Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Celebrating 51: What I Wish I’d Known at 31


Today I’m celebrating my 51st birthday. While my sweet husband makes me a pancake breakfast, I’m giving myself a birthday present. Instead of writing a Five Minute Friday devotional post like usual, I’m going to spend some extra minutes getting into God’s Word so it can get into me.

Here’s a re-print of a post I wrote last  year in case you missed it. Please do leave a comment about your favorite life hack.

As I celebrate my 50th birthday today, I remember my 30’s when I was in the trenches with my babies and hanging on for dear life. I thought fifty meant I’d be living easy, and I was partly right. Some things have gotten easier now that the baby phase is over, but I had no idea back then about the fireworks that would result from the haywire hormones of teens and a fifty year old mom in the same house! (Luckily my sweet kids are gracious and kind to put up with their mother.)

Today I continue celebrating joyful, hopeful fifty with the list I started Monday.

30 things I wish I’d known in my 30’s:


21.  Each day, make a to-do list of three items that you want to accomplish. Draw a line below the third item and continue your list. Make sure you do the first 3 things. Get to the rest as time permits

22.  Spend the first hours of your day on creative, productive work. Answer e-mail later.

23.  Don’t forget to dream. Jot down ideas that come to you.

24.  Don’t underestimate the power of one baby step towards a goal.  What can you do today in just 15 minutes?

25.  Focus: Turn off social media, set your timer for 25 minutes and work on something without stopping.

Enjoying Life

26.  Enjoy the work you’re doing right now rather than trying to get through it so that you can have fun later.

27.  Don’t take life too seriously. Lighten up. Find something to laugh at.

28.  Even if it’s just 15 minutes, take time every day for something you enjoy.

29.  Have more fun with your husband and kids.

30.  Play more games.

Maintaining Perspective

31.  Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.

32.  Hang in there when the going gets tough. Remember that better times are around the corner.

33.  When you’re depressed, remember “Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.” Sooner or later things will change.

34.  Instead of focusing on one or two things in your life that aren’t going well, celebrate your blessings.

35.  Remind yourself daily: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)


36.  Accept your mate as he is.

37.  Invest time in your marriage each week: go on a date.

38.  Let your husband know daily what you appreciate about him.

39.  Focus on your mate’s strong points rather than on his weaknesses.

40.  Kiss your husband every day when parting for work, returning home in the evening, and before bed.

Self- Care

41.  Buy yourself a new dress now and then. (Then you won’t go crazy trying to figure out what to wear for your next special occasion.)

42.  Find something new to learn.

43.  Turn up the music to lift your spirits.

44.  Buy fresh flowers to brighten your heart and your house.

Everyday Hacks for Real Life

45.  Establish simple, daily routines for housework and meal preparation. When these tasks become automatic, you can focus your attention on other things.

46.  Do one load of laundry at the same time every day.

47.  Make taco soup in the winter and teriyaki chicken salad in the summer.

48.  Clean out your purse once a week.

49.  Learn to laugh at yourself.


I left the last one blank for you. What’s something you’ve learned or a life hack that you’ve discovered?

I’m linking up today with #DanceWithJesus and #GraceandTruth. Check out these communities for more encouragement.

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

26 thoughts on “Celebrating 51: What I Wish I’d Known at 31

  1. I saw this on WordPress, but couldn’t stop then, so I’m treating myself to a read at Grace and Truth! Betsy, I love your list, and I smiled when you said to buy a new dress now and then because my curmudgeonly self was thinking: “All dresses in all stores have been ugly for the past five years.” Given that I had that horrible, ancient-of-days response, I will offer a #50: Wear something that is “in style” once in a while, even if it’s only a scarf! Happy birthday to you.

    • Ha ha, Michele! Love that: “all dresses in stores have been ugly for the past five years.” Too funny. What they are sometimes for me is TOO SHORT! (Or too tight, not that it’s my waistline. 🙂 ) I like your #50 word of advice. Will do.

