Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 9)

New England Patriots

We’re Still Here!

New England Patriots lead by Tom Brady

Over the last month, “We’re still here!” has become the mantra of the New England PatriotsTom Brady, who has been called old man, washed up, peaked, and diminished, showed America he still has plenty in his tank when he and the Patriots worked together to win Superbowl LIII.

 Tom Brady, loved or hated, has to be admired for the fact he doesn’t accept being mediocre. He refuses to quit. He didn’t throw in the towel when he was the 199th sixth-round draft pick back in 2000. He wasn’t content to stay in Drew Bledsoe’s shadow. He wasn’t complacent after one Superbowl win, or a second, or third. Even after a record of six Superbowl wins, he still has no plans to retire.

Tom Brady doesn’t just coast through life and neither should we.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). It doesn’t mean only praise God when we’re in the mood or on the good days when we have more energy. It doesn’t state until you’ve read the Bible all the way through, led a church group, or taught Sunday school. It says if you have breath praise the Lord, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you’re reading this you still have breath. 

You’re still here. 

It is not a time to coast or grow complacent. We are to keep fighting the good fight until Jesus takes us home. Now, I’m not saying to grab a soapbox and go out and start preaching on a street corner, nor am I meaning to guilt you into taking on additional responsibilities. What I am asking is to look for opportunities to praise God through your words, actions, and deeds. If you keep your eyes peeled and your heart available God will provide.

Each season is unique.

Tom Brady doesn’t play the same way he did back in 2001. He has adapted to different players, strategies, and his own physical body. My husband and I are also not able to serve in our church in the same capacity we did before we had children. With the kids evening sports schedules, we can’t even participate the same as we did when they were young. But we still have breath, and God has given us other avenues unique to this season for us to be able to praise him and be salt and light to others.

Tom Brady throwing football
Tom Brady

How is God calling you in this season? Is He tapping you on the shoulder saying, “remember me? Come back to me. My arms are open wide.” Or is He nudging you to challenge yourself in other ways: lead a church group, bring a meal to a neighbor, watch a single mom’s kids, encourage a co-worker, write a blog. God works in mysterious ways, and He has a way of fitting you into that plan.

Because you have breath,

And, because you’re still here.

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Frog heart sculpture

Go Ahead and Look Foolish

“Excuse me, sir. May I have the honor of brushing your hair?” Beth Moore tells a story of being in an airport and seeing an elderly man with long, ratty, unkempt hair. As she waited for the boarding call, God nudged her to brush an elderly man hair. No way, she argued with Jesus, but He wouldn’t leave her alone until she approached the man with the strange suggestion. The elderly man consented, and after she worked out all the tangles, she noticed he was crying. It turns out the man had been in the hospital and was flying home to see his wife. God knew the man had been embarrassed about his messy appearance and needed his hair brushed before he returned home to his bride. Because Beth Moore obeyed and was brave enough to appear foolish asking a man if she could brush his hair at the airport, an elderly man’s prayers were answered.
Don’t let fear of feeling foolish kept you from God’s blessing. “In God I have put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalms 56:11NIV
I haven’t done anything as extreme as asking to brush a stranger’s hair. But, there have been times when I’ve wrestled with God because I didn’t want to appear foolish. I’ve argued with Him about not wanting to hug a stranger. I’ve explained to Him that there is a big difference between writing and public praying because you can’t go back and edit spoken words to make them sound better, but He told me to pray anyway. He’s asked me to reach out to old high school acquaintances and complete strangers.  Sadly, sometimes, I haven’t obeyed, but the times that I have, I’m not certain who was blessed more, the person I was prompted to help or me.
Trust God’s bigger plan. Don’t let pride stand in your way. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV
Noah probably felt foolish building an ark in the desert. Sarah probably looked foolish knitting baby booties at age ninety. The Israelites probably felt silly silently marching around Jericho ready to crumble the walls down with their trumpet blasts. King Saul and two armies thought David foolish for going after a giant with nothing but a slingshot. And I’m certain the blind man probably felt awkward hearing Jesus spit into the mud and standing there while he rubbed it on the man’s eyes.
I don’t don’t believe God uses these scenarios to get a good laugh. These are opportunities for us to humble ourselves to let it all ride on God’s plan. It allows God to grow bigger in our lives and for us to become smaller. And, history has shown, God will reward those who aren’t afraid to obey his prompting.
So go ahead, be brave enough to be foolish.

