tWenTy fiVe i tOld yOu so’s!

Yesterday, I was texting with 25 year old Jena, 14 year old niece, 30 year old friend, 40 year old sister & a 47 year old pastor’s wife-all at the same time.  While my fingers talked, the variety of chats that I was engaged in brought a smile. I say that I don’t like giving out advice but as one of my heroes, Judge Judy would say, LIAR LIAR skirt’s on fire! I’m happy to dish advice out from sex to salad. 🙂

Not long ago, a young woman asked..if you were 25 again, how would you change who you are & what makes you tick with what you’ve learned in your last 25? In other words, Will you share your failures if it will help me avoid unnecessary flub ups? Chapter 2 of Titus instructs older women to train younger women. CHRIST chicks have younger girls watching, there isn’t an AGE of passage. So, for today’s post, I jotted down 25 things that I wish I’d known back then. I warn you-a few are are off the wall!

1. I can’t be all things to all people & if I go down that road, I’ll suffer collision after collision.  I wish that I’d have had the courage to be real-and been true to who I was-flaws and all.

2. Exercise & skincare shouldn’t start at 40. Mama never had money to buy expensive stuff, but she used Oil of Olay faithfully. Look at this picture of us at Jena’s February wedding. This woman is 71 years old! On my 30th birthday, I decided to follow her example. Mama has walked two miles a day for decades and joined Curves in her late fifties to build muscle tone. I can’t tell you how often she  is told that she DOESN’T have old lady legs! She still wears cute shorts & dresses WITHOUT hose &  her legs look great. Mama’s the epitome of a gracefully aging woman who has maintained her good looks the old fashioned way!

3. Eating the right foods and drinking water is important! That old Ivory Dish soap told the truth-hands reveal your age! According to Joshua, my hands place me at ninety! I have the ugliest, wrinkliest hands. And here’s one I wish someone had told me. Your heels need attention EVERYDAY! If it weren’t for HEELTASTIC-you’d never find me in flip flops and sandals.

4. Picking the right mate’s the most important decision you’ll make after CHRIST, but, there are no 100% guarantees.  I wish that I had shown my Chipper even more how thankful I am to be his wife. Your spouse needs to be your best friend-not mama, sister, BFF since first grade, not the kids. Love never stops needing to be nurtured. More sex! More laughs! More happy moments!

4. LIVE YOUR DREAM, don’t DREAM your life-I say that sincerely as I myself do a little too much dreaming & not enough living.

5. Sometimes it’s best to shut up & listen. You aren’t always RIGHT-so get over yourself. One of my regrets as a Mom is that I didn’t listen to my kids enough when they explained things to me. Maybe I knew best-but I wish I hadn’t always been so quick to say so.

6. Be a blessing, pay it forward! Of my accomplishments, the one that I’m most proud of is-being a foster mom. Any inconveniences that came with having more family members to tend to-pales in comparison to hearing, I LOVE YOU, MOM, from more kids than the two that I birthed.  Take a risk & care for somebody who you aren’t obligated to love.

7. GUILT kills your happy! I wish that I had learned how to NOT allow that to happen years ago. Say I’m sorry and walk away.

8. There’s no excuse for NOT spending time with GOD everyday. Even if it’s five minutes (which is really sad if that’s all HE gets) but, I can NEVER emphasize enough how an intimate relationship with CHRIST will benefit all of your other relationships.

9. Embrace your femininity! Equality & women’s rights are important, but, why rob yourself of being pampered? Look at the life of women in many countries who can’t go out with anything but eyes showing. Many aren’t allowed to go to school past a certain age.10. Don’t be quick to judge. Don’t assume a person’s headed to hell because they have a bottle of wine in the kitchen or don’t attend Wednesday prayer meeting. Heaven isn’t just for Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, or Church of God, etc. JESUS is the only way in. HE is the one who judges-NOT us. Luke 7:33-no matter how one attempts to explain it, JESUS speaks HIS opinion here clearly.

11. Kids won’t suffer long, drawn out consequences, if they go to bed dirty or without dinner and dessert.

12. Make adjustments to your hair and makeup as you age. Trust your daughter’s judgement more than your own. As a general rule, LESS is more!13. Owning a house isn’t the most important thing in the world and renting doesn’t make you trailer trash.

14. Coffee & chocolate are healthy addictions! 😀

15. Bubble baths are just about as relaxing as Xanax. Let Calgon take you away a few nights a week.

16. Your husband is a man. Men really like sexy women. The way I see it, nice lingerie isn’t a luxury item, girls. Victoria’s Secret has a great clearance rack..and I’ve picked up some adorable stuff at ROSS!

17. Playful pouting can be cute. Poor pitiful me pouting is POISON.

18. Learn to make a dish that becomes your specialty. When you get my age, it’s fun to have your family request something that you make better than anybody else in the world. My new specialty is old fashioned cornbread made in an old cast iron frying pan.

19. I wish that I had admitted-I was wrong easier, said “I told you so” less and offered “I’m sorry” more. It’s not becoming to be a know it all-in reality, thinking that you’re always right is a sign of weakness and self absorbance.

20. I’ve learned to THINK about what I commit to-nobody likes to have a promise that was made to them broken and that doesn’t happen if you never make one in the first place.

21. CLIP COUPONS! You’d be amazed how much money you can save.

22. Don’t feel guilty about having your hair done by a professional every few months. I wish that I’d used drug store hair color less. Nothing makes a woman feel better about herself than a good hair day! And nothing can cause us to fall apart faster than a bad one!23.When you don’t get enough rest, it shows physically & mentally. I wish that I’d known that chronic insomnia needs to be treated sooner rather than later. I should also note that it is a hereditary disorder that runs heavily in my family. I’ve struggled with this since childhood.

24. If your insurance allows it, it’s a good idea to get a colonoscopy and mammogram before you hit forty.  I recently lost a friend to colon cancer who was only 39. She was diagnosed with stage 4 and died five months later.

25. I wish that I hadn’t been so busy planning how I wanted to live my life that I wasted valuable

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