My 30 Truths @ 30

Celebrating my first birthday 30 years ago in my parents' backyard! That standup piano must have been my introduction to music!

Celebrating my first birthday 30 years ago in my parents’ backyard, surrounded by friends, family and neighbors.

I’ll be 30 tomorrow. 

I’ve been tremendously blessed over the past 30 years and am incredibly grateful for all of the amazing people whose paths have crossed mine during that time.

I’ve been loved by and learned countless lessons from my family, friends, neighbors, church communities, teachers, classmates, co-workers, clients, and those I’ve been privileged to serve.

I’ve grown and been stretched through school, work, sermons, retreats, service, health coach training, and studying abroad.

Last weekend, my husband, friends and family schemed together to throw me a surprise party to celebrate my 30th. They ordered food, treats, and an amazing carrot cake from my favorite places (Great Sage & Jinji chocolates), hung rustic birthday banners in my favorite colors, made quinoa/veggie centerpieces, and truly surprised me.

I felt loved and special.

A few shots from my surprise party. They got me!

A few shots from my surprise party. They got me!

Due to the encouragement of a wise friend, I gave myself an extended weekend by taking off today and tomorrow, so I could have an opportunity to reflect on what I’ve learned over the first 30 years of my life and to help me refocus going forward.

Last night, Bill and I were looking through pictures to print out and hang up on the walls in our basement. I have to admit that I was a bit saddened by one of the first realizations that crossed my mind as I was reflecting.  

Over the past year or so, I’ve been taking more pictures of food than I have of the people in my life.

This is true despite the fact that I’ve intentionally spent more time in community in the past 5 years than ever before – having friends over for dinner, hosting our small group from church, meeting up with friends while Bill catches up with his buddies, and expanding my family through marriages and births.

Sure, the nature of what I do, including writing this blog, lends itself to taking way more pictures of food than I ever thought possible, but it’s no excuse.

I’ve had some time of quiet reflection today to take stock of what I’ve learned through all of the wonderful people in my life and from transformational books I’ve read to come up with “My 30 Truths @ 30.” Here they are:

  1. If you value it, you will find time for it.
  2. We are more alike than we are different. We all need to feel valued, accepted and affirmed. (Brene Brown)
  3. Shower yourself and other people with grace. We’re all doing the best we can, with what we have, where we are.
  4. Don’t rely on outside forces to confirm your reality. Be an intentional creator of your life. (Danielle LaPorte)
  5. If you have been called in a specific direction, you have all the skills you need to be successful. (Andrea Beaman)
  6. There’s plenty of healthy food that tastes good. You don’t have to eat what you don’t like.
  7. Improvement is a far more realistic goal than perfection. (Brene Brown)
  8. Don’t compare yourself with other people. Comparison is the biggest form of unhappiness. (Robert Notter)
  9. Allow yourself to feel worthy. You are worth it. You are important. You are worthy of your desires. (Danielle LaPorte)
  10. Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. (Oprah)
  11. Everything that has happened in your life has happened for you, not to you. Tune in to that distinction. (Marilena Minucci)
  12. The energy of your food creates your energy. Fuel your body with real food, food that was once living, as the life in food gives us life.
  13. In the heart of the pain is the healing. (Paul Epstein)
  14. Everything that feeds us doesn’t come on a plate.
  15. Don’t quit your daydream. Live the life you have imagined.
  16. Get out of your own way.
  17. Allow yourself to honestly and boldly respond to the prompt, “Wouldn’t it be great if…” and then go do that thing.
  18. Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. (Rick Warren)
  19. You can’t be all things to all people. Your best will be good enough for some and not enough for others. That’s okay.
  20. Take as good care of yourself as you do your pets. (Bernie Siegel)
  21. Be who you came here to be. (Carol Roth)
  22. You cannot shame or belittle people into changing their behaviors. (Brene Brown)
  23. Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when you’re with someone who’s mean to you all day.
  24. What you put at the end of your fork is more powerful than what’s at the bottom of any pill bottle. (Mark Hyman)
  25. We are not alone in our struggles. We are not the only one. (Brene Brown)
  26. Ask and answer this prompt, “If I didn’t have to do it perfectly, I’d try…
  27. Everyone’s perception is not a clear objective reality, but it is a perception worth hearing.
  28. It’s not about “being healthy.” It’s about what health allows you to do. Health is a means, not an end. (Annemarie Colbin)
  29. When your reason “why” is compelling, you’ll figure out how.
  30. Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. (Howard Thurman)

And one to grow on…

31. Take more pictures of and with people 🙂

Celebrating summer with my Link Group from church

Celebrating summer with steamed crabs & my Link Group friends from church!



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  1. Stacey Stauffer

    You can’t be all things to all people. Your best will be good enough for some and not enough for others. That’s okay

    Easier said than done… ☺

    I’ll make it a “new year’s resolution” ☺ or a July 8, 2014 resolution. ☺

    • Stacey, I agree! It is easier said than done but something I try to remind myself of regularly! Love the idea of a July 8th resolution 🙂

  2. Beth

    Happy Birthday, Rachel! Wish I had known these truths at 30! 🙂

    • Thank you, Beth! I’ve been blessed to learn from a lot of people for sure, including you!

  3. Thank you for such an inspiring list, that gives me a lot to contemplate

    • You’re welcome! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot of wisdom from hundreds of amazing people over the years!

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