Countdown…what I’ve learned this year! Part 1 of 4!

August 24, 2013

I'm celebrating my birthday by listing 32 things I've learned this year...countdown to my birthday.

I’m celebrating my birthday by listing 31 things I’ve learned this year…countdown to my birthday.


So…in an effort to make up for a pretty quiet blogging summer…I’m going to do 31 quick blogs leading up to my birthday! I used to celebrate my birthday the entire 31 days before the actual day. It started one year when my dad looked at the calendar on August 10 and said “It’s one month from your birthday.” He’ll deny ever saying that because he probably doesn’t want to take part in producing a narcissist. He tried really hard not to. But, I am who I am. And one thing I am is a celebrant (ever seen me in worship?). I like to celebrate good things. And, my birth, was a good thing (yours too…go ahead and make a list too!). But, more importantly than my birth on September 10, 1970 (yep, I’m owning it) is the many things I’ve learned in these 43 years…and especially this last year as I’ve worked tirelessly to juggle/balance life as a woman of God, a wife to Derrick, a mommy to the sweetest (sometimes) little 3-year-old, daughter to my daddy, sister to my siblings, friend to a host of great folks, co-worker…whew, I better stop.

So, I’m counting down the days with lessons I’ve learned at 42. Join me…add to the list…check back each week (or close to it…I’m not perfect)


August 10 (counting down): #1 That God’s word is fresh! This year I’ve been doing a devotion titled Jesus Calling (published by a competitor)…but it has so much good stuff in it. And, my favorite part is reading the scriptures referenced…actually reading the entire chapter of the scripture reference. My, my, my, my…have I been learning some stuff….even though I’ve been reading the Bible for a long time. It can still be fresh and new and convicting and comforting and challenging. Thank you, Lord!

August 11: #2 Mastering time takes practice. Lots of it! This was a quote from the devotion back in June…and it has stuck with me for a while. That’s a good devotion. I am trying to leave more time—especially to get my 3-year-old ready in the a.m. Gone are the days when I can dash out of bed and get dressed and out the door in 20 minutes or less (yes, I am that fast). But, now I have the blessing of caring for a precarious little one, who likes to wear dresses, who takes her time brushing her teeth, and often puts her shoes on the wrong foot. Being a mom requires PATIENCE! And the only way for me to be relaxed (and less…strong word, less, frustrated) is to allow much more time than I normally would. So, when I’m up in the a.m. I need to focus. I need to access how much time I have and act accordingly. Any optional tasks (like loading the dishwasher, picking up the lent on the floor that’s bothering much more than my unsightly stack of books (priorities, I know)…anything that isn’t about getting out the door needs to be done last, or later). And, as my bff and I laughed about…what’s the worst thing that will happen if I leave out of the door earlier than needed? I will arrive at my destination 5 minutes early…and catch my breath? Oh, that could be nice.

August 12: #3 Things really do work out….much better, in most cases, than I could have ever scripted them. That’s my family’s testimony during this season. I’m thankful and grateful and I couldn’t have written it like this neither would I really want to. I guess that’s why I’m not God…thankfully! My other bestie and I always talk about writing the scripts of our lives (can you tell she’s in the film industry!?) Well any way, we sometimes spend way too much time in our heads, planning out how we’d like our script to run. I knew this a while ago, but I’m learning more each year, it doesn’t happen that way. Sit back and enjoy life…quit reading from the script. Follow the real director, God, even when it seems vague and hard and unclear. Somehow, some way, it will work out. Oh, to really grasp this lesson for everything in my life…Now that would make for a wonderful birthday gift! (Let’s pray that for each other)

August 13:  #4 Sometimes sickness is good. I couldn’t do it today. I couldn’t move after I took my shower. Why? I felt sick and exhausted. I laid down, Derrick got K ready and off to school, and I had a day of checking emails from my bed and sleeping. It took a little while to feel better and I am probably not back to 100%, but what started off as a “bad” day where I didn’t want to be sick ended up being a restful day for me (and apparently that was much needed!)

August 14: #5 You really can learn from mistakes, sometimes more than from getting it right. I’m trying this weight loss thing for the last time…yep, I’m that determined to succeed (and I’m stating it publicly)…but I’ve been slowly losing and regaining the same few pounds for a month or so now…and I’m tired of it. So, this week I accessed what I’m doing and I’m making some changes. I’m going to see bigger losses soon. And, this thing is a process so I’m learning to make change while being patient with myself through it all….

August 15: #6 Not all signs need to be heeded. I tried to get to work early today. When I left (later than I wanted to) the sign said traffic was backed up and I’d be pushing it. Well, I got here with a few minutes to spare. Not all signs should be heeded. Reminds me of the good report in Numbers 13…God said one thing, the spies said: uhm, yea, but they have giants there. That was probably true, but that shouldn’t have concerned the Israelites. God had already told them what to do. So, while signs might point to this or that…I’m not worry about that. Not all signs need to be heeded.

August 16: #7 This is hard to write a week late. I’ll keep up better next week…and post more then! Counting down to 43 years of lesson! And there, a lesson in good intentions, procrastination, not writing down my thoughts day by day…


By katara

I’m trying to use my love of writing and passion for keeping this journey real and relevant to help others navigate successfully and happily through life. It is a journey filled with ups and downs, potholls and mountaintops…but it does not have to be walked alone.

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  • Kathy Cassel

    August 25, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for sharing all these wonderful thoughts. I think #3 (Agu 12) is probably so true for me. I’m always like, “Oh, I wish I’d done this back in college” or gone this direction or made that choice. Can’t go back. Can only go forward. (But that’s why I have a M. Ed. I don’t use–didn’t know I’d be moving all over with a military man and not be certified in any state. And I can’t comfortably teach to the test)

    My grandma’s birthday was Sept 10 (1905) and my step daughter’s birthday is Sept 10 (1983). And Jessica took her first steps Sept 10, 1992!! (Only remember because it was Sept 10)

  • Stephanie

    August 26, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Great insights, Katara! And I love the idea of celebrating for a whole month. I love that you love to celebrate. 🙂

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