Big Announcement

It has finally happened! Last week I was offered a book contract to be published. 

Lorri Signing Contract

Thank you so much for being part of this journey with me. 

My first book The Duke’s Refuge will be the first in a three-book series published by Wild Heart Books. If you’re looking for fish-out-of-water, case-of-mistaken-identity, love triangle, Christian romance with a happily-ever-after. Then stay tuned. 

Greater Things are Yet to Come!

I’m not a patient person. I never prayed for patience, because I was afraid to test the running joke that God would give me things to be patient about. However, God put writing on my heart. It is a profession 

where returned emails can take six months to a year. Criticism and critiques are frequent and so is rejection. There is even a website (http://stoneslidecorrective.com/select-your-rejection/) created for authors to help them become better at handling rejection. Writers give their email address and are issued various rejection emails until the author can easily brush it off. 

I have finished five 300-plus page manuscripts. (The first two will never leave my computer.) Writing has become a part of me, and I can’t even imagine not creating stories. The strokes of my keyboard have become a way that I worship God, but doors still continued to slam shut on my dream. However, God was and is faithful.

If you have a dream still left unfulfilled, please take heart. Here are some things I’ve learned from the process:

  1. God is good: Like mana given to Moses and those who wandered in the desert, he gives you just enough of what you need to sustain you each day until you reach the promised land.
  2. Keep your eyes open: There were times I felt inept or wondered whether I’d heard God wrong. But, if I paused from my sulking, I realized how God coaxed me along with tidbits of encouragement: placing in contests, interest from an agent or publisher, or an encouraging email from one of you.
  3. Encouragement from your peeps is invaluable: Friends are a source of strength. You may not know it, but by liking my posts, commenting, or emailing, God was using you to keep me writing. I could never have done this without your encouragement. I am so grateful for every one of you.
  4. Stay limber because you’re going to stretch: Learning is not always an easy process. Sometimes it comes through tough critiques sometimes it comes through failure, but if you can step back and remove yourself from the emotional aspect, you will grow stronger, better, and more refined.
  5. Trust in God’s timing: We live in an on-demand society, but sometimes right now isn’t what’s best. I have learned to trust God’s timing. He knows better than I. I thought the first book I wrote was amazing. Now, I can’t even stand to read it. I’ve tried to go back and revamp it a couple of times, but it needs so much work that I’d prefer to write a new one. Maturing is a slow process, and only God knows when you’re ready.
  6. Greater things are yet to come: My work isn’t over. It is just beginning. I now have deadlines I have to hit and people to which I am accountable. But God has big plans, and I want Him to use me. Who am I to think small when God is so big?
Lorri holding contract

I have had “get published” on my yearly goals for the past four years and have always come up short, but this year I get to check it off. If you have struggled with not receiving a desire of your heart, I hope this helps to encourage you. God hasn’t forgotten. Listen and look for his little pearls of encouragement.

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:16, 18-19NLT (emphasis mine)

Thank you for being part of this journey with me. I’m looking forward to the greater things yet to come!

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The Risk – To Trust or Not to Trust?

One hundred and ninety feet above a gorge of swirling turbulent water on a rope 1300 feet long and only two inches in diameter, Charles Blondin was the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In Niagara Horseshoe FallsJune of 1859, 25,000 people gathered to see him perform the feat or watch him plummet to a watery grave below. Not only did Blondin make the trip across and back, by 1896 he’d crossed over 300 times performing stunts like sitting on the rope and having a bottle of wine, strapping a Daguerreotype camera to his back and taking pictures of the crowd, crossing with his body shackled, and walking with a sack placed over his head. He even brought a stove upon which he cooked an omelet and lowered it by rope to the Maid of the Mist boat below.

Charles Blondin and Manager Harry ColcordIn my opinion, the most trusting feat was on the part of his manager, Harry Colcord, who crossed Niagara on Blondin’s back. Blondin told Colcord, “Look up, Harry…. You are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. Until I clear this place be a part of me, mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself.” (Daredevil of Niagara Falls, Abbot, Smithsonianmag.com Oct. 18, 2018)

Trust is a powerful force. 

