3 'Til 30
Today is June 12th so it is officially 3 months until I turn the big 3 0 and I cannot feel more excited!!
Looking back at my 20s, I have a lot of moments where I'm like,
"What were you thinking?
"Chill girl. It's a part of the process."
So as a method of growth, there are 3 areas in my life I will improve beginning in my 30s and they are my finances, my family and my faith (I have already started on these btw).
F I N A N C E S:
The benefits of money isn't second nature to me. It wasn't a topic discussed around the dinner table growing up. Unfortunately, when this is the case, the opposite of it (debt, poor money managing skills, spending frivolously, etc.) will more than likely become a reality. However, this year I have decided that money will no longer be a mysterious topic. I no longer can use "I didn't or don't know" as an excuse. My new money mindset is, "If I don’t think long, then I'm thinking wrong." When thinking long, I consider 3 things: my retirement, my kids and grandchildren (Yes! I am already thinking about my grandchildren).
Over the past months, I have been diligently reading and studying money. What it is and how it works. How do I get more of it? How can I make my money make me more money with less effort? What's the best financial plans to have for my kids? How can this be extended to my grandchildren?
You may ask, "Why are you so concerned about the wealth of your children and grandchildren?" Because for me, my success extends beyond me. I succeed when those behind me (my children and grandchildren) succeed. The Bible even talks about how a good man saves an inheritance for their grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22). I want to ensure that when my children become of age that they have the financial tools and means to having a better start in life than I did. My goal is not for my children to be me. I want them to be better than me. I believe my financial parental responsibilities extend beyond the age of 18.
I have come to the conclusion that I do not need to have money to invest money. (Well…literally speaking I do but you get my drift). I am breaking beyond my previous thinking of, "When I get 'xyz' amount of money, I will start to save, invest, etc." Why, because something will always come up and it will not get done. Annnddd, clearly this has not worked for the past 29 years of my life so what better time than now to start trying something new.
I have decided that I will start to either save to invest or invest something weekly. Whether it's $100, $50 or $10; I will invest something for myself (husband included) and my children. There is something I can sacrifice weekly in order to improve myself and the next generations financially in the long run.
I have decided to put goals to my savings account. I no longer want to save, just to save. I found high interest yielding savings accounts to place our money. If I am giving a bank the pleasure of holding my money, then let me find the bank that will provide the best return for doing so. I have also started to review the stock market and follow various trends within the stock market for companies/organizations in which investing may prove to be beneficial to us. I've reviewed online brokerage firms that make investing easier to understand and do. I have created a budget that both I and my husband review daily and weekly. We have a financial planner/trainer that we meet with quarterly to discuss and properly align our financial goals.
Overall, I have decided that I no longer want to be a borrower. I want to minimize my debts and become a better steward over the money that God blesses us with monthly so that He will and can continually bless our family in the future.
F A M I L Y:
It was once said that if you want to change the world, then go home and love your family (Mother Teresa).
Being the best wife and mother is so important me. It's bittersweet because both are roles that you generally learn as you go and once you've "learned" it, it changes. But there's such a beautiful thing in being a blank slate wife and mother and how God cultivates you into exactly what your spouse and children need. Interestingly, they have also became the same for me.
My kids are growing up so fast. Thinking about it makes me want to cry and pray that they never grow. However, since I cannot stop them from growing, I am more intentional about my time with them. I am more intentional about praying over them while they are sleeping. I pray for their futures, careers, their spouses, their overall well-being. I am more intentional about the words I speak to and over them. I am more intentional about my expression of love toward them.
I am focused on creating memories that last with them. I asked Nylah one day, what was the one thing that she loved about our family and she said without hesitation, "I love the love that we share for one another." (That girl is going places) That made me cry. I love her and her heart. It was also a gentle reminder that although I am not perfect, some things I do get right.
They encourage me to find uninterrupted time for them. Even if it's watching the NBA finals together while they are jumping on the couch and rolling around on the floor and not really watching it. It's the little things that add up to the big things that matter.
My marriage has been one of the most life teaching elements of my life. It has bought about experiences that have provided me with a level of wisdom that could not have been presented through any other means. It has taught me how to love and to forgive especially when I don’t feel like it. It has taught me to trust and depend on God first and not as a last resort. It has taught me to not place unrealistic expectations on Jay. Through my marriage, I have learned to love unconditionally and to pray fervently and constantly. It has been a beautiful journey to both spiritual and emotional maturity.
Life is truly short and I want to ensure that I enjoy it with those closest to me. I want to continue to give into the next generation through my children while loving and supporting my husband into eternity.
F A I T H:
My faith has been an interesting journey this year but I can honestly say that I'm at a place where I am learning to enjoy the ride. F I N A L L Y !!!
For this area, I want to continue to nurture it. I want to trust and learn God more for myself. I want to continue to live outside of my comfort zone because I truly believe this is where He resides. I want to understand God in such an intimate way that it truly amazes me each time. Then I want to become so accustomed to this that my expectation of Him increases and flourishes further pushing me to a deeper level in Him.
Thinking about what God has in store makes my heart leap. Am I nervous? Absolutely, but I am determined to do it afraid. Whatever it may be. I will do it afraid. I will no longer continue to give place to fear. I no longer want to minimize God by comparing Him to basic human capabilities. He's so much bigger than that.
What my 20s have taught me that I now understand is that all of that above requires breaking and, at times, pain. I must let go of who I am, who I think I should be, who I want to be in order to be who God destined for me to be. All pain is not bad pain. I am learning to have peace in pain; to find comfort in pure chaos. I may not win every battle, but I already have the victory for the war.
I am an heir to the only One who has power in His words. My life has already been majestically created and established. Awe, the beauty!
So cheers to 3 'til 30!!