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With God's help, I Provide hope and encouragement to women of faith through practical advice and tools. I blog about my personal experiences in overcoming trials, and I use my background in counseling to give tips and techniques to live a victorious life.
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What I Have Learned in Turning Forty
Forty is a big milestone, and I just crossed that milestone
this week. I have had time to reflect over the years of my life, and this article
will explore what I have learned in the last forty years. If I think back
twenty or even just ten years ago, I can say my life has not turned out quite
like I thought it would.
I have learned to walk in faith, not by my circumstances.
My life has had many peaks and valleys, and many surprises,
what a journey it has been. I could not have imaged my life as it is now. You
see I had different expectations for my life, and different plans. I just
assumed that I would have the things that I desired, and I thought that by
forty I would have 2.5 children, a healthy, supportive family, I would be in a career
and professionally oriented, making the big bucks, and I would have the most
awesome marriage where my husband thought I was awesome. Well, let me burst my
bubble for a minute, those things I wanted did not quite turn out that way. I
could not see past what I wanted for years, and I entered into a time of bitterness,
jealousy, and even anger in MY desires not coming to pass. I saw everyone
getting what I wanted, and it caused me to become angry and bitter. I could not
understand why God would want to withhold those good gifts from me. I even saw
people who were not walking with God, receive these blessings I wanted. Now
that is hard to swallow, when you see people who are opposed to God get the
things you have prayed for, cried and begged God for.
I had been given things I did not want, nor did I think they
were fair. I tried for many years to cover up my pain, to avoid my pain, to
desire someone else’s life, and even plotted ways I could escape my life
because I was so displeased with my life. I had a lot of pain that I did not
want nor ask for, and years of unrelenting pain caused me much grief. I had
long seasons of grief. I could not possibly understand God and His ways. I
tried to understand God, but I felt He was mad at me or punishing me, and that
is why He was withholding these desires from me. I was tormented, and did not understand
that just because I was suffering, God still loved me. I just did not
understand why my life was so hard. I had trouble enjoying life, and had
difficulty having grace for myself. I lived in a world of perfectionism and unrealistic
expectations. I worried and became easily anxious over things. I lived in fear
of the past and fear of the future. I cared about what others thought of me, and
had a fear of man. I sought people’s approval. I knew deep down inside God did
not want me to live this way, but I was in so much pain that I thought it would
never end. I wanted my life to be different, but I still was holding on to my
wants and desires. I could not let go fully of what I thought my life would be
like. It was not until I told God I want peace, joy, and contentment no matter
what the cost. God said to me, “Surrender all to me, and trust me that my plans
and timing for you are just right.” When I started releasing MY plans, life
eased up, joy and peace came back and I began to learn that I could have
contentment even if I did not have this or that. I asked God to teach me to be
content in any and every situation like the Apostle Paul. What I thought was
important twenty years ago, like material things and a high-powered career, God
has shown me that joy and contentment do not come from these things, but from
When we say to God, “Have your way in my life,” God can
begin to take the front seat in our lives and we can get in the back seat. When
we give up control because we live in fear, God can direct us instead. We
usually want what we don’t have, and when we get it, we soon realize we really
don’t want the thing we thought we wanted. I believe the enemy stirs up these
desires to torment us, and to lie to us about God’s goodness and love.
What I have learned from the
forty years of my life:
1.MY plans are not necessarily God’s plans.
2.There is a satisfaction when you begin to accept
your life just as it is, contentment happens.
3.God’s timing is not my timing.
4.God CAN be trusted. He knows best, I really
don’t. I am human, He is God.
5.God’s plans are better than what I think I want,
even though I don’t always think so.
6.Make plans but hold on to then loosely, God may
7.God will work ALL things out for good for those
that love Him. Romans 8:28
8.It is better to surrender your will and desires,
than taking matters into your own hands, you are not God, and you could end up
with an Ishmael like Abraham and Sarah. It is better to wait on God.
9.You can have joy and contentment while you wait
and despite your circumstances. Don’t waste your life complaining and murmuring
and stop your stinkin’ thinkin’, it does not help but actually harms you. (See
book resource at the end for help with your thinking).
10.Don’t become bitter, angry, or jealous. Don’t
desire what others have. You may not really want what they have. You never know
what somebody goes through.
11.Enjoy your life, it goes by incredibly fast.
Slow down and do take the time to smell the roses. Take it one day at a time, don’t
be in a rush. Enjoy the small things.
12.Never give up on your relationship with God.
Trust Him even if you don’t quite understand His ways and plans.
13.You can settle down and stop worrying and being
anxious, God will intervene, maybe not exactly when or how you want, but He
If you have been married for any length of time you
know that marriage is hard work. As with anything successful in your life
putting time and effort are keys to how fruitful those things will be.
you did not have the proper role models growing up to show you how to have a
successful marriage, but you desire to have a healthy marriage.
God has brought you together with your spouse the greatest investment that you
can make besides your relationship with God is your marriage.
Anyone can have a dull, lifeless marriage, but a marriage
that is thriving takes certain elements to help it succeed. If you planted some
flowers but forgot to fertilize and water those plants they would eventually
become lifeless and die. Healthy marriages take the time to nurture and weed
out anything hindering their relationship.
Couples striving for a healthy marriage should first
ask God to cleanse their hearts of any unforgiveness, anger, resentment or
offenses of their spouse. Staying angry or rese…
you focus on the most will grow. The enemy will try to get
you to focus on what is wrong, what is not working, and what is worrisome to
you. When you lose your focus on what is
true, what is right, what is lovely and what is a good report (Philippians
4:6), you will begin to focus on the opposite of these.
to focus on the good will be a daily decision. When the enemy shows
you something that is causing fear, worry or frustration, turn away and CHOOSE to focus on the good.
→If your focus has been more on the negative lately
check to see who you have been hanging out with, what you have been reading or
watching on TV, and giving your attention to the most.
→An unthankful heart can cause you to focus on your
wants, but a heart of gratitude will cause you to focus on your blessings.
Distractions come to sidetrack you and get you to
focus on what the enemy has brought in front of you. Keeping focus on Jesus means deliberately
fading out everything that pulls you away from the…