Steve Covey in his book, The Speed of Trust, says if trust is removed it, “will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, [and] the deepest love.” (Soundview Executive Book Summaries, Speed of Trust, Vol. 28, No. 11, Part 1, November 2006)

Trust is risky.

Trusting someone is challenging. What if they let me down? Relinquishing control is hard. What if something I need doesn’t get done? We are an independent nation. We’d prefer to fix the problem ourselves. However, a lack of trust slows things down. It also keeps relationships superficial, measured, and distant. In order to reach a deeper level, in order to build trust, we have to take the first step and trust someone else. Steven Covey points out that trust “has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life.”

It is even riskier not to trust.

Many of Blondin’s spectators believed he could make it across the gorge, yet only Colcord had the trust to climb onto Blondin’s back and cling to him knowing his life lay literally in the balance. He trusted Blondin enough to sway with him as the strong winds rocked the rope.

Life will have valleys and gorges. Who are you trusting to get you over them? Are you picking up a balancing stick and stepping onto the swaying rope yourself? Or, are you climbing onto God’s back and allowing Him to carry you over? Are you sacrificing trust to control the small, fleeting moments of your life, or are you trusting in the One who’s bigger than the gorge—the One who controls your ultimate destiny?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding. Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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Annunciation stained glass window at St. Mary's Holdingford, MN

Courage in the Unknown

“I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” 

Those Valiant words came from the lips of a young virgin during a time when there were so many consequences for an unmarried pregnant womanAnnunciation-Stained glass window at St. Mary's in Holdingford, MN. I wonder if Mary considered whether Joseph might divorce her for being with child? Did she have any inkling that she would travel a great distance while nine months pregnant on a donkey without a place to sleep? God told her she would give birth to not only a son but to a savior but did she even conceive of the idea that her son would not be accepted by this world. That he would be beaten and crucified, and she would watch him die?

I’m a gasp-out-loud sort of person, especially during a movie when a truck comes out of nowhere and slams into a person. I jump and suck in a loud gasp. Sometimes I’ll grab the hand or knee of the person next to me in a tight grip. It’s my natural shock reaction to the unexpected moment. It might be because uncertainty puts the fear of God into me, even for good things like vacations, surprise parties, and heaven.

Yes, even heaven. I’m excited to go there someday, and I know heaven is an amazing place with no more pain, or tears, or death. It has singing, laughter, and streets of gold. However, a part of me wisHeaven's opening sky imagehes to see travel brochures showing the houses with many rooms Jesus has prepared for us. Or, a panoramic spread displaying God’s light glinting off the streets of gold. Or, maybe images of the river of life’s crystal waters flowing from God’s throne down by the fruit-laden limbs and strong roots of the tree of life (Revelation 22: 1-2).

With these Biblical descriptions, the unknown can still be scary even if it’s a good unknown.

Yet, here was Mary whom the angel Gabriel approached and said that she, a virgin, would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and conceive a child. Mary heard all this and said, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:26-38)

I’d hate to think of my response. Assuming I didn’t run screaming from the room at the surprise of seeing an angel, I probably would have either said, “You want me to what now?” or “I think you have the wrong address. Check with Natalie next door.”

Are we ready for God’s opportunities? Are our hearts prepared to say, I am the Lord’s servant, may your word be fulfilled?

The Christmas season is a primer to ready us with anticipation. Our eyes, ears, and hearts should have their antenna up for opportunities to show God’s love and spread joy. It’s easy to follow the known family Christmas traditions, but what is God stirring up in your heart this Christmas?

Is shopping, decorating, sending cards, and other busyness overshadowing the prompting to do something nice for that Scrooge - 1984 Actor George C. ScottScrooge in your life? You know, the one person you want to avoid, but God keeps bringing him or her to the forefront of your mind. Are you valiant enough to say, yes Lord, the way Mary did?

It can be scary to reach out to someone who may not be receptive or whose reaction could range anywhere from mild disinterest to an explosive diatribe. But, if God is tugging upon your heart to do something nice for that person, don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you.

