17 Things I've Learnt in 17 Years
My birthday was while ago now but in June I turned 17 years old! Yep, I've been blessed with over 17 years old living now. I am by far not the wisest person out there and I have a lot still to learn but everyone always has something to teach you and so today I thought I'd share with you 17 things I've learned in my 17 years of living. These are in no particular order; just the order in which they're coming to me as I write them now and there are some photos sprinkled in there just to break everything up and so you can see the beautiful faces of our students again :D
1. If you have ants in your sugar put it in the sun for a while and the ants will leave on their own because they don't like the heat. Lee May taught me this one day when we were baking together and I found a whole bunch of ants in my white sugar. It's a very handy trick if you live in Cambodia.
2. It takes more courage and self confidants to cover my body instead of show it all. It means that I don't need anybody else's approval of my body and I already know I'm beautiful because God made me. It takes courage to answer people's questions and walk on despite the looks. It can be tough but modesty is worth it.
3. People leave and that's okay. Your best friends may not always be your best friend and that's okay. People will come in and out of life and God can use each of them during the time they're in your life. But when it's time for them to go it's okay to be sad for a while but know that God has a plan and He's always there no matter who's in your life when. It's okay for people to leave.
4. Learn for yourself. Learn about the things that you're passionate about. Research and ask questions. Also, don't just take it from a teacher or pastor. Look things up for yourself, investigate and make your own opinions. Look up the verses they're quoting, ask for another persons opinion, read other passages and find out what you believe and are convicted of. God will guide you. And you will not always be taught the things you need and want to know. So, read!
5. Be grateful! Just think for a moment about how blessed and lucky we are. We have SO much to be grateful for. I can eat three meals a day. I have access to education. I know God. I have cloths on by back and a roof over my head. I have clean water. I have friends who care about me. I have family who cares about me. I have my sight, my hearing and my voice. There is SO much to be grateful about every day and we should all take a minute to appreciate what God has done for us.
6. Reading is Great! For the longest time I hated reading. I thought it was a pain. But now I know just how amazing it is. You can learn SO much from reading. When reading stories you are transported to other worlds. When reading you can relax or you can cry or sometimes even be angry. Reading is amazing and if you don't like to read its because you're reading the wrong thing!
7. Don't cling to earthly things. There are so many things on earth we put value in, trust in and rely on. Nothing in this earth other than our faith will help us in the grand scheme of things. Things break, get lost, get stolen and grow old. So the possessions we have here can be good but should never be the most important.
8. Nothing I can do will take God's love away from me! When I say nothing I mean nothing! No matter how many times you sin, no matter how many times you break your promises to God, no matter how many times you let Him down, no matter how many times your turn away He will always love you the same. And that is life changing if you ask me.
9. Working hard now pays off later! If you take the time to work hard now later you will reap the rewards. Sure it may not seem fun and enjoyable now but you'll be so much more grateful for your hard work later when you don't have to redo it or when you have to work the McDonald's drive through instead of your dream teaching job.
10. Be honest! If you're frustrated with somebody tell them (Kindly). They can't always read your mind. But be kind in the way you talk with them. I've always favored a good mature conversation over a brooding grudge. Be honest with others too. It's okay to say no (Most of the time). It's fine to turn a guy down. It's alright to say your opinion if you go about it the right way. There's always a wrong way to say something so think before you talk but be honest!
11. Be Yourself! There is nothing more frustrating and difficult in life than pretending to to somebody you're not. If you are a sweet, delicate girl don't pretend to be tough and rouged. It's okay to love pink. It's okay to love football. It's okay to be shy. It's okay to have a loud laugh. We're all different and we were made that way. How boring would it be if we were all the same. So find who you are and live as you! It will feel so freeing!
12. Some things are not to be captured but just to be enjoyed in the moment. Often mum and I have said "Wow, this looks SO much better in person." or "I wish I had my camera right now." Well, sometimes sunsets, flowers or smiles are just for you to enjoy right now. We don't always have to try to keep it forever (As great as that is). Sometimes God gives us beautiful things just for us to enjoy now.
13. Your have to really want it. You can have the most epic, amazing, productive day if you want to. You can get that long list of stuff done if you want to. You can go an adventure if you want to. You can get that A+ if you want it. But you have to want it. Without wanting something it'll be a lot harder to do something. You can have all the best intensions in the world but not truly desire something. So, dig deep down inside of yourself and ask "Do I really desire this?" If not, it'll be a struggle.
14. People are always watching. No matter who you are people are always watching, observing and looking up to you. It doesn't matter if you're a teacher or if you're homeless. People will always be taking note of you. So, give them something to smile about. Give them something to learn. Give them something to laugh at. Give them something to be inspired by and always strive to be better.
15. Acknowledge people and smile at people. I love smiling at people, even if they don't smile back. You never know what people are going through and your simple smile could make thier day. Acknowledge people too. This is simple act of acknowleding another persons existance could make them feel so much better. I was walking through the store one day when a muslim lady dressed head to toe in a black Niqab walked past me. I took a moment to smile at her and I could see in her eyes she was smiling back at me. That moment was such a special one when two completely different humans being conected without a single word or touch.
16. Love all and judge not. To me, this is huge! In Mathew 7:1-3 we are called not to judge. We are all sinners and we have all fallen short so why should we judge other people's sins? That is not our place. Somebody else's sins may be different to yours but yours aren't "better" sins. In Mar 12:30-31 we are called to love our neighours. God loves eahc and everyone of us the same. He see ours sins yet that doesn't stop him from loving us unconditioanly. So let's stop judging people, hating people are start loveing them! We are all sinners and we shouldremember that. You aren't any better and God loves them just as much as he loves you. So why not love them too!
17. Use lists! I thought for a while trying to decide what was the best thing to put for number seventeen and this is what I came up with. It's not super insprirational but it's deffinitly something I've learn over the years. I love to use lists. I list things I need to do, things I need to buy, the steps I need to take to get something done, how to cook something, books I want to read, music I want to show my sister and my favorite things.I have anotebook full of lists. They help me to stay on track, track things and stay organised. This blog post is a list too! So, if I were you grab a peice of paper and write "1." and get listing!
So, that is all I have for you today. I know it's not one of my usual posts but I thought it would be fun to write and could be helpful or interesting for some people. I hope you could get something from this. It was actually a really good exercise for my brain and heart. I would recommend it even if you don't post it somewhere. Just write down some important things you've learned in your lifetime. Anyway, I'll be going now. So have a blessed day and I'll see you next time,