The 25th year!

I think I’ve evaluated that life is often a walk to find the line between remaining optimistic and leading, and being jaded and hiding away. When I was 18, I was like most 18-year-olds and thought I knew just about everything that there was to know. And I did know enough to live through college, collect some awesome friends, do some jobs I love and decide on a wonderful boyfriend. But I certainly didn’t know everything.

It’s amazing to watch little kids look up to me and other people my age. I remember the first time that I realized they expected me to know everything for them. It’s amazing – and somewhat terrifying. But it’s a wonderful thing how loving someone and leading someone teaches you to make up your mind and be what you know you should be. That was one of the most memorable catalysts for growth in these 7 years.

So now I’m 25. I learned a lot since age 18. Here are 25 of those things.

  1. Eating healthy isn’t a fad. It decides an awful lot about how you succeed in life.
  2. You don’t know everything. Neither to do I.
  3. Apologies are real, and if they work, that’s awesome. But sometimes they don’t, and that’s likely not your fault.
  4. You never, ever, need to apologize for who you are. What you have done, yes, but who you are – no. Don’t. Ever.
  5. Mental illnesses suck, and are real, but also don’t decide a person’s character.
  6. I love Justin Bieber.
  7. God can take it when you’re angry at Him.
  8. You really aren’t likely going to know what God is always doing, but eventually you’ll make it through.
  9. Dating people is fun. Don’t be afraid to do that. Heatbreak heals. You’ll grow a lot.
  10. You don’t have to be friends with people that you don’t like.
  11. It’s okay for you to say no and have boundaries.
  12. LOVE YOURSELF. Do things that make you happy.
  13. Never stop dancing. Especially when you’re sad.
  14. Your mom and dad are people. They are different than you, and make mistakes. Not everything is their fault.
  15. Changing poopy diapers is a life skill everyone should have.
  16. Roommates found on Craigslist can be character building.
  17. Listen first. And sometimes just listen, if you have no idea what to say. You don’t always need to know what to say.
  18. Don’t walk away in the middle of an argument.
  19. Arguments and conflict are okay – learn how to fight fair and express emotions.
  20. People who look awesome sometimes make big mistakes. And things are redeemable.
  21. Driving with the windows down doesn’t get old.
  22. Smile wide, and often.
  23. Say what you mean. Try to figure out what you mean.
  24. God holds me so so so close. And I am so important.
  25. I am valuable, and should be treated as such. So are you.

So there you go. I have lots of cool things planned for the 25th year of my life. And Justin Bieber released a song for my birthday. What a guy. Have a wonderful day, lovelies!

…because love wins.

Why you should let people go.

A little while ago there was an app called “Who Deleted Me?” It was designed by Anthony Kuske, whose Twitter profile says he’s from the UK and “makes websites and stuff.” This app was one of those things. The purpose of said app was to do just that – tell people who had deleted them on facebook.

Facebook is a weird, strange, awesome, and dumb thing all at once. We get to connect with anyone virtually anywhere around the world. But at the same time, we can also see all kinds of things that are left to our own imagination. Because let’s be honest – no one is as happy as their profile picture all of the time. And thinking they are can ruin your life.

So then what do we do when one of our used-to-be best friends decides they’re done and we’re not friends anymore? And then what happens when you find that out through a crazy little app? Well, if you cared, it probably sucks pretty badly. If you don’t, you’ll probably have an easier time with what I’m about to say.

If someone doesn’t want to love you, or be your friend, or doesn’t build you up even when they are your friend, it’s time to let them go. Yeah, not that easy, right? Well, it sort of is.

Why would you want to be friends with an enemy you have? Would you call up the kid who picked on you in second grade and ask them to be your best friend? No, I certainly don’t think you would. Sorry to say, but when your friend walked away (and in a dramatic way like a facebook delete to prove a point without a real conversation) they entered the same category. Either they didn’t appreciate you, or they think they will have a better life elsewhere.

I’ve had people die in my life, and I’ve had people walk away. When I was younger, both destroyed me. Now, only death hurts me. Because I only keep camp with the people who I really know love me and who will let me love them back. And it’s okay to know that someone walking away isn’t your fault. It’s the walking person’s fault.

So, if they walked away, don’t chase them. And don’t let them come back. If they cared, and they were someone to want around, they never would have left to begin with. You’re worth more than being someone’s option. They chose to have you let them go, so let them go. And don’t apologize for knowing your worth.

Strong is beautiful – you are beautiful. Smile and do something you love. Because you weren’t worth letting go.


…because love wins.

Why your life is your “purpose.”

I guess the age 24 is when everyone starts to think that they have to have everything figured out. At least that’s what it looks like in the 20something world in which I live. We’re done with college, we’re supposed to go to bed on time, understand health insurance and have the best friends who are just what we wanted to make us grown into the ideal person we think we should be at this point. Because obviously everything we decide right now is going to be how our life will be forever. Right?

There’s a cliche that I kind of really dislike about this time (and really any time) of life.

“What is my purpose and how do I find it?”

When songs aren’t about love and heartbreak or dogs or alcohol and clubs, they’re about trying to make the right choices. I’m just going to jump out on a limb here and tell you that you’re going to mess up some choices, and that that’s okay. It’s oftentimes like we think if we don’t choose the right person to date right now that we’re going to marry or who to “invest” in to have a longtime friend, we’re failures. I mean, come on, think about it. You think that about yourself, don’t you?

Well, here, let me help. Want to know your purpose and if you’re finding it?

You have it. And you found it! Congratulations! So stop being so hard on yourself.

Your life is your purpose. If you’re dating someone who you won’t be with forever but don’t know that yet, date them with kindness, patience, and love. Maybe they’ll meet Jesus in a new way. If you hate your job and think that a better one will solve everything, hate it with kind words and grace. Maybe that place needs to meet Jesus in a new way. If you’re sick and can’t work, or mentally ill and no one knows it, do your best to let Jesus love you while you wait it out.

Your life is your purpose.

As a professional speaker, there’s this element of “fame” that sometimes follows me around. I always tell people that anyone who can talk or sing into a microphone is instantly treated like they’re someone special. That’s just America – that’s not all of life. Jesus is all of life. Which means whether I’m doing things that are glorified by society as “making a difference” or I’m cleaning my kitchen floor, I’m making just as much difference as I should be, as long as my life belongs to Jesus.

You’re not a failure because you’re not on the news and not everyone knows you. You’re not a failure because you aren’t married yet, or you are married and your marriage is hard. You’re not a failure if you yelled at your kids today or if you didn’t give money to the homeless man on the corner. You’re not a failure if your life belongs to Christ and you are walking with Him daily.

So do you want to know that you have a purpose and that you’re changing the world?

Take a deep breath and feel alive.

Jesus is your purpose. Just let yourself be loved, and know you’re making a huge difference just by being alive.

And I love you too.

…because love wins.