Friday, April 21, 2017

20 Thoughts on Turning 20

My friend Mykaela did this post when she turned 20 back in October (read it here), and I just decided it was way too fun of an idea to pass up. 😊

1. I'd rather be a background character in God's story, than the main character in my own story.

It's kind of like when you were eight years old and got a new, exciting book, but couldn't handle the suspense, so halfway through you skipped over to the last chapter just to take a peek and make sure all of your favorite characters survive. We already know the final chapter of God's story. As muggy as your life might look right now, Heaven is going to be perfect. Let's work with our sights on that! And try to spread the invitation around as much as we can while we're still here!

2. My family is super awesome.

All the rest of you guys are weird. And you don't get my inside jokes, so why do I even bother?

3. The only thing one must learn is how to learn.

Oh. That sounded smart. But really! If you can learn how to learn—study, observe, scientific method, etc.—the limits are only set by God Himself. It seems to me that Western education is more about memorizing and panicky deadlines than actually learning.

4. Do you want to do then, now.

I'm starting to think it's kind of pathetic that we tell our kids they have to grow up and get college degrees before they can do what they're passionate about now. You want to teach music, but you're only 15? Don't let the world set your rules; you are not of the world.

5. Geometry is terrifying.

So, if you even think, ponder, consider as a possibility, in the very pit of your mind, that you might need to re-take the ACT at 20 years old... never stop studying geometry. It's too easy to forget and too hard to re-learn.

6. Life's too short to break your shoulder with a 20-gallon purse.

Please. Why are you bringing a curling iron along with you grocery shopping, anyways?

7. Walmart is like coffee.

It's a bitter-sweet relationship. Bitter cashiers. Sweet prices.

8. Money does grow on trees.

Money is made from paper. So...

9. I can tolerate you without agreeing with you.

I can allow you to breathe another gulp of air in this atmosphere. Toleration. This doesn't mean I embrace your ideals or support your lifestyle.

10. Know people by their music.

Music is probably the very best way possible to see what someone's heart beats for and to. Music and Pinterest boards. Just sayin'.

11. The happiest people are usually those who don't take anything personally.

In the words of my father, "the world's not out to get you."

12. Nothing is free.

Freedom. Food. Government cell phones. Health insurance. Nothing. Don't believe the lies. Don't vote for Bernie Sanders. Someone is paying for everything.

13. Life's too short to limit yourself to one hobby or passion.

I realized this a couple of months ago. I'm in a writer's group on Facebook, and one girl commented somewhere in there saying she loved music and wanted to start teaching lessons, but she felt torn between pursuing that and perusing a writing career. I say, why not both?!

14. Busyness is only good to a point.

I have no trouble, really, saying no, turning down engagements, stuff like that, but I like being busy. I want to lie down my head at night and sigh in contented exhaustion, secure in my day's productivity. I want to know what I'm doing is helping, and helping a lot. So I say yes to a lot of projects. Too often. When this starts distracting me from the black and white things I know I'm supposed to be doing (i.e. daily devotions), it's no longer good at all. Same goes for if it takes me away from my family too much.

15. People who email right back are special people. Treasure them.

(And treasure me for a different reason, because this is one of my biggest faults and I'm sorry.)

16. Eating healthfully doesn't mean never eating cake again.

Eating healthfully just means eating cake more healthfully. The reason people get on diets and fail is because they miss tortillas and don't understand that, yes, they can still have tortillas. Just make them in a healthier way, or choose ones with healthier ingredients. Diets are never going to last when you have to completely redefine your eating habits and give up all of your favorite foods.

17. Perfectionism can be overcome.

If you just go out and take pictures and get over the fact that you aren't any good at it... eventually you'll be pretty good.

18. Life is like a box of chocolates...

wait. You already know that one, don't you?

19. If you think you are, you're not.

Especially: wise and godly. If you think you're very wise or godly, you probably aren't.

20. Just because you can say it doesn't mean you should.

And this is why I have 128 blog posts in draft currently. Most of those will probably never be published on here. Not because they are bad or wrong—I wrote them, and I don't write bad or wrong, you know that 😉—but because some things are better left unsaid.

What was imperative for the world to hear was said in the Bible, and since it's perfect as it is, I really hope one day I can learn to shut up and let it speak wholly for itself.

P.S. Please subscribe while you are here!! :)


  1. Aw, I love these! Both your post and Mykaela's are so wonderful! I could second every single thing you said, but first I want to wish you a happy belated birthday. :) I'm not sure when it was, but I hope it was a good one.

    I love your first thought...and your second, and your third.. :) But seriously. This is good stuff! I totally understand about the inside family jokes! My family can talk almost exclusively in movie quotes and family remembrances. It's great, isn't it?! (And everyone else IS weird!! :)

    And I thought number 4 was esp. poignant.. "Do you want to do then, now." I believe this could also be applied to the habits and characteristics we want to have in our lives at a certain point in time. We should focus on those good habits or etc. NOW,and not wait until then!