Through Mary, God blessed the world. We might not be ready for that pressure, but we can start with one.

In the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone.”

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Woman indoor rock climbing

How Are You Anchored?

I was suspended in air. Literally not figuratively. My feet floated about a foot above the ground. I clutched the rope in a death grip as I dangled, knowing if I let go my husband would plummet to the ground.

When we first got married, I wanted to take ballroom dancing lessons. My husbandWoman indoor rock climbing is a good negotiator, so he agreed but on the condition that I’d take indoor rock climbing classes. It was a fair deal, and even though rock climbing was intimidating, I found it to be a lot like the game Twister but hanging off the side of a wall. We had a couple of lessons, and everything was going great. The instructor even decided it was time we climbed on our own.

By the time I noticed my mistake, it’s was too late.

My husband reached the top of the thirty-foot wall and signaled he was ready to repel down. I tightened my grip on the ropes and yelled back to go ahead. He released his hold and leaned back in a trust fall.

I jerked into the air like a rag doll only to come to a jarring stop as the anchor caught. My feet pedaled air, and I quickly realized what I’d done wrong. There are three slots one can hook into on the anchor rope. This important rope secures you to the ground so that when a smaller person, like myself, partners up with a big  6’3” male, we don’t go flying to the ceiling while our partner crashes to the ground. The three slots are for basically, tall, medium, and small. I should have hooked into the small, but unknowingly, I inserted my carabiner into the tall loop.

My husband instantly knew something was wrong, probably because he expected a nice easy descent but instead he dropped two feet before slamming to a halt. “Everything okay, babes?” he asked.

“Everything’s fine,” I said in a tight voice and smiled, hoping he wouldn’t notice I was suspended in air.

I eased the rope between my gloved fingers. Once his feet touched the ground, mine did also.

We laugh about it now, or at least I do. He may still my shake his head at me. But it goes to show how important it is to have a proper anchor.

Anchor“This hope [Jesus] is a safe anchor for our souls. It will never move.” – Hebrews 6:19 (NLV)

Without a proper anchor we all are like rag dolls being jerked around by our emotions, trends, and what the world tells us will make us happy. When we anchor into the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, life is no longer happening to us. It’s happening for us. We gain peace, clarity, and purpose.

When we aren’t anchored to a firm foundation, it’s easy to drift and be tossed about. When my boys leave for school, I often say, “Remember whose child you are.” If they don’t know to whom they belong or what they stand for and against, then they can be easily persuaded by whims, their friends, and charismatic adults. I want them grounded in the Rock of Ages, not grasping for earthly things that moths and rust can destroy (Matthew 6:19-20).

If you are going through motions, feeling lost, or floundering adrift, seek Jesus. But, don’t just haphazardly clip into Him like I hooked my carabiner into that anchor. Seek Him with a ready and open heart. In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Stop wandering aimlessly through life. God has a purpose and a plan for your life. His foundation is secure, and He’s waiting for your knock upon His door.

Let Him be your anchor.

Meme with anchor. 2nd verse of "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less."

Woman's praying hands

The Perfect Way of Unanswered Prayers

“Did you ever wish you had a girl?”Woman's praying hands

I froze, ornament in hand suspended midway to the tree. My middle son peered at me, his eyes seeking an answer. His question drew the attention of my youngest, and they both stared at me with unblinking eyes.

Was this one of those questions that could impact them for the rest of their lives? I could picture them lying on a couch addressing a future psychologist, “The reason I can’t hold a job or have a family is that my mother really wanted a girl.”

I am a girl, and it’s natural to want what’s familiar to you, but thankfully, we don’t always get what we want.

I hung the ornament on a limb and turned to face them with an honest answer. “At one point, yes. I thought having a girl like myself might be fun, but God had a better plan. God knew what I wanted before I realized it myself. He knew that as soon as I met you, you would be the ones I wanted, and so I’m very thankful that God went with His plan and not mine.”

Later that same night, as we were setting the table, my youngest poured the milk and asked me, “Did you have a boyfriend before Dad?”

I set a plate down and wondered what was it about today that had them asking all these questions. “Yes, I dated some boys in school.”