  2. Happy Birthday, Betsy! What a great list, you are very wise for such a YOUNG woman! Love you!
    Kim Stewart

  3. Loved reading this, Betsy. It is so true as we look back on our years, we realize all we have learned. I think my #50 would be … Sit on the floor more often with the littles & let everything else be. Have a wonderful birthday!

    • Great tip, Joanne! I realize more and more how numbered the days I have with my teens are…So sitting back to enjoy and let all else be is wise advice for me!

  4. Happy birthday, Betsy, and thanks for re-posting this. It has some great reminders. (I turned 51 last month and my husband just a couple of days ago as you know!) My tip would be just to slow down and enjoy quiet moments, not fill them with mindless activity like internet surfing (preaching to myself here!). Hope you enjoy your day.

    • I hope you had a wonderful birthday, too, Jeannie. Your tip is a great one. Slow down. I find that at the ripe age of 51, I need a bit more down time than I did before. Hopeing I can take this advice myself and put it to practice!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your great ideas. Wonderful list. I would add hug an animal!!!! I’m a do lover and so — my little friends meet some little need in me.

  6. Such a neat list. I love it, Betsy. And….HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

  7. Love this! I’m going to hold onto this advice as I am in the thick of it in my 30s with 4 young kids. I’ve been learning to let things go and laugh more with my kids.
    Thank you! And happy birthday!

  8. Practical and purposeful – love it. I just told a friend who is “trying” for her 1st child that if I could go back and do it over knowing what I know now, it would be a whole different ballgame. But that’s not God’s plan – the blessings of growth and stretching in His time. Wishing you a fabulous birthday and trusting that He met you in beautiful way on your special day.

  9. Happy birthday. You are reaching 51 about a month before me. I love that you said, ‘do a load of laundry at the same time every day.’ I DO THAT. Every morning when I get up, that is the first thing I do. My life hack would probably be ‘try a new recipe each month’. I love to cook, and have no qualms about trying a new recipe when I have company coming for dinner. My husband considers that to be pretty darned adventurous, but hey, I figure if it is no good, we can always go out. Happy Mother’s Day.

    • Your husband considers one new recipe a month to be adventurous? He would NOT be a happy camper at my house. (Or I’m thinking he thinks it’s adaventurous to cook a new recipe for visitors…) 🙂 Yep, the load of laundry a day keeps me afloat. I hope your birthday will be happy too!

  10. Happy birthday, Betsy!
    All the comments have wonderful suggestions. Mine would be spending more time outdoors in nature. I go out on my patio with my coffee for a few moments in the mornings, and I try to take my lunch outside every day the weather permits at work. Having this time under God’s blue sky, admiring His work and the beauty He created in the world for us, really helps calm and refresh me.

    • I wish I could have coffee with you on your patio, Deborah! Having lunch outside is a great idea. I’m sure it relieves a bit the stress of your job! Are you still on a blogging break?

      • Unfortunately it’s not a break, Betsy. I made the painful decision to close my blog. My new job demands too much of my time, and as you know, blogging regularly consumes a bit of time as well. My choices were give up sleeping, give up my kids, or give up the blog. 😦
        I am reading yours today on my lunch break, outside of course!

  11. Happy birthday Betsy, and happy Mother’s Day too! Don’t forget to get in touch when you come to Texas. I’ve got a cup of coffee waiting for ya!

  12. Happy Belated Birthday! (You are a youngster btw!) What wisdom that comes from living, right? I think I would have told my 30 year old self to lighten up. Everything seemed to have weight, and no one can live well like that.
    Life hack…life is too short not to enjoy a cup of coffee. Stay in touch with friends. Pray every day like you mean it.
    Happy Mother’s Day!!

  13. YES! Betsy, belated happy birthday. Mine is tomorrow. Knew I loved you, fellow May baby. Yep, babe’s in HIS eyes. I’ll be 58.

    I needed this list today. Yes, TODAY. God is so good in His timing. First THREE things…

    Thank you! Susan

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