    All the rest of your thoughts are so useful too! Some are funny, but there is also wisdom behind the humor. These really made me stop and ponder on some things, so thank you so much for sharing! I hope the Lord blesses you throughout your twentieth year! :)

    1. Aww thank you Jenny! My birthday was the 21st. :)

      I can't hardly be serious for one entire post, you know me! Haha! But this is just a tiny little fraction of all that I've been learning and realizing more clearly lately. God is so good, Jenny! Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Aww... You copied me! 😎 ;) Lived this post and your sense of wit and wisdom. May you have a wonderful year! I feel so blessed to have you as my friend!!!

    1. Yes, yes I did. You're just awesome like that.

      Thank you so much!! I am blessed to have YOU!! <3

  3. Hi Kimberly! I am a somewhat new reader of Mykaela's blog, and I clicked on her link to this post, and now here I am! :)

    I think that God may be trying to show me something by this post. As I was skimming through it, your fourth point caught my eye. I'm in high school, and already planning on going to college in music education or piano pedagogy. You used music as a specific example, so I stopped to re-read the point.
    See, I'm not academically gifted or anything, and I already am nervous about college. I don't know if I'll be able to handle the work load or the difficulty (recently I have been reading a college music book and I'm totally lost). I've asked my parents several times why I need to even go to college. All I want to do is teach music; can't I do that without a degree? The answer is, of course, yes, but my parents have listed some very good points about why a college degree would be helpful and wise for the path I want to go. And everyone expects me to go to college for music. Our church pianist is a very talented musician (and a super sweet, wise, godly lady) and teaches at the college I would go to, and she has even told me before that she thinks that pursuing a music degree is something she she's me doing in the future. I would even dare to say that several of the other teachers there, that have heard me play, would say the same. I've just gotten SO much affirmation from Christians that I highly respect. But I'm concerned. Although I definitely see teaching music in my future, I also see mission work... and getting married (I think God may be preparing me to be the wife of a youth pastor one day)... and having kids... and other things.

    This post really got me to stop and think some more. I'll have a lot more praying and things to do before I graduate... I guess we will see how God leads. I would love to hear any encouragement or thoughts you might have for my specific situation though! :)

    Also... I was looking through your archives... I loved so many of your posts! Let's just say... you may see lots more comments from me, dotted all over this blog ;)

    Thank you, Kimberly! Keep up the good work! :)

    1. Welcome, Grace!! I'm so glad to "meet" you and I can't wait to get to know you better. :)

      Well, as I saw your comment tonight, I really had to stop and think. I've been in your shoes. When I was a senior in high school I applied to several colleges as a Music Education major. I played piano, organ, viola, and violin in my church, interchangeably. I see my past self reflected in your present self. I just want to encourage you as I probably needed encouragement when I was there, so I had to think and pray for a minute...

      First off, you can do the coursework. Don't not do something out of fear. ;)

      But, also, I want to encourage you to not go to college (especially if you would have to take out loans for it) for validation, impressing someone else, fulfilling the expectations of others, or anything like that. I know it is such a tug when your good Christian mentors encourage you towards something (my closest counselor from church really, really wanted me to go to PCC), but please put that on the back-burner. These decisions are a matter of God leading you through your immediate authority of your parents.

      Depending on what reasons your parents have listed for you on why you need a degree, I would *highly* recommend trying Dual Credit at Home or otherwise earning an AA degree through CLEP exams. I can get you more info on this if you want. It's the most affordable way of obtaining a degree, you can do it all from home (or the missions field), and it gives you that paper that you might one day need to use as a tool.

      Prayer is always the best idea, but I'm glad you hashed it out with me; I'll be praying for you, too!

      I would like to refer you to two other recent posts of mine that touch on this subject you're curious about:

      (^'Girls and College?' was a post I wrote apart of my Q&A series, where I explain through my personal opinions on girls going to college, why they should and shouldn't, etc.—all personal opinions, though, it's not like I'm pulling Scripture!)

      (^'Motive? What Motive?' was a post I wrote on evaluating choices, like this, that we can't find black and white advice on from the Scriptures, and taking it down to motive. Even though college options aren't discussed in the Bible, motive and heart issues are.)

      Remember always that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin"! If you're thinking you're going to do college because you don't know what else to do with those years, someone else thinks it's a good idea, etc., etc., that's not really faith is it?

      It's my pleasure to be here, Grace! God is so, so good to me, so I just can't help but to talk about it! If you want to talk more about anything I mentioned here, feel free to send me a message through the contact form and I can be in touch via email. :)


    2. Wow, thank you for sharing that you were once in the same position as I am now. My instruments are piano, flute, and erhu. Viola, guitar, oboe, and harp will be coming soon (hopefully!) ;) I also serve a lot in my church musically, with the recent opportunity to help "lead" the congregational singing with my dad and our assistant pastor. My dad and I are the Sunday afternoon service "choir" replacement in May ;)

      I want to just clarify, my parents are very serious about staying out of debt, so going into debt for my potential college education is not an option. If I don't score high enough on the ACT and/or get some scholarships, I probably will not be going to college.

