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

Tag: God’s love

heartshaped cloud

You Matter

Cloud-shaped heart

You matter to God.

You’re His child, and you’re on His mind constantly.

He’s concerned about you. His heart breaks for whatever struggles you’re going through. He knows your pain intimately and personally.

He’s witnessed your every deed and hears your every thought, and if we’re truthful, we’ll admit there have been some terrible ones, yet He loves us and cares for us despite our faults, failures, and shortcomings.

Because you matter to God.

Jesus took on our sins. He took on our failings, wicked thoughts, lies, cheating, stealing, jealousy, hatred, lust, adultery, and murder (in our thoughts and actions). He brought them all to the cross, so we could be washed clean by His blood.

Because He loves us.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you,” God promises in Joshua 1:5.

When there was an earthquake and the chains fell off Paul and Silas in prison, the jailer awoke and thought everyone had escaped. He drew his sword and was about to kill himself instead of facing his failure, but Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself. We’re still here.” God cared about the jailer who’d locked up Paul—the man God had orchestrated to write over half of the New Testament. If a miracle like chains falling off presented itself, the first thing most people would do is flee. I would have hightailed it out of there, but Paul and Silas stayed and risked being placed back in chains to offer a jailer a chance at eternal life because he mattered to God (Acts 16:25-30).

Matthew 10:29 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Jesus went out of his way to travel through Samaria. He had an important meeting with a woman at a well, except she didn’t know it yet. She drew water during the heat of the day and after the other women had returned to the village so she could escape their judgmental looks and snide remarks. We don’t know why she’d moved from husband to husband, but Jesus mentions she’s had five. She’d shouldered the shame of being rejected as a wife and loose morals for many years. Jesus traveled out of his way into lands where Jews wouldn’t traverse, because this Samaritan woman mattered to Him. He asked her for a drink of water, but His true mission was to offer her living water (John 4:4-26).

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1

You are God’s child and He rejoices over you. You may have struggles, but they are a reminder to lean on God and not your own understanding.

Because your life matters to God.

I will repeat it one more time to let the truth sink into your soul.

You are His child. His beloved.

You matter to God.

Heart-shaped cherry tree in bloom

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog

You are awesome

You Are Awesome!

You are Awesome sign

At the local high school and middle school where my kids attend, signs have recently been placed at the bus entrance to encourage the kids. They say things like: you are awesomeyou’ve got this, and you are not alone. When I first saw the signs, I smiled with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and thought, what a nice gesture. I asked my kids if they liked the signs, but they just shrugged in their teen and preteen way.

After probing a little more, we started talking about how they don’t know who set up with the signs or why they were there (perhaps for midterms). They thought the signs were nice, but it didn’t stir their emotions as much as a coach, teacher, or parent looking you in the eye and saying you are awesome. Because they don’t know who’s conveying the message, it lacked meaning and to them felt generic.

You are not alone sign

Okay, I get that, but with all the social pressure and negative messages conveyed, we could use a reminder that we are awesome.

Almost every day, when my kids leave for school, I tell them, “Remember who loves you and whose child you are.” I want them to hear from my voice that not only does mom and dad love them, but more importantly, God loves them. When they have peer pressure or decisions to make, I want them to hear mom’s voice echo in their mind, reminding them whose child they are and whom they represent – not only the Dudley family but Jesus Christ.

That day in the car, I got a chance to tell them how we don’t need a sign to let us know we’re awesome because we have God’s word that tells us we are uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s image (Psalm 139:14). We’ve got this because we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). And, we know we’re not alone because the Bible says our God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Because we read our Bible, we can grasp the depth of love God holds for us and the lengths he’ll go to demonstrate that love. And because we have a personal relationship with the Author who wrote these things, we can stand tall with confidence. We can move with purpose, knowing who we are in Christ.

You've got this sign

Turns out, the signs allowed for a great opportunity to speak to my boys and encourage them to daily read the Bible—because we all need to hear from God’s lips that He made us awesome.

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s Blog

Writing for One

woman writing at computer

Some authors print out a picture of the person they’re directing their book towards and place it next to their computer screen. When they write, they consider that person’s feelings, motivations, likes, and dislikes. It helps to write with intent and define the win. My win is to remind my readers just how much God loves them and the lengths He will go to draw them closer to Him. I don’t use a picture but I have a detailed description of who I’m writing for and why. I’ve even written a letter to this theoretical person stating why they would relate to my main character’s struggles and how they can be encouraged to seek the happily-ever-after found in the joy only God can give.

It’s a big world, but God sees you.


