Dear younger me:
Grasp and consume God's insatiable love for you. Understanding whose you are will help you to know who you are.
When you get your identity from God, you won't need your identity from others. It's the only way you can begin to see people as God does and love them without subconsciously seeking to get something in return (e.g., approval).
It's the only way you will risk and not worry about failing.
It's the only way you will dance like no one is watching.
It's the only way you will fight Satan's lies. You know; the ones where he whispers that God is disappointed in you. That a true Christian would never think those things or stumble like that. That what you are doing isn't good enough.
He has already given you everything you need for godly living. You can stop striving and asking for what He has already freely given. (His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3)
Spend more time getting to know God and less time worrying about if you are doing God's perfect will. When you shine His light wherever you go because He is in you, that is God's will.
Your parents are smarter than you think.
When your dad asks you to go on that crazy rollercoaster, don't chicken out at the last minute. He won't be around forever, and you end up riding it alone as a young adult.
When you become a parent, stop trying so hard. Embrace the crazy. You really don't need to control and organize it so much. With young kids, that is like trying to fly to the moon in a canoe. Relax and enjoy the journey. The days may seem long, but the years are short.
Decrease your work and volunteering when your kids are young. There will be a time for that later.
Prayer and walking with Him covers a lot of territory. Remember that He loves your kids more than you do. And your kids turn out pretty cool even with your mistakes. You actually enjoy being around them and others do too. God was there for them just as He was for you during any miss-turns. And He will continue to do so in the future.
Watch more closely what people do than you listen to what they say.
When people go out of their way to hurt you, it often says more about their leaking holes than yours. Pray for them and ask God to help you love them.
Way to go for fighting for your marriage during the tough years. Your spouse is an amazing husband and father.
It's great that you are independent and a hard worker. But when you don't ever ask for help, you are sometimes taking away someone's opportunity to be a blessing, develop a skill or learn a life lesson.
It's okay to say no. It frees you up for your best yes. Focus most of your energy on your inner circle people and in areas where your gifts and passions are strongest.
Only buy what you need and absolutely love. If you have to think too hard, you don't love it. Stay away from the clearance. It is not a good deal if you don't need it.
Realize now that it is not your job to make everyone happy. It completely drains you. And it doesn't really work any way.
That time management problem? Take a class now. Unlike cheese, it doesn't improve with age.
Find joy in the mundane. Much of life is the mundane. It's pulling weeds, buying groceries, driving, paperwork, doing laundry… But when you praise God for His goodness and are thankful even in the mundane, it makes God's heart sing. It blesses you and anyone around you. And if you understand that you sometimes change someone's life even in the mundane by extending grace, patience, love or sharing wisdom and truth, the mundane all of a sudden becomes very amazing.
You will have some really hard days ahead. Days you wonder if you will even make it. You will. The sun always returned, and the Son was always with you. You will have so many blessings too. It adds up to an amazing life.
Love, your older me.
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