So it got me thinking why many of us freak out at the thought of turning 30. Why do we feel like we need to achieve everything by 30? When I was 24 I remember coming up with three before 30 goals – own a property, travel the world and get married. Typical goals many young people have.
But as I have grown older, and hopefully wiser, what I have realised is that life doesn’t always turn out how you expect. Many things have not happened in my time frame nor in the way did I expect them to. But looking b
ack, God’s timing is best.
So what’s the deal about doing all these things before turning 30? Firstly, I’m pretty sure nothing magical will happen upon turning 30. In fact I’ve heard some people cry when they turn 30 and that doesn’t sound magical at all! Secondly, these 10 things to do are not limited to before turning 30. Lastly, underpinning all things covered is our call to grow in holiness everyday- which is the top thing to do at any age in life!
Sometimes in life it can feel like we are always waiting for something which can make us feel discontented with our present state. Perhaps you think, if only I was in a relationship then life would be better. Then once you are in a relationship you desire to be engaged. Then once you are married you may wish you had been single longer. You get my drift!
But we need to live entirely in the present moment, doing what we are doing and being completely where we are. Because if God wanted us elsewhere right now, wouldn’t we be there? Saint Paul once said, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.” So learn to find your joy and happiness by trusting God.
Even if your life goals haven’t happened by the time you’ve hit 30, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be content with the life you have. Sometimes it can be hard to strike a good balance between ambition and contentment, but be thankful and fully satisfied with what God has already blessed you with. Godliness with contentment is great gain, so try offering in prayer to God two things you are grateful for every day.
Perhaps we have a tendency to define ourselves by our occupation, but we are sons and daughters of Christ and this defines our identity and our destination.
We all battle with insecurities on our journey of discovering who we are. When I was 12 I was insecure about my skin colour. I really wanted to be a Western girl and did silly things like use whitening skin lotion. After weeks of doing this it wasn’t working, so I gave up!
I now see myself how God sees me – as a masterpiece of His creation, made in His image. My sense of worth and security rests on being loved by God alone, who loves me despite all my flaws and my perceived imperfections.
Take up opportunities to develop yourself. Be strong and secure in who you are, knowing you are a child of God and God’s love for you is enough.
We all go through difficult periods in our lives. A few years ago I was in a challenging relationship, but God met me in my most weakest and vulnerable point in my
life. It was during this period that I experienced immense growth in my relationship with God and in my faith as a Catholic.
God removes all that is broken – removing relationships, habits and attitudes that are not aligned to His will and then lovingly builds us up again with truth and freedom so we can flourish. All the trials we work through are a chance for God to further mould us into the men and women of God he desires us to be.
So repair from despair well…seek God’s healing and reconciliation and let God take your mess and turn it into a message of hope for others.
Often our lives are so busy that we don’t stop to relax and smell the roses. One of my favourite things in life is to go for a run by the river or go to the beach and just do nothing. It’s my “Me” time – a time for me to recharge, pray and switch off.
When life is so fast paced with so much to get done, the idea of doing nothing and having “Me” time can seem wasteful. But we need to take the time to be still and marvel at God’s creation and what He is doing in our lives. It’s often in those moments of silence that we hear the whisper of God in our hearts prompting and guiding us.
No matter how hectic your week is, find the time for yourself to do nothing and incorporate a “Me” time activity into your week.
Take the time to discern your vocation and be open to wherever God is calling you. The disposition that permits proper discernment is a heart that seeks to respond to God’s love and says, “Whatever you want Lord.” This is challenging because we may be afraid of where God is really calling us. However, ask God to help you choose faithfully the path in life that will bring the most praise and glory to God – what will make God more known and loved in human hearts in this life and the next.
Everyone has a different path of love – we need priests, religious and lay people to build God’s Kingdom. I’ve heard the term “perpetual discernment” thrown around but at some point we need to make a choice which path to take. Spend time discerning by praying over scriptures, going to mass and adoration, spending time in silence, writing in a prayer journal and finding a good spiritual director.
So if you’ve discerned that marriage is your vocation, before hunting down your future spouse, invest the time in developing a deep personal relationship with God first. We must be satisfied with being loved by God alone before we can truly love another.
It’s quite funny because almost every week my 90 year old Nanna will say to me, “Kim you better hurry up and get married because I really want great grandchildren!” After being asked this several times, one time I replied “Nanna, how long do you plan on living?!”
But I think it’s important to take the time to mature and grow as a person and know who you are and what you want. Train yourselves in those virtues that will make you a good spouse such as humility, purity, honesty and faithfulness. Build solid friendships which are a good foundation for moving into a courtship towards marriage. Guard your own heart and the hearts of the opposite sex by not awakening love until the time is right.
Everyone’s timing is different but in the meantime be faithful and trust that God will bring the right person in His timing, not your Nanna’s timing!
Our journey as Catholics can’t be done isolation – we need a community. Find a community or group where you are supported in your walk with Christ and allows you to develop your faith. Surround yourself with good influences, grow together and serve together.
Don’t limit yourself to just Catholic or Christian friends. We are called to spread the good news to all. Form good friendships and aspire to be an effective witness that attracts people to the faith.
Even though our families can be crazy and at times dysfunctional, make time for your family and appreciate them. My mum once said to me when I was really busy and hardly at home, “You know Kim, charity starts at home.” I replied “Ok Ok I’ll bring you for dim sum.” Dim sum always makes everything better! But she made a good point.
If your parents are anything like mine, they just want to be part of your life. They want to hear what’s going on in your life, no matter how trivial, and they appreciate those moments when you can grab a meal, go for a walk and spend quality time together. Find a regular time to dedicate to family and value your parents – sure they made mistakes but we do too.
I live by the philosophy everything in moderation when it comes to food. Strike a healthy balance and enjoy the simple pleasures in life but without over indulging.
When we start practicing self-control with food, it helps us to exercise self-control in other areas of our lives such as pleasure, material possessions and work. If there’s areas in your life that you need to exercise self-control in, ask God for His grace to help you master your desires and impulses so you can say no to temptations and yes to Christ.
Even though we may doubt it, God knows exactly what He is doing in our lives. If He has us in a season or situation, then He wants to use it for incredible blessing. There is more benefit for us in the season we find ourselves in.
I’m sure you’ve all gone through dry seasons in life. Periods of spiritual desolation? Suffering? Heartache? Lack of motivation? And you’ve wondered why God? But as time goes on you gain clarity as to the reason for the season.
Whatever season you find yourself in, navigate your season well to expand your realm of influence. Serve and grow in love for God and others. We were not born to live an ordinary, mundane life but to live a life full of victory, bringing change and solution to a world in need. Whether it’s volunteering at your parish, spending time with a lonely person or giving to charity, there’s tonnes of ways you can dare to make a difference.
No matter what age you are or what season of life you are in, make your life count for the cause of Christ!