Looking Back on 24 Years…

Today I turn 24.

Please permit me to change pace a bit for a post and do some self reflection.


Here I am in an ancient Russian church tower

Looking Old

It seems surprise people when they learn I’m only 24. There are two ways to take this. Either that I look old or that I seem seem old for my age. Is this caused by sorrow, weight or wisdom? I don’t know. Probably a mixture.

Looking forward to my future I wonder if this will continue or if I will linger at an age.


Thanks to Frank Ball for sending me this cartoon for my birthday 🙂

Knowing Less

I know now less than I thought I knew at 14. For instance, I thought I knew apologetics until yesterday when I preached on the UT campus. Most of the audience was hardened atheists with pre-prepared questions.

While on campus I saw an apologetisist presenting to probably 200 students who sat raptured by the eloquence of his words. He took anyone’s objection and gave a reasoned and winsome answer. He inspired me to know more than I do and helped me realize I know less than I think.

Enjoying Life

Enjoying-The-JourneyMy cousin Tim asked me one Christmas if I had “destination fever.” Am I so focused on the goal that I forget to enjoy the journey?

A strong goal focus may help my leadership ability but it can also make me a miserable person to be around, especially when I am in a focused state.

My clients have taught me that the best authors enjoy brainstorming, outlining, drafting, writing, editing and promotion. Every stage of the writing process has its own joy.

The authors who just want to “be published” are miserable and often never get published.

I want to be someone who enjoys each stage of life’s journey. I am optimistic about the future but I want to also be content with where I am now.

Embracing Freedom

As a self employed single man I have a great degree of freedom. This is a season to embrace! Not a season to squander  on worry or speculation.



Some of you have asked me why I don’t blog much anymore. I actually blog more than ever just not as much this site.

I write once a roughly week for the following sites:

You can get updates to these sites by, RSS, email, or Facebook. Perhaps one of the best birthday gifts you could give me would be to subscribe and or comment on one of those sites. PracticalChourtship.com has received an amazing number of comments and I love reading them.

Repenting from Apathy

Last Sunday we had a meeting at eHarmony where we repented of apathy. I realized that I had been apathetic about finishing my book. Other folks were repenting from political apathy. Kristine, my editor, and I have committed to finish editing Digital Cancer by the end of the year.


Please pray for us as we do this because it is a lot of discouraging work.

Thanking God

I am thankful for:

  • My family. The older I get the more I come to understand what a precious gift each family member is.
    • A father who speaks identity.
    • A mother who loves unconditionally.
    • A sister who can dance, laugh and sing.
    • A brother with worlds in his head that can only been seen through visualizing his words.
    • A brother with a heart for people.
    • A brother with a heart for the Kingdom.
  • A job that allows me to make enough to live on.
  • A community of believers who have a passion for Jesus. I get to storm the gates of hell every Monday with prayer ninjas.
  • My roomates: all three of them. They are each so different and so awesome. We have funny one liners every day. Any house named eHarmony has got to be a lot of fun 🙂

My grandfather, who passed away last year.

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

12 thoughts on “Looking Back on 24 Years…

  1. Great reflective post! Do capitalize on enjoying the here and now. It took me a long time to figure that one out because it was taking longer than I thought to get to the destination, and I'd been saving up all the enjoyment for the party at the destination. So, as you can imagine, enjoying the present is now high up on my list. 🙂

  2. beautiful post! so glad to get to know and hang out with you in such a short period of time. i love the positive energy you bring to life on a consistent basis—you’re really a great guy, Thomas!

  3. thomas, (i sure hate capitals) a wonderful post… i do miss your posts here… not to say i don’t like the other ones… these were just your thoughts on many varied subjects… and i miss hearing what your thinking… and i must concur… the older i get, i realize i know less & less… that’s hard sometimes… confusing sometimes… and… wonderful sometimes… i am learning more & more to trust the sovereignty of God… and that is wonderful… again, have a wonderfully blessed day!

  4. My first comment on your blog (although I’ve been reading it for a long time) is my birthday present to you! Thanks for being an inspirational example to us younger folk. May God grant you many more years to celebrate your birthday!

  5. dude, you are my hero, kudos. I commend you for your diligence in all you do, your life is an open book, that I believe is a good read. My encounter with you at PA was very brief and short lived but you have made a memorable impression on my life and you still are. Keep up the good work man, God’s hand is upon you, I look forward to seeing the plans He has for you unfold, God Bless.

  6. Wow- Thomas- very insightful! Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your wisdom with the world! I am so thankful for your friendship and our hope in the city community group. I could not have asked for more amazing Christian men and women to surround myself with- upon moving back to Austin in May. You bless me in so many ways!

    -Happy Birthday – and may your 24th year- be amazing!

  7. Thomas,

    It can be so amzing and e4ncouraging to see where God has taken people. I remember seating next to you in SGA and look where you are now! Pretty incredable! Many Blessing old aquentice! Oh and Happy Birthday!

  8. Happy Birthday man,

    If it hadn’t been for you there never would have been an Austin Rhetoric Club… which means my life and the lives of others would be drastically (yes, “drastically“) different.

    Oh, and you introduced me to WordPress. That’s huge.

    Man, don’t plan on dying anytime soon. We need you. Happy Birthday.


  9. I love you Tomo! You are such a blessing in my life! Your friendship is priceless to me. You are always there to encourage, prod, and have fun with me. I know I will always be able to rely on you. You are a great Man of God. I am so proud to be able to say that I am your sister. You are the best big brother a girl could ever dream of having.

  10. Hey Thomas, i enjoyed this – something God has been showing me lately, out of the Christmas passage in Isaiah 9… Jesus was called a Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace… I have been pondering the thought lately that as we grow older and, hopefully, wiser, there is always going to be something beyond our reach in Him. Growth is such an essential element of enjoying the journey to me, and I love knowing that my soul is anchored to the hope that the growing will never have to stop… there is no “endpoint”… so life will never stagnate. The awareness that, since the increase of His kingdom knows no end, means that our increase, too, knows no end… is one of the most amazing things I have come to really apprehend lately. May that awareness be a blessing to you in both this birthday and Christmas season. 🙂

  11. I do not think you need to worry so much you will be as handsome as your grandfather ,age gracefully. you look 24 in the photo at the church God has blessed you go with it Amen

    nice post be glad you have a family to be able to say nice things about not everyone is so lucky

    love is not a feeling it is a commitment, I herd this on a radio sermon I whish I knew this years a go may be it will help in your love life .

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