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Friday, February 27, 2015

10 Things I've Learned Since Turning 25- Part II

I said I had 10 lessons learned, but as I thought about it, I realized I had a total of 15 lessons learned, so here's an added extra five for you!

1.) Time goes by very quickly- Remember in high school when you thought you'd always be a freshman and it'd be a very long time before you graduated? When you finally reached that year, you were just looking forward to getting through every semester of college. And then when that was over . . . well, you regretted wishing away your time instead of enjoying the season of life you were in. At least, I do. And I'm pretty sure everyone wishes away each season of life they're in. Because I work now and don't go to school, time goes by too quickly. The days, weeks, months, and years all jumble together and all of sudden I wonder what happened to the days that seemed to pass by so slowly. All of a sudden the year I graduated from high school is almost a decade away from the present time. Enjoy whatever you're doing right now.

2.) You really should listen to your parent's advice- I say this, but I tend to not act upon it. 99% of the time my parents are right concerning the advice they give out.

3.) I appreciate life way more than before- I take the time to make the most of the time, knowing how quickly the time is passing. And I also take time to actually enjoy God's creation now. After I finished college I had time to actually enjoy nature, and once I did I was amazed at what I had missed out on for 20 years. I had never taken the time to notice how amazing nature was and how gorgeous it was, but now I do, relaxing and thanking God for creating such beauty. An added benefit to going outdoors and just watching nature is the fact that if you're depressed or sad it's a great pick me up, something about it has the ability to take a load off of your shoulders. Don't take the seasons for granted- go out and enjoy them all the while thanking God for it. I've found this also makes me more grateful.

4.) Going to bed late isn't fun or cool anymore- teens like to do that because they're normally restricted as to what time they have to go to sleep. When you're in your 20s, that's just kid stuff. You realize it's more important to get a good night's sleep and go to bed early, especially because you have work in the morning and cannot stay up late. And when you don't have work, staying up late isn't nostalgic or fun like it used to be because . . . well, you're an adult.

5.) Your metabolism will slow down- trust me on this one. I never had to worry about what I ate, but now I do, because at 24 something terrible happened to my body and now I cannot eat whatever I want without the consequences showing. It's sad, but the benefit of this is that it helps you to practice self-control and take care of yourself, just as God intended.

6.) You learn to talk about what other people care about when you don't- When you're placed in an awkward and new atmosphere with people you don't know or know well, you realize that now as the adult you have to make the effort to carry on a conversation. When you're a teen you expect others to speak to you first or even that you should only talk about what you're interested in. Not so. I remember not knowing what to say to someone at a lunch event, so I looked at what they were wearing and mentioned how I loved an article they were wearing, which led to a whole conversation on something I didn't even care about, but she did. And because it was important to her, it became important to me. You may not want to talk about dentures or raising children or mathematics to someone, but find something they enjoy and ask them about it. It's important to think of others first over yourself. They'll appreciate that you take the time to listen to something they love to talk about and feel you genuinely care about them.

7.) As an adult you have to deal with mean and rude people- I can't tell you how many times this has happened, and it's always so subtle, so they can get away with it and have the last laugh. Let it roll off your back. If it really bothers you, tell them you don't appreciate them making fun of you or that their words were very unkind and see what they say back. I think they'll be quite embarrassed at their rudeness and most likely apologize, seeing as they weren't expecting you to say anything. Don't counter rudeness with rudeness though. Not only is it not Christ-like, it's counterproductive. You've just stooped down to their level and let them know that their words really hurt you enough to hurt them back.

8.) You appreciate friendships way more than you did as a teen- I remember dumping friends on a regular basis as a teen, not caring a thing about our friendship, always believing I'd find more friends later on. Then I realized after doing all that I had no friends and really regretted  that, so now I make sure to check up on my friends often and make time for them. Friendships are harder to maintain in your 20s and they take effort, but it's well worth it. I'm so glad I've been given a second chance to have friends who will hopefully end up becoming lifelong friends. Cultivate your friendships and take the initiative to do things with your friends. When you don't take the initiative, it shows that you don't even care about what happens to your friendship. And who knows, maybe you won't get a second chance like I did.

9.) If you've worked eight hours at any point in time, you have a greater appreciation for your dad and you understand why a hot, cooked meal is necessary once he gets home. I can really relate to this one. I've been working for five years, and sometimes the going gets rough. I cannot fathom how men cannot be depressed everyday of their lives because they have to provide for their families (at horrible jobs sometimes) for decades! Not only that, because I work I know how it feels to come home to nothing for dinner . . . talk about an adult temper tantrum (the one where you go "Fine!" and slam the door because there's nothing to eat, so you don't eat). Because of this, I have made a vow to never let my spouse go without a meal when he gets home. And if you've never worked an eight hour day before, I would encourage you to try it at least once for a whole week, especially if you're going to become a wife someday. It will make you think twice about being too tired to cook for the day.

10.) You have to work when your sick. Say it ain't so! It's terrible, but it's true. Sometimes you just have to work when you're sick, whether it be because you work for a company with two employees or nobody else can cover for you, or because you work part-time and can't afford to lose out, or even because you took too many sick days. I completely sympathize. Gone are the days when you can stay home from school and enjoy it. As an adult, you have to do things you don't want to do, and this is one of those things.

