Yep. Today. It is kind of weird. I don't feel like I am thirty (except when I try to exercise or something ;)). But here we are. I feel like I have learned some things. I am going to share a few here:
1. Everyone is different. If someone doesn't fit "the mold" it doesn't make them less of a person. It is good to be different.
2. Time is fickle. We only have so much of it. Even the little choices we make each day can make a difference. Maybe I should save this one for a post closer to the day I die. But sometimes I feel like I wasted a day, even when I just watch something on TV instead of going outside to play with Emma.
3. Family is so important. Brothers. Sister. Mom. Dad. I love them all. I haven't always shown it. But I love them. And I am trying to be better at loving them all, all the time, unconditionally.
4. It is good to have good friends. #1 is Jaynann, of course. My bestest friend. It is fun to talk about how we met. We were friends for about 1.5 years before we even started dating. I was doing my part, dating women, finding a mate, until finally I realized that this girl with whom I was spending all of my time was the one I really wanted to be with. Some of the biggest friendships that have lasted over the years are the ones I still talk to fairly regularly: Dan, Garit, Chris, Mark, Davy, Branden, Nate E., Ryan R., Jordan, Matt, Brayden, Mike, Jake, Dan S. I would also consider your wives friends also. They are good women and seriously married down with all of you ;).
5. My religion has become even more important to me. I think in some cases I could have decent reasons to dissent. But I have had some serious evidences in my life that I cannot deny. I went through the process of becoming a seminary teacher. It is a difficult process with no promise at the end. I took a year worth of institute courses and taught several seminary classes for 1.5 years. And I didn't get offered a full time position. It was a temptation to feel a little abandoned. Why did I waste 2.5 years of my life trying to do that? But it wasn't a waste at all for me. It was exactly what I needed at that time of my life. I have no regrets or ill feelings. In fact, I have made some important friends with the people I associated with in that program. I loved the ups and downs. If my former students happen to read this: I loved all of it. I loved the ups and downs. Sometimes there were a few more downs then I would have liked, but it was worth it. The Lord knows what He is doing. Trust in Him. I have a real testimony of Proverbs 3:5-6. Brother Hardy and Brother Virgin will always be BIG examples to me!
6. Never stop learning. Whether formally or informally. I had an amazing chat with Chris Bodily recently and I just love his passion and thirst for knowledge. It makes me want to want more. So hopefully this list will continue until I die. I have always admired Hugh Nibley. That guy never stopped learning.
7. I have gone on too long now. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I am so blessed to know you. Yes. You. Thank you.