Hey friends, it's Elizabeth, and welcome to the end of the school year. 'Tis the season for warm weather, bittersweet good-byes, and reflecting on how you've grown over the past year. A few days ago I met with a friend of mine, and she asked me the top three things I'd learned this year. It's actually a pretty tough question, and I'd encourage you to ask yourself and your friends. Also, since I tend to be long-winded and refuse to be constrained to three, here are seven lessons I've learned during my senior year of college.
1. You can't be all the things.
I learned this via a Hannah Brencher blog, and my co-blog Chief Ashton. I have this bad habit of trying to be the best at everything and suffering severe disappointment when I'm not. The truth is that it's okay to bring your weaknesses up to par while excelling in your strengths. And always remember that the standard is progress, not perfection.
2. Seasons of silence, waiting, and prayer can be beautiful if you let it.
It's easy to feel abandoned or unwanted by God when it feels like He's forgotten you. But friends, God cannot be anything but good. That's that infinite truth about His character. He gives good gifts to His children, and He gives abundantly more than we could ask or imagine. He doesn't need you to feel Him in order for Him to be at work. He is working, and He is alive.
3. How to be an adult with a budget (still learning).
Money can be stressful but it doesn't have to be. This is the first year I've had to pay for rent, groceries, and life, and I've learned that budgeting is essential if I want to have money at the end of the month. It takes practice and discipline, but it's worth it.
(me and my lovely house-mates)
4. Gourmet cheese can make bad days better and mediocre days fabulous.
I mean, right? Cheese is good with anything: fruit, crackers, soup, tacos, cake. Sometimes, if I need a pick-me-up, I'll literally go Kroger and hang out with the gourmet cheeses. It's good to know what kinds of food will bring you to your happy place.
5. Setting your mind on Truth will transform your heart.
The Lord is so faithful to transform our hearts when we ask. And choosing to believe and dwell on Scripture trains our mind to be fixed on Him. This year, a friend and I held each other accountable to claiming one Truth each day, and it's helped me to think about things that are excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). It's also taught me that I am of infinite value.
6. Food is a love language.
This semester I've learned two things: it's important to know your love language & food deserves its own category. Today, Ashton brought blueberry yogurt covered pretzels to work and Luke shared his dried mangos with me. I felt loved. Also, see number 4.
7. Obedience to the Lord is always the right answer.
This semester, I have both ran away from the Lord in stubbornness and surrendered to the Lord in obedience. Although surrender requires an uncomfortable amount of humility, it also brings unexplainable freedom, relief, and joy. Obedience is always worth it, friends. Always.