~ That the running tape of my father's wisdom that plays in the background of my thoughts shapes me more than I ever realized, and saves me from untold trouble... therefore, I need to be passing that wisdom along to my children every chance I get while I still have them at home.
~ How right my brother was when he gave me this bit of advice: "You will never ever waste one minute that you invest in the younger people in the church... and the younger they are, the bigger your return for every minute invested." Preach it, brother.
~ That a true friend is that rare person who always keeps your best interests at heart, even when it's not the easy thing to do. And that being married to that sort of person makes life worth living.
~ That when the Lord calls you to let go of something -- a friendship that no longer edifies, a habit, a personal idol, a dream -- and you obey Him even though it hurts like mad, He will repopulate your life and restore your joy in ways you never imagined.
~ That if I'm the only person who can do some good thing that needs to be done, even if it looks like a mountain I can't climb, I simply must do it -- and trust the Lord to more than match my efforts.
~ That trying to love people the way Christ loved us -- the "new commandment"-- is a process that just grows more complex and yet more beautiful the longer I work at it; that neither the full meaning of it nor the daily challenge of it ever stop growing in magnitude... and that it's the only thing that makes life worth living for any of us.
~ And furthermore, that loving people merely in my head -- in other words, in a way that they cannot feel and does them no appreciable good to speak of -- does nothing except make me feel better about myself, and is therefore only a self-serving sort of love. Ouch. "And by this (our love for one another) shall all men know that ye are my disciples..." means that the Lord means for my love for others to be observable.
~ That every minute I've ever spent earning my children's trust was time well spent, especially now that two of them are teenagers.
~ That a day at the park is cheaper than a month of burnout, and two cappucinos at Starbucks cost a whole lot less than the toll of inadequate communication between friends.
~ That when the Lord gives you a burden to pray for someone, and you are faithful to do it, get ready: He may well call on you to roll up your sleeves and do more for them than just pray.
~ That if what you need to keep yourself sane and joyful in this vain, wearying world is a weekend three states away with the people who love you best, the important thing to remember is that filling a gas tank is still cheaper than filling Zoloft prescriptions... even if you drive a Suburban.
~ That the more I pray for direction, the more I will just know things -- the more I can trust that thing people erroneously call "gut instinct" or "sixth sense" or even "woman's intuition." And that I need to trust that gut instinct more than I do.
~ That satan doesn't mess with me as much while I'm singing hymns or praying, and I don't do nearly enough of either.
~ That if I eat that many peanut M&Ms again this summer, I will gain yet another 5 pounds. But it sure will be fun.