I’ve been fortunate enough to sit in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA (not pictured. My photos came out horrible.). It can seat over 65,000 people. To see that many individuals in one place can be dizzying. In a way, you feel connected because you’re all there to watch the same thing, but it can also make you feel insignificant. I’ve looked around and thought, God, how can you tend to all these people? How can you hear all their prayers and still find time to listen to little ol’ me?  

It’s those times when I’m feeling irrelevant and inconsequential that God reminds me of Isaiah 49: 15-16 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” It doesn’t say He’s penciled you tentatively into His schedule or wrote a reminder in pen on his hand so he doesn’t forget (a technique I’ve been known to do). God says I have engraved your name on the palm of my hand—permanently because you mean that much to me.

God writes for one.

He has your picture on his computer. He sent His one and only son to die for you. He’ll send His Holy Spirit to dwell within your heart if you ask Him because He loves you and wants to be part of the details of your life.

God hears you, He sees you, and He never forgets you.

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog.

My fearless middle son on the jungle gym

How to Lose Control and Like It.

My daring middle son on the jungle gym.

Danger doesn’t find my kids. They seem to seek it out.

A knock sounded on the door. My kids were watching a movie upstairs (back when they were ages 7, 6, & 4) while I cooked dinner. I sighed and turned the stove down. It had to be a salesman, peddling insect yard treatments, or a person soliciting votes to run for local office. I planned to shoo them swiftly away, so I didn’t burn supper.

I swung the door open with a tight expression to find a middle-aged man nicely dressed, standing back from the door by a good distance.

“May I help you?” I said in a clipped tone.

He glanced up, then back at me and shifted his weight. “I—ah—just wanted to let you know your son and his two friends are on the roof.”

I blinked while his words registered. I felt my eyes widen, and my stomach rose into my chest. Footsteps and small voices sounded on the landing behind me. I spun around and stared up at two curious little faces peeking through the railing. My voice pitched a couple of octaves higher. “You were on the roof?”

Their smiles evaporated.

The man at the door cleared his throat, bid me farewell, and hustled back to his car. I called out my thanks, my voice, this time, sweet as pie. I should have invited him in for dinner. I should have kissed his feet for taking the time out of his busy commute to stop and tell me my children were in danger. How many other cars had seen the kids and just kept driving?

I mounted the stairs two at a time and entered my room to see the open window and screen that led to the farmer’s porch roof. I popped my head out. The concrete sidewalk below the porch loomed like a gravestone. I searched for my oldest son, but he wasn’t outside. The youngest two pointed to the bathroom.

I yelled through the door. “Were you on the roof?”

“I was in here the whole time.”

My jaw clenched as my initial panic switched over to anger, knowing my oldest was the only one who had the height and dexterity to remove the child locks from the windows. 

My boys climbing the wrong side of the stairs
My older boys climbing the wrong side of the stairs

There is only so much control we have over a situation.

I want to protect my children from harm. I do what I can to keep them safe, give them rules and boundaries, put child-locks on the windows, turn on a movie, so they’re not underfoot while I cook dinner, risking serious burns, but there was and will always be something I don’t think of, something I can’t control.

It’s this lack of control that causes me anxiety. It wakes me up in the middle of the night with my heart racing, wondering what if… why didn’t I… I should have…

The helpless feeling sucks me into a dark place. I want to hold tight to my illusion of control and think of more ways to protect my family and our wellbeing, but the problem is just that—its an illusion. There have been so many days when I’ve kneeled on the bathroom floor crying out to God. I’ve failed them. I’ve messed them up for life. I’m not qualified. I don’t know enough.

It’s those times when God speaks into my heart. My love never fails. I’m in control. I will cover your faults. I will stand in the gaps. Cast your cares on me.

God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. It’s a ridiculous pressure I’ve placed on myself. God says, Trust in me and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

I don’t know what happened to the nice man that stopped. I pray for God to bless him every time I remember this story, and I thank God that he sent him to protect my kids. Now, when I wake up in the middle of the night worried, I say a prayer for God’s protection and whisper to myself.

“God’s got this.”

My youngest stuck under the table
My youngest stuck under the kitchen table

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s Blog

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.
Showing Vs. Telling - homework page

The Dreaded Show Vs. Tell: Why It Can Improve All Aspects of Life.

Show don’t tell.

The dreaded words that baffle many writers. They’ve been marked in red pen in the margins of my manuscripts. Hence, when my son handed me his school paper, a gasp escaped my lips. My jaw fell slack, and my eyes widened. I blinked as words blurred on the page then refocused. (See what I did there instead of typing I was shocked?) Here’s his schoolwork page:Showing Vs. Telling - homework page

Bam, and just like that my son learned showing versus telling.

