There are certain times of year that naturally push me to spend a bit more time reflecting than I spend doing. Those times of year tend to coincide with natural transitions–the turn of a new year, the change of seasons, and of course birthdays. This year, as I inch closer and closer to the three-decade milestone, I am finding myself feeling both nostalgic and reflective.

The result is this series of blog posts over the 10 days leading up to my 30th birthday in which I am sharing a total of 30 lessons that I have learned in 30 years of life.

Read. Then Read Some More.
As an undergraduate religion major and a seminary student I read a lot. Trust me, there was often more reading assigned than was physically impossible to complete. I love to read, and as a writer I know it is absolutely imperative that I read and keep reading. After graduating from seminary I went through a period of time where I took a break (ok, a pretty long break) from consistently reading. Until recently. It took a little bit of guilty pleasure reading (*cough* Pretty Little Liars *cough*) to get back into a rhythm, but I am recently rediscovering the joy of reading and learning. So, read, people. Read books, read articles online, whatever you enjoy. But don’t stop learning and don’t stop reading.

Own Technology, but Don’t Let Technology Own You
love technology. I tend to be an early adopter when it comes to new social networks and other new technologies (at least when I can afford to be an early adopter). And, growing up alongside many of our modern networked technologies, I am part of a small generational segment that has a unique perspective on things like the internet, messaging, social networking and cell phones. I love owning technology, but I am learning most recently that it is really easy for that phrase to make a switcharoo to the point where technology begins to own us. It’s a dangerous and slippery slope. So, unplug and recharge. Technology is good in moderation (like everything else), but I am challenged regularly to find ways to keep the boundaries firm and the relationship in check.

Travel Often
love to travel. There is something special about staring out the window of an airplane seeing the hustle and bustle of the world continuing below, or experiencing life in another part of the country or the world. It’s good for the soul. It expands your worldview and changes the ways that you experience life at home. Our campus pastors at Ashland University used to talk about global missions saying, “Sometimes you have to travel halfway around the world to have your eyes opened to the needs in your own backyard.” This is true about missions, and it is true about life. I am blessed to have a husband that feeds my travel bug and gives me opportunities to visit friends in faraway places. And, I honestly hope that bug to get away never goes away.

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