If I could sum up my 26th year or perhaps the year 2012, it would be the year of learning through observing.
On the outside it would appear as if not much has changed in my life...we live in the same apartment, I am still at my job, Jer is still looking for full-time employment and we are still a one-car couple. However there have been multiple changes this year...changes I have observed and learned a lot from:
1. Niceness is both a strength and a weakness
I am more inclined to be a nice person. Perhaps it is because I am naturally a nice person. Perhaps it is because I am a people-pleaser. Perhaps it is a mixture of both. Now most of you would say "Duh" to this point, but it was ground-breaking to me. When you are nice or kind to everyone all the time, you cannot call them out when they need to be called out. You cannot help someone grow as a person if you only have kind words, instead of words that might be hard to hear at first, but are needed to help an individual. Now I am making it a point to find that happy balance of natural kindness and necessary firmness.
2. Leaders aren't forever, Neither is the current situation
Things change, times change, leaders change. Nothing is forever. Knock on doors while waiting it out. If God is opening or closing a door, He is faithful to guide you if you ask Him. Sometimes you cannot change a situation, but you are called to be there, to be used by God as He sees fit. Sometimes it may feel like you are not helping those you care about, but your presence or just knowing that you care has meant the world to them. You never know how God is using you in your current situation.
3. Squeaky wheels get the grease
I have been hearing a few good old fashion expressions like this or "time for them to go out to pastures." Both make me laugh because of the vivid descriptions associated with the meaning. Both are very true statements...especially the title statement. Whether it is something insightful, self-satisfying, in a complaining tone or to gain attention that is undue, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Its a bummer for those who strive to do things without complaining or do things without trying to bring glory to themselves. Sometimes it is those quiet tires you have to check on...their tread might be worn down, might be running out of air or they could be flat...check on all tires.
4. Extroverts can be Wallflowers
The older I get, the more of an observer I become. I tend to add less to a conversation (unless its with those I am very close to) and tend to observe more. Some would take this as a sign of an introvert, but I am as much of an extrovert as I have ever been. I get my energy from people...many times by observing them
5. Passions from my youth, which was really awhile ago
I came to terms this year with the fact that I am in a new stage of life. I am no longer a young adult, but rather an adult (who is on the younger side). This made me realize that my childhood was awhile ago. However, this has caused me to reflect on my childhood more. I have realized this year more than ever that many of the things I was passionate about in my youth, I am passionate about now. Different cultures, traveling and meeting new people. When I was a kid, I had a money box....when people traveled to different areas around the world, they would bring me the currency from the countries that they had visited and I kept it in a box. When I was nine years old, I got a book which highlighted children from different cultures and countries...I would read this book nearly every single day. I dreamed of being an archaeologist. When I was 19, I was reminded of these passions when someone gave me a prophetic word, stating "You are going to go to many place in the world and see biblical miracles." Little did I know that would be happening through my work, which has encompassed both the passions from my youth and adulthood.
Learned a lot of other things this year, but these were the highlights. If I learned this much this year, cant wait to see what I will learn next year.