      Hmm, I've heard about CLEP exams, but I don't know much about them. I will have to ask my mom more about that! :)

      Oh yes, I completely agree that I shouldn't go to college purely out of pressure. The reason I am serious about what others think is because of the confirmation aspect of it. There just seems to be SO much confirmation that this is the route to go.

      One of the reasons a music degree would be helpful is because I would love to teach group lessons in a school setting. I know that many schools would want a certified music teacher for that. I also could use a much better understanding of teaching techniques and theory ;)
      The things I would like to do in music include: church music ministry, private lessons, group lessons (school/church/other setting), and composition.

      The college I would be attending is in our area, so I would be local and able to stay at home. I don't think that staying in the dorms would be my cup of tea anyway. I get sick, literally, when I'm in a new place, around lots of people. My mom is the same way, and she had a hard time with nervous, introvert sickness while at college.

      Okay, well, thank you for sharing your thoughts! :) I have a lot to think about and discuss with my parents. Thank you!

  4. Aww! Yes! I hope you do get to start with a viola soon! It's my secondary. :)

    This confirmation you're talking about is tricky because I was getting SO MUCH confirmation myself that I almost tricked myself into believing it was definitely God's will to go to college. He really had to knock me off my feet to remind me His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. My prayer through all of my applications and pursuit of colleges was, "God, if this isn't for me, don't let me have it and take the desire away. Please form my heart to be more like yours." He was faithful to answer those petitions! Praise His name!

    Those all sound like super great outlets to use a degree, however I do personally know people doing all of those things without degrees. (I promise I am not trying to talk you out of anything—I'm over here working on a college degree, myself! I don't think they're bad or anything!)

    I just wonder... would you want to work all of those music jobs after you were married and had children? If that's something you do feel that God has for your future, does that mean your degree is only really going to be utilized for a few years and then hung up to collect dust? And if missions is also on your heart, do you have an idea of how to use the degree to further the Gospel (home or abroad)?

    I'm really glad to know you are against debt and planning to stay at/close to home! So many friends are forgetting those things these days!

    If you've never read 'Joyfully at Home' by Jasmine Bauchem or 'Do Hard Things' by the Harris brothers, I would highly recommend both to you! They're favorites of mine, and really helped me align my priorities to God's Word when I was figuring out all these things you're figuring out now. :)

    Glad I could help! It's all for His glory!!

    1. Viola is so beautiful! :) I can't wait to begin learning it at some point!!

      That's interesting that you know young people that even teach in schools without a degree. I don't, so that's encouraging to hear!

      Oh wow, I didn't realize that obvious flaw in my thinking xD You're right, I probably wouldn't work all those jobs after marriage and having kids (if that's God's plan) ;) Those are all things I would like to do at some point in time though. Church music is something I'm already doing, for example. Teaching private lessons is something that I can see myself doing on the side, after I'm married and have kids. Teaching in a group setting is something I would like to do before marriage, and even as a newlywed possibly. It all depends on the Lord's will and timing though, of course! And composition... I'm already doing some of that and my dream would be to publish a hymn arrangement collection right out of high school. But, we'll see ;)

      Mission work... ah! That is something very personal to me. God put Africa on my heart, and although I don't think it's His will for me to end up being a full time missionary to Africa, I would love to go on mission trips there, and possibly teach music at a school like the Amazima School for a little while. (I know a young lady who went and taught piano in Africa one summer). Having a degree might be very helpful in obtaining a job in a school in Africa one day. Or any school, for that matter.

      And then there's the possibility of singleness that has to be taken into account as well, because singleness could very well be a possibility. Marriage should never be the "end goal" or expectation. Marriage is a gift, and if God chooses to gift us with that, we should be delightfully surprised and thankful! In other words, we shouldn't be expecting it.
      If I don't get married, then what? That has to be considered as well! I know a young lady who is not married, and her degree has gotten her a job at a respected Christian classical school. She has also taught a Freshmen college class.

      Wow, this is quite an extensive topic! I still have lots of praying to do, of course, and talking with my parents. For now, I think we will probably slowly walk into this (I'll take a few college classes in high school as a duel enrollment student) and see how God leads. Thank you for discussing this with me, Kimberly! It's given me some things to think about.

      Ooh, and by the way, you had said, "You want to teach music, but you're only 15? Don't let the world set your rules; you are not of the world." I was just curious... when you wrote that, did you have anything specific in mind for 15-year-olds that want to teach music? I'd love to have some ideas on what I can do to teach music as a young teenager! :)


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