Ellen Mongan looks back on the lessons she has learned in her 68 years of life.
Do you have a child in your family that wants to tell the world when it is their birthday? Well, this year, on my birthday, August 7, I was that little girl who wanted the world to know it was my birthday. It did help that some of my children and grandchildren planted the letters “Happy Birthday” in the yard for all to see. Being me, I had to take a picture and strike a pose. I am 68, and I feel great! I even threw my own birthday party. I picked out my own birthday gift. The end result was that it was the best birthday ever!
As I pondered and prayed about what to write this month, I decided to share 68 things I have learned in my 68 years and pass them on to you. After all, “white hair is a crown of glory.”
- Life is short, so be sure and enjoy the view.
- It is the people you meet along the way that make it worth the journey.
- You can learn something from everyone, and everyone can learn something from you.
- Set your bar high for yourself only.
- Accept others as they are; God isn’t finished with them yet.
- Different is not always bad; sometimes, different is better.
- If you have to change your personality for someone to like you, they are not worth the friendship.
- It is not a pretty face that counts but a pretty heart instead.
- Anger turns away the best of friends.
- Suffering breeds in your soul understanding, wisdom, and compassion.
- Avoid comparing yourself to anyone. Be thankful for what you have.
- Watch your P’S and Q’s; you may have to eat your words.
- God will teach you the easy way or the hard way.
- Stand for Jesus even if you stand alone.
- Miracles happen. The greatest miracles happen in the heart.
- Jesus changes you within as you spend time with Him.
- You can never see inside another’s heart, so be careful about judging motives.
- One key to a healthy life is balance.
- You can please some people some of the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.
- Many hands make light work.
- There are no supermoms.
- Exercise lifts you up.
- Read spiritual books.
- Be honest with yourself and with God.
- Take a rest, a walk, a vacation, or a retreat. They refresh the soul.
- When problems arise, go to Jesus. He has a solution.
- Let Jesus lead you. He knows the way.
- Have a prayer partner who rejoices when you rejoice and takes your burdens to God in prayer.
- Jesus, others, and you: what a wonderful way to spell joy.
- Time wasters: television, computers, smartphones, perfectionism, and an unbalance.
- Trust must be earned and can be easily broken.
- Faith is a gift; treasure it.
- Do something for someone else; it takes the focus off yourself.
- When someone is talking, pause and listen longer.
- Put on the ears of your heart when you encounter someone.
- Modest is hottest.
- Use your gifts for God’s glory. It will bless others, and you will come alive.
- Examples speak louder than words.
- Life is a gift, and why we call it the present.
- It is alright if everyone is doing it, and you are not. Do what God is telling you to do.
- Life is not a sprint but a marathon. Pace the race, do not race the pace.
- Treasure the moment. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come.
- Pray, then surrender it to Jesus. “Your Way, Your Will, and Your Timing, Oh Lord."
- Try to give to bless and not to get.
- Think the best, no matter how things appear or what was said.
- Be quick to forgive and ask forgiveness.
- Life is not about titles or degrees but making a difference in this world for Jesus.
- God can use the shortest life to touch so many hearts.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- Be still. Silence is where you hear God best.
- Do you know how to get what you want? It is by wanting what you get.
- Try to live your life with no regrets.
- Laughter works like medicine to your soul, even if you are laughing at yourself.
- If you make a mistake, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
- No one is perfect but God.
- When someone falls, reach out a loving hand to help them up. Next time you may need a hand up.
- Choose your friends wisely. As your friends are, so shall you be like them.
- Deep down, everyone wants all the turns. Let others go first, even if you do not want to.
- Follow the saints; they walked the road of holiness.
- Never be too old to appreciate the wonders in life.
- If you care about someone, be there for them.
- Try to remember why you married your spouse and be thankful for them.
- Treasure your family and put them first in your life.
- God loves us when we are the least lovable.
- Be yourself; every other part is taken.
- In God alone, I place my trust!
- My heavenly Father knows best.
- Set your journey in life toward the heart of God.
Birthday Question (based on Lesson 3):
I guess you can learn something from everyone, and everyone can learn something from you. What did you learn?
Copyright 2021 Ellen Mongan
Images: Canva Pro; others copyright 2021 Ellen Mongan, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Ellen Mongan is a Catholic writer, speaker, and host of WOW MOM podcasts. Her book, WOW MOM: A Walk with God, is on Amazon. She contributes to Catholic Mom, Women of Grace, and Augusta Chronicle. Her most important roles as wife to Deacon Patrick and mother of eight led her to ministry. Learn more and contact her to speak at EllenMongan.com.