saying "y'all." Anyway, this non-southern girl who referred to herself as O.C.licious (you can't make this junk up) was getting kicked off the show and she quoted the aforementioned song as a reason that she was down with being kicked off. "Like, sometimes you, like, have to just, like thank God, you know, for, like, unanswered prayers, you know, like Garth Brooks said." Wow. So, short story long, this song came to my mind for this list. You know what the lesson is. Relationships that crumbled, jobs that I didn't get, places that I didn't live, it all ended up good in the end. And that would be because God has rich blessings for me that are greater than my best-laid plans.
3. "Well, I'm right here and you're right there, and God knows we have to start somewhere. 'Cause I'm messed up and you're broken, and those shots we fired are still smokin'." From Start Somewhere, tobyMac. Lesson here is two-fold. One, there is very little in life worth getting mad over in a lasting way. Very little worth killing a family or friend relationship over. Make up, ASAP, and as my husband likes to say, at least clean your side of the street. Two, when we have been wronged or someone is acting all freaky towards us, there usually is some sort of hurt that we simply don't know about that colors that person's pespective. Maybe they are sick, maybe they lost a loved one, maybe they have been abused, maybe they just lost a job. Give people the benefit of the doubt and try to think the best of them.
4. "What if there's a bigger picture? What if I'm missing out? What if there's a greater purpose I could be living right now? Outside my own little world." From My Own Little World, Matthew West. It's not all about you. Or me. Every bit of our culture tells us otherwise, but I have learned, and continue to learn daily, that my worldview must grow bigger and I must act on the needs of others that I see and have been made aware of. God can use me and you greatly if we get our focus off ourselves and on to what He wants us to do.
5. "You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast." From You're Gonna Miss This, Trace Adkins. Amen and amen, people. Motherhood amplifies this life lesson. I've learned children grow way too fast, and I think even faster the more you wish they could feed themselves, dress themselves, tie their own shoes and wipe their own butts. But this doesn't just apply to kids. It applies to every area of life. When I look back, I can see that every season has its goods and bads and that I am better off enjoying the season for what it is rather than longing for another one.
Ooo, and a BONUS!! It's like a free gift (which makes NO sense since a gift, by definition, is free...why do people say this?) But I digress.....
6. "To anyone who hides behind a smile, to anyone who holds their pain inside, to anyone who thinks they're not good enough, to anyone who feels unworthy of love, to anyone who's ever closed the door, closed their eyes and locked themselves away, you don't have to hide." From Hide, Joy Williams. Oh, I know there is some sweet woman that needs to hear this lesson. Being a woman myself and having had many women friends, can we say that this describes some of the root of our issues, girls? Hasn't our world hit us hard in the self-esteem department? I have had the stories and have heard the stories. But the most important lesson I have learned is that I have a Savior in Jesus Christ who loves me and can free me and you from the bondage we live under, no matter what that bondage is. Thank you, Lord, for freedom to feel brave in our marriage relationships, to be bold in our parenting, to feel confident with our abilities, to know that we are capable at work, and for myself at least, allowing me to not have a complete panic attack while I am putting on my jeans that have gotten too tight and doing that squat thing to stretch them out (don't you guys dare act like you don't do it, too.) Good grief, I'm breaking a sweat just thinking about it.
This blog is the story of my journey from lawyer to stay-at-home mommy. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #2, we decided that we would give it a go for awhile with me staying home with the kids. I worked after having our first child Deacon, so this experience will be a new one for me. I decided to blog mainly so that I would have a memorialization of the process since those first few months with a new baby are a fog anyway. But years from now, whether I never made it back or whether I am spending my days in suits and heels, I want to be able to look back and see what God is teaching me in these days of going from the courtroom to the playroom.