50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years



For my 50th birthday, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in (ahem) half a century.

  1. Life is an adventure.
  2. Find peace in the space between the ideal and reality.
  3. Always say yes to chocolate.
  4. Your past shapes you, but it doesn’t define you.
  5. Give generously; receive graciously.
  6. Your heart and your head are meant to cooperate, not to compete.
  7. Sometimes it’s OK just to be . . . not to do.
  8. Live boldly.
  9. Count your blessings.
  10. Always leave some margin in your schedule.
  11. Don’t worry about what other people think.
  12. Naps are for grown-ups too.
  13. Cook once; eat twice.
  14. Don’t try to be a lone ranger.
  15. You’ll never have more than 24 hours in a day.
  16. Rest in God’s faithfulness.
  17. Get out of your comfort zone.
  18. Eliminate, delegate, outsource.
  19. This too shall pass.
  20. Be kind.
  21. Opportunity does not equal obligation.
  22. Taking time to relax increases your productivity.
  23. Be yourself.
  24. Never stop learning and growing.
  25. Pick your battles.
  26. Solitude isn’t scary.
  27. Think big.
  28. Be flexible.
  29. Don’t always be in a hurry.
  30. A joyful heart is good medicine.
  31. Meet challenges with action, not avoidance.
  32. Write it down.
  33. Self-discipline and focus are essential ingredients of success.
  34. Treasure your friends.
  35. Don’t let fear hold you back.
  36. Read widely.
  37. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.
  38. God’s grace is sufficient.
  39. Cultivate your creativity.
  40. Don’t wait for someday to do what matters most.
  41. Silence is golden.
  42. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  43. People are more important than things.
  44. Explore new places.
  45. The days are long, but the years are short.
  46. Say no to the good to say yes to the best.
  47. Stop and smell the roses.
  48. Sometimes less is more.
  49. Savor the beauty of God’s creation.
  50. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Which of these truths have been most important in your life? I’d love for you to add your own lessons in the comments!


Bible Reading Plans

Do you want to read through the Bible in a year? Or maybe you want to read the Bible daily, but you want to move through it more slowly.

Justin Taylor points out that it takes the average person less than 10 minutes a day to read the entire Bible in one year. He also reminds us that Bible reading is not merely one more thing to check off our to-do list. His article includes analyses of several Bible reading plans and is a good place to start: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/12/26/how-to-read-the-whole-bible-in-2014/

This post from Ligonier Ministries has a good round-up of 14 different Bible-reading plans: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/

In this must-read article, Stephen Witmer discusses the pros and cons of Bible reading plans. One aspect he considers is the fragmented nature of reading 3-4 books of the Bible at the same time; I’ve always found that a bit frustrating. I’m considering following the plan he designed for his church, in which you read through the entire Bible one book at a time (plus Psalms or Proverbs each day) in two years rather than a single year: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2010/12/29/two-year-bible-reading-plan/

I have sometimes used Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s plan, in which you read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice per year (about 4 chapters a day from different parts of the Bible). This site provides printables for M’Cheyne’s plan and Don Carson’s variation, which spreads out the same readings over two years: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/printables.html

If you prefer to use a Bible that’s already divided into daily readings rather than keeping track with a bookmark or other printable, here are two I’ve enjoyed using:

The One-Year Bible

The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order

Ultimately, the plan we choose for reading through the Bible—at any pace—is not as important as simply doing the reading. Some years I’ve been very consistent; other years I’ve gotten woefully behind. Will you join me in making daily Bible reading a priority for 2014?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105