Let me give you some insight from looking back in hindsight.
What I wish I would have known in my twenties:
Everyone has heard the saying, “Seasons come, and seasons go; every season has a purpose.” I have learned that seasons are not limited to a specific time of year, but actually correlate with our season in life. In my early years of motherhood, I spent hours of emotional energy searching for my “identity” outside of motherhood. I didn’t realize motherhood was part of my identity. If I’d known how short and how quickly that season of my life would pass, I would have appreciated and embraced my role to the fullest. I honestly felt lost, because I did not understand my purpose and role as a mother. If I would have understood and valued the season I was in, I would have been more content and enjoyed motherhood to the fullest.
I would encourage every mom to take a personality test in order to help discover strengths and weaknesses. Every mom is different, talented, and gifted. You are a valuable treasure who sometimes just needs to discover what you have to offer your family. When I learned what my strengths and weakness were, my marriage and parenting both benefited. We were able to better understand one another which in return helped create a more peaceful atmosphere within our home. Knowing my weaknesses also empowered me to learn how to pray over the weak areas instead of falling prey to them.
The last thing I’d say to my twenty-year-old self, is exercise. I know, I know, this sounds silly but I’m SERIOUS! Take time for you. Find an activity you enjoy and make it a priority.
I would tell thirty-year-old Jamie that not every disagreement requires throwing shoes, haha! Pick your battles. If you find yourself struggling with anger, unforgiveness, parenting issues whatever the ________________ is for you, reach out and get help. There is no shame in needing counseling. Counseling doesn’t mean you have failed, it means you need some coaching and seasoned wisdom.
Learn what realistic expectations are and what unrealistic expectations are. Know your limitations and set healthy boundaries. Again, there are seasons of life. Know what season you are in and be content with who you are in that season.
I would also be more intentional at teaching my children how to hide the Word of God in their hearts and develop their own prayer life instead of relying on the church to do it. I remember growing up as a child, our family mission in life was to give back to missions. I have countless memories of growing up on the mission field, spending entire summers in Mexico. I would definitely encourage families to be more intentional with providing opportunities for their kids to experience life outside of their everyday world.
I would yell, “SLOW DOWN!” to my forty-year-old self. I was task, work, and performance driven in everything. I never realized the importance of true self care. I would stay up all hours of the night, I would work tirelessly on projects, run ninety to nothing and never stop to rest. REMEMBER those healthy boundaries I told you to set up, yeah, I didn’t do that very well and I suffered in my Forties and Fifties. I experienced health issues. My thyroid was messed up, my hormones were out of balance, and it was because of the lack of rest, and stress management. I never learned how to handle stress in a healthy way. I never created an outlet such as a hobby, exercise, or therapeutic activity to enjoy helping counter the stress of life. I would tell my forty-year-old self that it’s ok to say, “No, I’m sorry, I am not going to be able to help, Thank you for thinking of me but I’m going to have to pass.” There is a graceful way to serve others and take care of yourself. Learn to take care of yourself, family, and others with healthy boundaries.
After all of it is said and done, this is what I would say to my younger self looking back in hindsight. And it’s what I say to you now! Learn from my mistakes. Learn, you’ll be wiser for it!