His eyes grew big and solemn. “Did dad know?” He whispered the words as if I’d been cheating.

Holy moly, I needed to be very clear. “No, no, no. I hadn’t met your dad yet.”

“Did you break up with them?” he asked.

“Well, some I did, but some broke up with me.”

“If you didn’t want to break up, did you want to marry them?”

Dinner could have been burning on the stove, but I wouldn’t have cared. It was one of those rare, amazing moments when you hold your child’s complete attention. I inhaled a deep breath. “At the time, I had wanted things to work out, but I’m very, very, grateful that God didn’t answer those prayers. He knew there was a better man for me—your dad.” I smiled. “God’s ways are higher than our ways. If I had married one of those men, then I wouldn’t have had you.”

I searched my son’s eyes for an indication that my elderly wisdom might have registered.

“How did the other boyfriends break up with you?” He smiled a mischevious grin. ​

Maybe it would sink in later.

All those questions reminded me to be grateful that God hadn’t answered my prayers. Back then, I had wondered where God was, why he hadn’t responded. I My boys sitting togethermourned the loss of what my mind had conceived, but God was patient with me and forgiving. All the while he was maneuvering the pieces of his puzzle into place to form a bigger picture. Looking back, I see his fingerprints everywhere. And, if I had one prayer now, it would be that my own children wouldn’t try to force the pieces of the puzzle together. That they would trust in God’s plan and relinquish their own. Psalm 18:30 says it best, “As for God, His way is perfect.”

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

What Do We Live For?

In a 2010 Afghanistan firefight, William “Kyle” Carpenter ran towards a hand grenade to shield another marine, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, from the blast. The William "Kyle" Carpenter with Medal of Honorimpact cost Kyle his eye and lower jaw. His lung collapsed and many of his bones shattered. He was labeled dead as he arrived at the field hospital and nearly died a second time at Walter Reed Medical Center. Countless surgeries and two and a half years of rehabilitation in a hospital, Kyle lived to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award. Kyle refuses to let the enemy stop him. He says, in the defense video which can be seen below, “The enemy killed me. I came back, ran a marathon, completed a mud run, and jumped from a plane. I won’t ever quit. I am just getting started,”

This week as we celebrate and honor our veteran’s, I am grateful to Kyle, and every military person who has fought for our great country to maintain our freedom. It is obvious by reading about Kyle and watching his video not only what Kyle is willing to die for, but also what he is willing to live for.

As I sit and type in my cozy room, safe in my warm home, with the sound of birds chirping outside my window instead of mortar fire, Kyle’s story gets me thinking. He was willing to risk his life for our freedom and safety. Jesus said in John 15:13, “No one can have greater love than to give his life for his friends.” Jesus knew this all too well. He paid the ultimate price for all of us. He took our sins upon himself and nailed them to the cross so that anyone who believes in him can have eternal life (John 3:16).

The question now becomes, what do we live for? Or, better yet who do we live for? We have been given an amazing gift, a second chance. What are we doing with it? Jesus said he came so that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). Are we living a full life?

And by full, I don’t mean busy. Busyness can be detrimental. I admit I struggle with this. If I have an idle moment, instead of using it to be still and listen for God’s voice, I allow guilt to set in and create trivial tasks to occupy my time. Busyness doesn’t lead to a full life. Leading a life with purpose does.

Wallowing in sadness or hiding behind our fears also doesn’t honor the sacrifice made for us. I don’t mean for us to slap a smile on our faces and fake it til we make it. No, I’m saying turn our focus from inward to outward. God is greater than the pile of unpaid bills, the boss’s hurtful words, or the date that never texted or bothered to call back. Happiness is momentary and fleeting based on an event, but God’s joy is a continuous spring from which we can drink and drink often and whenever needed. By showing God’s joy through our countenance, through our lives, and our actions, we are honoring Jesus’s sacrifice.

Starting today, how can you honor the sacrifice made for you?

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Battle of the Saintes painting

The Meaning of Shalom

My two oldest kids were terrible sleepers as babies. If they slept for over two hours straight, I’d do a happy dance. When I discovered I was pregnant with my third, I Baby Name Finder: Baby Name Wizardwas determined this child would be a better sleeper. I even typed into the baby names finder what name means “sleeps through the night.” The closest it could determine was Shalom which means peace.

