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A Celebration of 30- 30 Things God’s Taught Me Over 30 Years

Today’s my 30th birthday! Reaching 30 is kind of crazy; wasn’t it just yesterday I spent every Friday night cheering? Some days it feels like 16 wasn’t that long ago, but a quick glance at my life reminds me those days are long gone. Though sometimes I miss the carefree life from back then, I love where God has me now. Through my husband, kids, ministry, job, etc., God has done immeasurably more (Eph. 3:20). As a celebration and praise to God for bringing me thus far, here’s 30 things God has taught me (in no particular order)…IMG_5380.jpeg

  1. God is faithful (read more about that here). I’ve learned he’ll always do as he says he’ll do, and he’ll always stay true to his character (Lam. 3:22-23).
  2. God gives us the church, and the local church has become such a treasure to me. God is teaching me it’s good that my church isn’t full of people just like me. When believers of different generations, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, etc. join together, it’s a beautiful and God-glorifying thing.IMG_0037
  3. Where God calls, he’ll provide. He’s proved this time and time again as he led me to be a stay at home mom and as we’ve ventured through the adoption process.PATTILLO-21
  4. God’s Word is a treasure. I’ll forever spend my days encouraging others to dive deep into God’s Word. It’s changed my life in such beautiful ways (Psalm 119:97-104).
  5. God calls me to be on mission, but sometimes it looks like going and other times it looks like staying. I can “go” to my grocery store, neighbors, and more, but I can also “stay” through prayer and holding down the fort while Jack goes (Matt. 28:18-20).IMG_1469
  6. God disciplines me because he loves me, and his discipline is gracious yet authoritative. He’s challenged me to discipline my children in the same way (Heb. 12:6).
  7. God’s Word is Truth. When I’m tempted to people-please or be anxious, he helps my mind think on Scripture (John 17:17).
  8. God makes beauty from brokenness. I’ve experienced trials in my life, but God continues to redeem them for his gloryImage may contain: 8 people, including Angela Johnson Blanton, Rick Blanton, Morgan Pheffer, Megan Blanton, Richie Blanton and Logan Grace Pheffer, people smiling
  9. God is gracious to give us abundant life in the here and now. Some days, it looks like seeing students grow closer to Christ at camp and others, it looks like family lake days, but it’s beautiful either way (John 10:10).4814B4B0-CA60-48A0-9D5C-495A3AC34802
  10. The rest God gives isn’t always physical, but I can always rest in his finished work on the cross. 
  11. God equips us through his Word to have discerning hearts. Not every resource labeled “Christian” is good. He’s taught me the Word should be my first resource & what I compare all others against. Only his Word is infallible, complete, and perfect. Other resources can edify, but they’re never a replacement for his Word (2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12; 1 John 4:1).
  12. God has taught me theology isn’t just for seminary students. In fact, we all have theology; the question is, is it good and sound? Having good and sound theology is for every believer.
  13. God unifies us in the Gospel. Though we might have earthly differences, the bond that holds us together is being in Christ. What a testimony to the world when moms who parent a little differently or friends who are in different seasons of life still come together in harmonious friendship (Eph. 4:1-7)!
  14. God doesn’t call me to say, “yes” to everything. Thankfully, he’s used my husband to teach me when/how to say, “no”.
  15. God calls me to submission, and this isn’t a bad thing. Godly submission is servant-hearted, allowing my wonderful husband to lead our family as God leads him (Eph. 5:22-33).fullsizeoutput_117a
  16. God calls us to persevere. We’re not to always run at the first sign of trouble (Gal. 6:9).
  17. God doesn’t always give us the “why” on this side of eternity. He’s God, so he doesn’t have to. We can trust he sees the big picture and knows best.
  18. God works ALL things for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28).
  19. God gave me a home, and I should use it for his glory. However, hospitality doesn’t equal entertaining. It’s not about a Pinterest-perfect home, but loving well those who step through my doors (Rom. 12:13). IMG_9811
  20. God wants me to take each care to him- from big things like adoption to smaller things like car-shopping frustrations (1 Peter 5:7).
  21. God fully knows me, yet he fully loves me far deeper than I’ll ever comprehend (Psalm 139:1-18).
  22. God’s mercies are new every morning. Since I’m in Christ, when the Father looks at me, he sees me clothed in the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
  23. God gives us gifts to use for his glory. Humility isn’t pretending like they don’t exist; rather, it’s humbly submitting those to the Father for him to cultivate and use for his glory (Eph. 4:11-16).  IMG_3668
  24. God is gracious to bring the Body of Christ around us in trials to be “Jesus with skin on”. The Body of Christ has been wonderful to rejoice with us as we’ve rejoiced and also weep with us as we’ve wept (Rom. 12:15).IMG_4157
  25. God puts people on our minds for a reason. Don’t be afraid to text/reach out with some encouragement (Heb. 10:25)!
  26. God has given me beautiful gifts in my husband and children. I absolutely love being a wife, mom, and serving my home. PATTILLO-6
  27. There are many things that are neutral in and of themselves (social media, sports, family, friends, etc.), but we can easily make them idols. God and God alone should receive our worship (including the worship of our time, thoughts, money, etc.) (Ex. 20:3).
  28. My identity is found in Christ alone. Worldly roles/identities may change, but my identity in Christ will remain forever (Eph. 1:3-14).
  29. God is my never-changing yet ever-present rock. Though this world may change, he remains the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
  30. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

There’s much more I could write. I’ve been following Jesus since I was 7, and it keeps getting sweeter. I know 30 years from now, I’ll look back in amazement at all God has done and taught me about himself. Any good thing I’ve done or will do is because of him, all because of him. Friends, I pray you know God so deeply. He’s all these things to you and more. Most of all, he’s Lord and Savior. For my next 30 years, I want to be nearer to him. I pray you draw nearer to God in your next 30, too.

 

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