1) My brother's death. He was 9...I was 5. He drowned in the community pool at our apartment complex while we were living off base in Puerto Rico. Mark's death taught me that life is short, and nothing should ever be taken for granted.
Lesson: Don't waste time waiting for someone else to solve a problem. You cannot wait for change to happen -- you must actively seek change before it's too late.
2) Living in the Philippines. The experience of witnessing true poverty left an imprint that will stay in my mind forever. Every person has value, regardless of their economic status. Money cannot buy happiness. To this day, some of the happiest children I've ever met wore torn clothing and played barefoot with rocks.
Lesson: Joy is a choice. Difficult circumstances should not have the power to steal it. Choose Joy.
3) My marriage. It's not always easy. Or glamorous. Or fun. Marriage takes intentional dedication and attention to detail. Being loved unconditionally is the best gift I could ever receive.
Lesson: Don't be quick to give up on something you're passionate about.
4) Motherhood. After the birth of my children, I began seeing other people as someone else's child. I found myself treating others the way I want my children to be treated.
Lesson: Even if you're being spit up on, pooped on, and constantly interrupted, you still must be kind to others.
5) Faith. The world around me was created by a loving God who knows my needs, and has demonstrated time and again that He is capable of providing for them...even when an answer feels impossible.
Lesson: Just because you cannot physically see something, doesn't mean it ceases to exist.
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J