Shalom. I’d heard this Hebrew word before but usually associated it with a Jewish greeting or salutation. Shalom actually has a deeper meaning than just peace which we often associate with the absence of war. It means inner well-being, prosperity, and health. Now, I didn’t end up calling my son Shalom. A friend of mine had already given the name to her daughter (who is a lovely girl both inside and out, and I couldn’t think of a better name for her), but I love the idea that every time she calls her daughter’s name she is speaking prosperity, peace, and health over her little girl.

I’ve been researching the British Caribbean during and after the American Revolution for an Island book series I’m working on, so I’ve been digging into Battle of the Saintes paintinghistorical events, piracy, and Caribbean life in the late 18th and early 19th century. One thing I never realized was how the Caribbean Islands impacted the Revolutionary War. The British Navy, at the time, was the greatest in the world. America standing up to the mother country was like David going up against Goliath. However, Britain was also in a power struggle with France over the Caribbean islands which were valuable for their sugar exports. British Naval forces were split between fighting in America and protecting their island holdings from foreign invaders. The division weakened British naval forces in their fight for control of the United States (O’Shaughnessy, An Empire Divided, 2000, p.185).

The national election is this week and Newscasters have been as excited as a weatherman before a blizzard. I try not to be political, and I don’t plan to start now. I’m typing this on Monday knowing it will be read after the polls have closed and the results determined, and I did that intentionally. Because one thing I’ve come to realize about people whether on the left or right is that we all want shalom. We all desire well-being, happiness, and prosperity and to see others prosper. Jesus (the Prince of Peace) said it best in Mark 3:25 which was echoed in a speech by President Abraham Lincoln, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” We are stronger when we are unified.

No matter what the outcome, I hope we find unity as a country and as the body of Christ. That we stop pointing fingers and instead focus our pursuits on life, liberty, and happiness. I pray we will each strive to reach shalom.

So, may you have health and well-being, may you continue to chase your dreams, and may you prosper.

Shalom!

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Wheat field at sunrise

How to Reap a Harvest

“Leave a place better than you found it.” Ever since I heard this piece of wisdom from author and speaker, Joe McGee, I’ve repeated it a hundred times, and my kids Wheat field at sunrisemay roll their eyes when we’re leaving a fast food restaurant, or someone’s house, or the church, but I interpret it to mean I’m getting through to them. It’s not always fun to pick up the napkins someone else left on the floor at Dairy Queen or to wipe off the sink at church when someone else left a mess, but I remind them that opportunities will arise when you strive to do more than what is expected.

People will invest in you when you are faithful in the small things.

When my husband’s company posts a hiring ad, typically there is a small project suggestion at the bottom of the job posting. For example: create a video that tells why they’d be a good fit for the company. It’s amazing how many people send over their resume and completely ignore the project request. However, the ones who went the extra mile and created the short video have almost always received a job offer. (I actually can’t think of one who hasn’t, but that might not be the case.)

What is expected of you is the threshold—so do more.

We were not meant to blend in and get by. To be salt and light to the world, we must stand out, and to that, we need to go above and beyond. Take it from Rebekah in the Bible. When Abraham grew old, he sent his servant to go find a wife for his son Isaac. I can imagine the servant stressed out by the big task of finding a bride Two camelsand convincing her to come back with him to an unknown place to marry a man she’d never met. So the servant prayed, help me be successful in this, Lord. He asked it to be a sign if a woman waters his camels then that woman was to be Isaac’s bride. So the servant sat down near the spring and along came Rebekah. He asked her for a drink, and she not only gave him a drink but watered his camels also. Now, this doesn’t sound like too big of a task until you consider that camels can drink up to fifty gallons and the servant didn’t just bring one or two camels—he had brought ten. That is a lot of water to draw from the well. Rebekah went the extra mile, and she reaped a harvest of God’s blessing in return.

It doesn’t have to be a monumental task like watering ten camels. It’s okay to start small. Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” We might not be able to do for all, but we can start with one. Bless them, sow a seed, and watch it turn into a harvest.

Go ahead, leave the world better than you found it.

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