Here is just a small tribute to some incredible people who have had a big impact on my life. 21 lessons and some photos of those who taught them to me. Thank you to all these and even more who aren’t pictured.
1. There are people in our lives who have more faith in us than we have in ourselves. Cling to them. They get you farther than you could ever dream to go.
2. Doubt is terrifying. It is absolutely necessary – necessary to solidify our own beliefs, better understand other’s beliefs, remind us of our imperfections, and humble us knowing we don’t have all the answers.
3. We are never too old to play. Relentless curiosity and childlike joy give us the eyes to see the beautiful in life, opening up small pieces of the world we so easily miss when trying to be “mature.”
4. We need those similar to us to validate and encourage our passions and beliefs. We need those different from us to challenge and refine them.
5. Truth should be relentlessly sought after. It is also never fully found.
6. As Micah Bournes once “spoke,” life is unfathomably beautiful. It is also excruciatingly dark and horrific. We continue fighting for justice because we believe the beauty we experience is worth preserving.
7. Laughter is healing, freeing, and incredibly contagious.
8. No individual is voiceless. There are those screaming out and those deaf with apathy, but every human being has a voice. When we speak for them, rather than letting their voices be heard, that is what keeps them silent.
9. Thankfulness is the antidote to the bad things in life.
10. Answers are dead-end, brick walls. Questions open doors – they unlock undiscovered pieces of the people around us, they unlock the mysteries of life, they open to us things unknown and yet to be discovered.
11. Faith is a journey for everyone, for those of every belief, religion, ethnicity, and culture. We are all on a long road to our final destination, so along the way grace and forgiveness are the greatest gifts we can give one another.
12. The ability to express ourselves is a gift. The ability to listen is an even greater gift. The moment we stop to listen, we often learn the things we’ve been missing.
13. Every person in our lives builds a little home in our hearts, taking up a residency that can never be inhabited by another. The collection of these homes creates the quaint, cozy town that makes up who we are.
14. Adventure is a way of seeing life. It can be living in Rome for a semester in college. It can also be taking a new route to work, getting coffee with a stranger, or trying a new family-owned restaurant down the street. It is beginning to find the hidden gems within everyday life.
15. Passion is fiercely contagious.
16. Sisterhood (or brotherhood…I’m unqualified to experience that one) is essential for sanity. We need a friend to laugh with, cry with, scream with, adventure with, do life with, and know that they will always remain by your side. When you find them, hold on tight and don’t let go.
17. Creativity keeps us grounded. It lets us flip the world upside down and see its beauty from all different angles. Though everyone uses their creativity differently, our unique creativities allow new beauty to keep springing up around us.
18. God is good. Life is not always good. Loving God and being loved by God does not mean the world is cleansed of unthinkable pain. This paradox of intense love amidst suffering is where Jesus abides.
19. Division is one of the greatest sins we commit against one another. Reconciliation is a long road, but the reward is so incredibly worth it.
20. I will never be able to wrap my mind around God, my Abba Father. This once kept me from Him. It has since become one of my greatest daily adventures and joys to discover a little more of him in each day.
21. Everyone is looking for love. In our lives, we will take some love and we will give some love. If we all leave a little more than we take, we can transform our world.