One of my favorite books to read when I was growing up was Anne of Green Gables. I would imagine myself as Anne — bold, adventurous, creative, charming, fearless, and able to adapt to any situation. When PBS would air the series, I would be glued to the television. Even today, I can sit and watch it from start to finish. It is a true gem.
Last week while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a list of the 10 Life Lessons we learned from Anne of Green Gables by Adriana Pacheco. All 10 of these ring true, and even though I am adult, I find myself still working on the list. All 10 lessons blend beautifully with Scripture, which I have added to the list. I hope you find inspiration in these life lessons.
Lesson 1: Daydreaming makes life much more interesting. When we allow ourselves to sit quietly with our thoughts, we can focus on one of two things: the bad in our life or the good things in our life. The Lord tells us repeatedly in Scripture to focus on good things. Spend quiet time praising God for all the blessings in your life and think of ways you can show Christ to others. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Lesson 2: You can always count on your bosom friend to share the best moments in life with you. Who is your best friend? When you have something happen in your life, good or bad, whom do you want to tell first? For me, my best friend is my husband. He is the first person I want to talk to when something happens during the day. I am thankful I have him to share all the best moments of life with. “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Proverbs 27:9
Lesson 3: Love means more than anything you could buy in a store. When you are younger, you feel the pressure to be liked and look like everyone around you. You think that you can buy others’ love by giving gifts or even buy your own love for yourself. The older I get, the more I realize that the greatest gift truly is love. When you love someone, just spending time with them is all you truly need. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Lesson 4: If you give people a chance, they might surprise you. Think back on the people you have come in contact with during your life. How many times have you meet someone and at first meeting, you didn’t think they would be someone you would become friends with? I know many times the Lord has placed someone in my life that I didn’t truly know just how much I needed. When your heart is open to people, the Lord will use them to bring you lessons and blessing. Allow yourself to let people in your life and see just what the Lord can do! “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Lesson 5: However things may seem right now, there is always another bend in the road. No matter where you find yourself at this moment in life, things will always change. We are not meant to be a stagnant people. The Lord has told us to go out into the world to spread his word. When we are in this world, bad things will happen to us. We will suffer setbacks and heartbreaks, but the Lord’s promise remains the same. He will continue to bless our lives and bring us through the hard times. How we choose to react to the hard times in life will be our ministry to the world. If we continue to praise God and keep a cheery disposition, others will see and want to know what makes us different. Use this to tell others of the power of Christ. “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Lesson 6: Part of growing up is about making mistakes. I guess I am still not grown up because I am still making mistakes. A very wise person once told me that if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t doing anything. The fact is that in life you will make mistakes, you will mess up, you will choose to do the wrong thing. But, luckily, you can learn from each mistake and become a wiser person. The Lord didn’t promise us a life free from mistakes, but he did promise that He will always be there waiting for us to return to him and to help us back up. Never think you have made too many mistakes to come home to Christ. He is there and waiting for you to return to him. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Lesson 7: Your imagination is your most valuable possession. God has given us all an imagination. Think of all the beautiful art, music, and talents that people have in this world. Those are all gifts from God. Are you using your gifts, imagination, for good or are you not using the gifts the Lord has given you? Be creative today. Using your creativity is a great way to find peace within yourself. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and every! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Lesson 8: A kindred spirit isn’t very hard to come by if you really look. We are surrounded by people, just like us, striving to do the right thing. They, just like us, are looking for a kindred spirit in this life to help them, encourage them, and love them. Scripture is full of passages encouraging our fellowship with other believers. Fellowship is one of the greatest gifts from God. He knows that we need each other. “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16
Lesson 9: Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. We are called to be a peaceful people. But that doesn’t mean we are to be a punching bag for the world. As Christians, we should be bold in our faith and always speaking the truth in love. When faced with someone that is upset, we are called to react to them in a certain way. We should approach every situation with love and kindness. When I feel the urge to lose my temper, I am reminded of the words in Proverbs: “A soft answer turns away wrath.” If you meet anger with anger, no resolution can be found. Approach the situation with the love of Christ and a good outcome will come. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Lesson 10: Learning to love the things that make you unique doesn’t always happen overnight. Every single person on this planet is unique and brings their own special gifts to the world. It is incredibly difficult not to compare yourself to others and try to make yourself be like them as much as possible. We are taught to not stand out, to blend in, to be like everyone else. You should embrace your uniqueness. You are special. Don’t let this world turn you into a vanilla soft serve in a cup, be your own version of Rocky Road in a waffle cone! Don’t be afraid to be yourself and let how special you are shine. The Lord made you unique and special for a reason; do not hide your light. “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
I hope you can find encouragement in these life lessons along with the words of the Lord. They are great lessons to live by, and I hope you can incorporate them in your life. The recipe this week is a great back-to-school meal. Everyone will love it, and it is a snap to put together on any weeknight.