So those are my top fifteen. If you have any to add, post below! And remember, your post below enters you to win a quarter-life crisis care package, complete with a goal workbook, chocolate, tea, and more!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

10 Things I've Learned Since Turning 25- Part I

I turned the big 25 recently, and it got me thinking about the common things 20-somethings go through. So here are some things I've learned now that I'm half way through my twenties that might be beneficial for those who haven't experienced these issues yet or relatable to some of you out there:

1.)  When you hit 20 age isn't a factor anymore- You know in high school when you thought you were a hot shot because you were a sophomore and they were freshmen? Yeah, one year difference is nothing in the twenties age group. The numbers just jumble together and everyone in the same decade is one and the same. There's no superiority, or rather at this point in life, there's nothing to be upset about if you're confused with a 25 yr. old when you're 20. It's all the same, really.

 I remember several years back when I had recently started working at a job and my  26 yr. old co-worker, at the time, asked if I was around her age. I was miffed. I said, “No. I’m 21.” And she just said, “Oh.” And that was the end of it. You know how silly I sounded? When you’re in your twenties, everyone from 20-29 is your age.  No need to be upset that you’re compared to someone “old.” Adults don’t get picky about age. We’re all the same age if we’re in the same decade.

2.) You realize it's important to take care of yourself- that doesn't mean you do it, but you become self-conscious of how what you eat affects your health later on in life. I definitely believe God wants us to take care of ourselves physically, so this one is really important to act upon. I've been taking the time to cut back on my eating out spree (yeah, it was bad.) Exercise and better eating habits are a must at this age.

   You will most likely have a quarter-life crisis, and that’s okay-  For those who don't know what that is, it's similar to a mid-life crisis, but called a quarter life crisis because you've reached a quarter of your lifespan, if you live to be a hundred.  I began my quarter-life crisis when I hit 24. I had never experienced anything like it. All of a sudden I looked back over the “years” (sounds silly, but it’s true) and I lamented over them. Had I done everything I needed to? No, not in my opinion. I analyzed my life, noting how I wasted four good years. I looked at where other 20-somethings were at at my age and compared myself to them. Why did I still have an old vehicle? How come I didn’t have a house? And then I would become discouraged. It’s a vicious cycle that you can get caught up in and continue in, unless you decide to do something about it. And that’s exactly what I did and what made it a good crisis. I realized those material things weren't important and instead turned my attention to spending my time more wisely and setting reasonable and God-given goals. Now every time that feeling looms over me, I remind myself of my goals, analyze how I spend my time, and assure myself that everything is going to be okay because I'm following God's will, so I’m on the right path. When I do that, those feelings disappear. They'll keep coming back, but you just have to keep on fighting them.

4.)    You will find yourself highly annoyed with teens and feel a bit pompous in comparison to them- get rid of that attitude right away. Yes, their maturity level is way different from ours and they speak and laugh as loudly as possible to get attention, but love them anyway. Teach them the way they should be as they reach adulthood. Remember, you too once were a teen and probably acted exactly the same way. They’ll mature, and you can help them out by being a much-needed mentor to them.

5.) You can't be cheap anymore- When you're a teen or a poor college student, you're cheap. Period. You buy ramen noodles, you buy the cheapest nail polish on the market (if you're a female), the cheapest gifts, the cheapest food (aka junk food), and you buy cheap clothes. I don't mean clothes from the thrift store either. I mean you buy clothing that will last you a couple of months before you have to trash it. But now that you're an adult, you've realized only teens go cheap, because buying cheap means you look cheap. I've found this to be true with clothing. When I buy cheap jeans, I can count on looking like I'm wearing a soggy diaper within six months. Whereas, when I force myself to buy the more expensive product, I fork out a lot of money, but know it's worth it in the end because I am  saving money in the end since it lasts longer and doesn't need to be replaced quickly.

God commands us to be wise with our money, and being wise doesn't equate to being cheap. In the long run, you'll end up spending just as much if not more money replenishing the cheap items that don't last but a short time. Better to spend more now than to spend more later.

So those are my top five. Five more to come in the next post, but first, I want to see your top lessons learned! Everyone has a lesson learned that can be tied to a Biblical principle, so post below in the comments your top lessons learned, and I'll randomly select one of you to receive a "Quarter-Life Crisis Care Package." It'll contain all the essentials you need to get through one.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Reversing a Lie

A lot of people have different views on knowing God's will and such. It's such a popular topic that there are many books out there already written on the it. I wrote a blog post awhile back about it, but I found some renewed insight while studying the book of Acts.

Some people say, "You can't know God's will! It's impossible!" I would agree to a certain extent. We can't know every single detail about our lives concerning the future. It's not like we will receive a vision about what will happen in great detail every single day of our lifespan. To that extent, of course we can't know God's will for our life in that sense. But God has given us the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit holds many roles. One in particular is written in John 16:13, referring to the Holy Spirit:

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

According to this verse, we can know God's will concerning the future. The Holy Spirit gives us direction. The Holy Spirit has untold power that we can tap into at any time, just through prayer! We don't have to sit around wondering if we'll ever know God's will about a certain circumstance in life. We don't have to worry about the future. All we have to do is ask!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Changes . . .

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to shout out and let everyone know that I have not forgotten about blogging. I simply post most of my written work to Christian companies now. I will be updating my account and posting something within a week! If you'd like to follow some of my other writing outlets, you can find me here: - Search for "Ashlea" and you will find some of my devotions.

Boundless - Search for "Ashlea" and you will find a blog post I wrote.

Questions, comments, and feedback can be sent through the comment button below. I approve them before posting publicly, so if you have a private question, it won't be displayed publicly.