Simple, easy-peasy.

Even as I self-edit, I’ll still find places where I’m telling my readers what they should feel instead of showing them through description and allowing them to experience their own emotions. If it is that simple, why are there entire books written on the topic? Why do I occasionally let it slip into my writing?

Because it’s easier to tell. It takes fewer words. It gets to the point. It doesn’t require any emotional involvement.

It got me thinking. How much of my life is telling instead of showing?

  • Do I take the time to show people I love them?
  • Do I tell people they are forgiven or do I demonstrate how I’ve forgiven them?
  • Do I tell people I’m going to pray for them, or do I take a moment and actually pray with them?

One of the most impactful things I learned from leading a church group was from an instructional video that came with the curriculum. It said your group will only be as open as their leader. If you are vulnerable, your group will open up. If you answer questions generically, so will your group. To lead my group effectively, I had to become emotionally involved. It would have been easier to just preach, but I wanted the group to go deeper, so I had to set the tone and lead by example.

My husband has consciously decided to never say the words, “You know what you need to do …” Instead, he has trained himself to say, “I was in a similar experience, and I handled it this way …” By describing his own experience, he’s allowing the people he interacts with to draw what they need from his past mistakes and to form their own conclusions. If he merely told them what they need to do, most of them would jump on the offensive. Some may go through the motions and take the advice, but the idea would never be their own. Within my husband’s business dealings, he too has learned to show instead of tell.

Don’t get me wrong there is a place for telling. In fiction, it’s usually used to show time passing or to skip through some of the boring parts, but it doesn’t convey the same feeling as showing. It doesn’t generate the same buy-in.

God too understands showing versus telling. It’s why He sent his son to earth to show us His great love. I believe it’s why he gave us free will. God is all-powerful. He could easily tell us, “You will worship me,” but He wants us to willingly choose to love Him. He wants our emotional buy-in. So, He chose to demonstrate His love through His grace and mercy.

1 John 4:9-11, not only sums it up but also calls us into action, “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”

How can you show God’s love today?

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog post newsletter by clicking here: Lorri’s newsletter


Man holding bouquet behind his back

Crazy Love and Mixed Tapes

Oh, the romance of a mixed tape. Way back before, Spotify, iPhone, and even CD’s, cassette tapesthere was a thing called a cassette tape, and with the proper equipment, you could record your favorite songs to make a customized mix. It was the first gift my husband gave me when we were dating. I resided a couple states away at college and played that tape over and over until I knew every word of every song. It gave me insight into his tastes and choices, and even though were we separated by distance, it made me feel like he was near.

I enjoy watching couples newly in love. I’ll never forget going on a group date with a bunch of couples, one of which had just started dating. All the others were a few years into their marriages, so the wives spoke to the other wives, and the husbands spoke to the other husbands. But not the dating couple. They only spoke to each other. In their smitten bliss, the rest of the room was completely forgotten.

Man holding bouquet behind his back When we’re in love, we do the craziest things. King Nebuchadnezzar supposedly built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the seven ancient wonders of the world) to help ease his wife’s homesickness. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan almost bankrupted his country to build the Taj Mahal to honor his deceased wife. King Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry his love.

My husband used to drive six hours to see me at school and then drive six hours back. On my summer breaks, I’d sacrifice my precious days off between waitressing and interning, to paint with him. He paid his way through college by running his own painting company, so every day during summer break he’d be up on a ladder painting. Because I wanted to be around him, I’d don my painting clothes, grab a brush, and climb up a ladder next to him. (As it turns out, painting is a very helpful life skill to know.)

Sometimes we forget that God holds an even greater, more passionate love for us. He made us in His image. He longs to be near us and is jealous for our attention. God doesn’t merely carve our initials with a heart into the trunk of a tree. It says in Isaiah 49, that He has carved our names into the palms of His hands.

God stands at the door and knocks. (I sometimes picture Him in a tux and holding flowers.) He’s eagerly waiting for us to answer, so he can come in and be with us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants us to know Him intimately. He is beyond patient with us not wanting anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He goes to great lengths including the ultimate sacrifice of dying on a cross to defeat death so that we won’t be separated from him.

He just wants to be with you, no matter where you are, how you look, or what condition you are in. He’s knocking at your door, waiting for you to invite him in.

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my e-newsletter by clicking here: Lorri’s Newsletter

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén