Lorri Dudley

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

Tag: encouragement

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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Dudley's on Mt. Monadnock, NH

Harder the Hike, the Better the View

Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire is not for the faint of heart or the occasional Sunday stroller. I’m usually up for an adventure, and it was a gorgeous day, so we Dudley's on Mt. Monadnock, NHstruck out with the kids and some friends and headed up the mountain. The boys did great until we were about ¼ of the way up the first peak when they began to complain. “How much further?” “Are we there yet?” “My legs hurt.” Now I said the first peak because it is a double summit mountain. Once you get to what you believe to be the top, you realize the trail keeps going, and there’s another peak hiding behind the first. At this point, I’m mentally siding with the boys. I didn’t own hiking boots, and my sneakers were done sneakin’. I thought I was in pretty good fitness shape until the muscles in my ankles began to hurt from adjusting to the uneven ground.

My husband being the optimist said, “Look, we’re almost to the top.” We kept moving. Part of me wanted to turn around. We’d been hiking for over a couple hours, and we still had to go all the way back down. I wanted to protest or complain, but I didn’t want to ruin the trip for our friends or allow the boys to see mom give up.

At last, we reached the top, I remember ignoring the aches and pushing my legs up View from Mt Monadnockthe final steep climb. It opened onto a rocky plateau. I stopped to catch my breath. Not because I was winded, but because the view was so spectacular. From the peak, an endless patterned carpet filled with greens, yellows, oranges, and reds spread out before us. A vast expanse of clear blue stretched above us, and when we looked east, we could see a cluster of tiny rectangular sticks that comprised of the city of Boston.

One of our boys stared wide-eyed and said, “Wow! Look at how great God is.” That made the entire trek for me. The hard climb, the achy muscles, the pure exhaustion, all forgotten as we gazed out at the splendor before us.

The harder the hike, the better the view.

For ten years we used to run a small group at our house weekly. (Now that I’m wiser we’ve learned to rotate houses.) There were days where I’d come home from work exhausted. The kids would be at each other, and I still hadn’t fed them dinner or set out food and chairs for our small group. I would rub my temples with one hand and hold my phone with the other ready push send on an email to cancel the group for the night.

But, thank God, I didn’t hit send.

Those nights we’d have the most incredible group, filled with breakthroughs, people opening their hearts, and Godly revelations. This happened at least a couple nights a semester, and every time it would be a remarkable experience.

There is evil out there that wants to keep us from experiencing God’s joy. It will attack us in big and small ways, but don’t relent. Keep pushing through. There is something spectacular for you to see but the devil is doing his darnedest to block your way.

If you’re exhausted and spent, uncertain whether you can keep going, you may be steps away from a breakthrough. Let the devil know you’re onto his trick, and you’re not backing down. You’re going to keep hiking because God has planned an amazing view for you right over the next peak.

“God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.” – 2 Samuel 22:33 (NLT)

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Knight holding sword

Hold On Til Morning

Chirp!

It started the first full night of 2018. One single chirp every fifteen seconds. Only between the hours of 12 am and 3 am.  We’d tried everything to get the smoke detector to cease its incessant warning chirp. Of course, it started with the smoke detector on our cathedral ceiling, because it was a negative seven degrees outside and we needed our extension ladder to reach the blasted thing. We changed the battery and went back to bed. An hour later—chirp! Another smoke detector started. We replaced the battery in every single smoke detector. Chirp! We unplugged them, reset the circuit breakers, and hit the test button (which woke up the kids). Chirp!

Four nights in a row the same thing. I struggled into work with toothpicks holding my eyelids open and my brain only firing in safe mode to discover our financial software had crashed and couldn’t be restored without an expensive upgrade. I opened my email to a rejection letter saying they were going to have to pass on my story. This was not how I envisioned starting off 2018.

It was the beginning of a new era …

God’s own son had entered the earth. Hope filled the world with the promise of a savior. Shepherds and wise men traveled to see baby Jesus and even brought gifts. Everything seemed right with the world.

Joseph shakes Mary out of a deep sleep. Jesus is cuddled at her side. He’d had another dream. An angel came to him again and told him to take Mary and the baby and flee to Egypt. Herod was going to try to kill Jesus.

Wait. What?                                                                                                                                  

Isn’t the hard part over?

The savior was born. Shouldn’t things run smoothly now?

God never promised life would be easy. In fact, Jesus himself said the opposite. “In this life, you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” I’m not an expert on why bad things happen. I know, by God allowing us to have free will, mankind has made unwise choices. It started with our not obeying God’s command and eating of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil. (Enter evil, stage left.) But, God doesn’t try to tell us life will be all rainbows and unicorns. He tells us to prepare for battle and gives us the tools to fight. (See Ephesians 6:13-18.)

Knight holding swordewyIt is through struggles that we obtain a better understanding of who we are. It’s how our character is forged. It’s hard to grasp when you are in the heat of the fight. But then a lull comes, and we can look back. We discover the changes we’ve undergone and the strength we’ve derived from combat.

Just remember, God will not give us more than we can handle. Having three boys, I’ve often thought, God must see something in me that I don’t see in myself. Even when I doubt, He’s always given me the faith I need to continue on. Sometimes it’s in the form of a running charge. Other times, it’s crawling on my knees, but he’s always beside me urging me forward.

God’s whisper into my heart cannot be drowned out by the doubts screaming in my mind, but I have to choose to listen. I know it can be difficult to comprehend when you’re on the floor of your bathroom saying, enough, please enough, but God will pull you through. He will hold you up with his righteous right hand. All you need to do is hold on.

It may not be an easy ride, but the end result will be well worth it.

Psalm 30:5 “… Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

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