28 Lessons

I turned 28 last Thursday.

excited jess

This year has been quite a ride, but I’m proud of how I’ve grown and who I’m becoming. I go to bed every night thankful for God and the people He has placed in my life.

I was recently reminded by a sweet girl, “You’re almost thirty!” As if I wasn’t well aware of that fact.

taylor swift annoyed

I’m still pretty young and have a lot of life left to live and learn, but I wanted to share some of the wisdom I’ve gained in my *almost* three decades worth of living. I’ve compiled a list of 28 pieces of advice I would give if I was asked what I’ve learned through life.

  1. Stop trying so hard. Just live life.
  2. Do what you love. You’ll find your tribe when you’re doing your thing. The right people will come around you.
  3. Don’t try to impress anyone. You are you for a reason.
  4. God will put you where He wants you.
  5. This is real life. Life on social media is just fantasy. (a weak attempt at a Queen pun)
  6. Don’t hold onto your plans too tightly if there are children involved.
  7. Don’t hold onto your plans too tightly if there are pets involved.
  8. Don’t hold onto your plans too tightly if there are other people involved.
  9. Actually, just don’t white knuckle your plans.
  10. Have opinions about things. Don’t be obnoxious about them, but know your views on issues.
  11. Ask questions.
  12. Ask for permission. Even if the answer is a no, try to understand why (unless you can do it first and ask for forgiveness later).
  13. Have fun. Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous because is undignified. No one cares.
  14. Do your best to ignore people who feel entitled to have a say in what you do with your life. The only people who have the right to voice an opinion about how you live your life are those who are directly affected by your choices, those who know who you are, what your goals are, and who you want to be. Those are the voices you listen to.
  15. Ultimately, God should get the final say in your life, but it’s nice to seek counsel from those who truly love you.
  16. Try to be a good person by showing respect to all people and simply being kind. There have been times when unexpected people have stood up for me or spoken on my behalf simply because I’m a good person. I’m not perfect – I 100% make mistakes – but people tend to look past that when they know you have a consistent, respectful demeanor.
  17. There is no such thing as too much cookie dough. I’m convinced salmonella is a myth.
  18. I will never not have dog hair on me. I know it’s there. I’ve accepted it. Thanks for letting me know, though.
  19. If you’re a dreamer, you need a realist in your life and vice versa. My most productive moments have come from discussions with people who listen to my outrageous ideas and help make them doable.
  20. People crave belonging; we were created to be social beings. Don’t let insecurity of being a good hostess keep you from bringing people into your home and around your table.
  21. You can’t be nice all the time. Sometimes you have to be mean. In a loving way, of course.
  22. Don’t try to be something you’re not. There’s always room for growth, but don’t force yourself to become someone else.
  23. Know who you are and what you stand for. That’ll make a whole lot of things way easier.
  24. Have confidence in God and who He has created you to be. You have quirks and talents and interests and passions to fit your uniquely designed role.
  25. Seek out good role models, both in your personal circle and outside your world (looking at you, Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist . . . lol they aren’t reading this)
  26. Surround yourself with quality people who will call you out on your crap (in a loving way, of course) when you need it.
  27. You can only avoid your emotions for so long. Eventually, you will have to deal with them.
  28. It’s better to speak the truth in a loving way and have it thrown back in your face than to do nothing.

Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement. Words aren’t worth much if they aren’t being read. I appreciate the time each one of you sacrifices to read my writing. As always, I love hearing from you! Leave a comment below about advice you would add to my list. We’re all in life together, all of us trying to figure it out as we go, so we have to help each other out.

If there’s anything else I can do for you, feel free to send me a message here.

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