I don’t think I realized the milestone that is turning 30 until my husband, friends, and then, myself, started celebrating this birthday. It’s an odd turning point in the course of your time on earth. You’ve been around the block a few times, but still feel unprepared, unknowledgeable, inexperienced in so many ways. Based on the average lifespan, we’re creeping towards halfway “done.”

This naturally leads to much reflection and one of the ways I process information best is through the written word. Today, I’ve compiled 30 quotes or thoughts that strike a chord within me as I look forward to a new stage of life. These aren’t “quotes about life” or “quotes about aging” or anything else that makes sense for this type of compilation. Maybe they’re even more important as such. Rather, they’re words I’ve found from scouring the books I’ve read, the authors I’ve walked with over the past decade. Words that hang with me each and every day, words that had profound impact at a specific moment in time, words I loved, but forgot, then rediscovered to my great joy. Life is made of many things. All the little bits and bobs that make up our minutes and days and hours are slowly mingling together, creating the years of my existence. As such, it is dynamic and varied, ever-changing, not held to one subject, one belief, one pattern of thought. These words represent that.

  1. Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. — C.S. Lewis
  2. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. — J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. — Mary Oliver
  4. We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are. — Madeline L’Engle
  5. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God – but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people – and this i not learned in five minutes. — Oswald Chambers
  6. [Ordinary] does not mean what you might think: boring, uneventful, undistinguished, everyday, ordinary. In fact, it means “counted time.” The word ordinary comes from the word ordinal, to count. — Wendy M. Wright
  7. I don’t see Jesus calling me to excellence. I do see him calling me to himself. — Emily P. Freeman
  8. The sou must orbit around something other than itself – something it can worship. It’s the nature of the soul to need. — John Ortberg
  9. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received. — C.S. Lewis
  10. [God] hast made us for [himself] and our heart has no rest till it comes to [Him]. — Saint Augustine
  11. There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation. — Madeline L’Engle
  12. Who knows when supreme patience took hold and the wind’s wandering among its leaves was enough of motion, of travel. — Mary Oliver
  13. Jesus didn’t do it all… He did not try to do it all. And yet, He did everything God asked Him to do. — Keven Deyoung
  14. I suppose this is what homes are for. If one hadn’t got an anchorage it wouldn’t be exciting to sail away. — T.H. White
  15. Where shall the Word be found, where will the world resound? Not here, there is not enough silence. — T.S. Eliot
  16. Masterpieces come with messes. — my sweet sister
  17. Let us begin to be devoted to Him in good earnest. Let us cast everything besides out of our hearts. He would possess them alone. — St. Lawrence
  18. Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it’s actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe. — Christopher Paolini
  19. If you have a garden in your library, everything will be complete. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, Letter to Varro, 1st century AD
  20. You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. — C.S. Lewis
  21. Two opposing things can be equally true. Counting the days till Christmas doesn’t mean we hate Halloween. I go to church on Sundays, and still hold the same faith at the pub on Saturday night. I shamelessly play a steady stream of eighties pop music and likewise have an undying devotion to Chopin. And perhaps most significantly: I love to travel and I love my home. — Tsh Oxenreider
  22. Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. — William Morris
  23. Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? — Mary Oliver
  24. I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. — J.R.R. Tolkien
  25. Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,
    lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. — Proverbs 30:8-9
  26. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word. — Psalm 119:25
  27. Let the nations know that they are but men. — Psalm 9:20
  28. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. — Psalm 119:68
  29. Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set yor hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct since it is written “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” — 1 Peter 1:13-16
  30. Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” — Edmund Burke