Lorri Dudley

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

Tag: mistakes

Future robots and life on the moon

Would You Rather…?

Would you rather move fifteen years into the future and receive 50 million dollars or go back to the age of ten but with all the current knowledge you have now?

My son and I heard this question posed on the radio while driving to lacrosse practice. Immediately, my son chose fifteen years into the future with 50 million dollars. I asked him why, and his answer made sense because for him ten years old was only three years ago, so going back wouldn’t gain him much. He’d know the outcome of the Superbowl, but he’d be too young to place any bets. (I reminded him he shouldn’t be placing any bets.)

I thought over my answer and came up with neither, to which he told me neither wasn’t a choice. Nevertheless, it’s what I chose, and I got to explain to him the reasoning. I wouldn’t want to progress 15 years into the future even if they paid me 50 million because I wouldn’t want to miss my sons’ graduations, their weddings, and even maybe the birth of a grandchild or two. Those are precious moments. And even though it means dealing with the teenage years and some of the struggles of standing by while my children learn to make life-changing decisions, some wrong and some right, I want to be there to support them and help them navigate their way when and if they need me.

Lorri age 10
Lorri age 10

I also wouldn’t want to go back to the age of ten, even if I could return with all the wisdom and knowledge I have now. Yes, it would be great to go back and correct some of my mistakes, but I wouldn’t want to risk changing the outcome of those mistakes. What if it was those mistakes that led me to God. What if I changed something and then never met my husband, not having my children, or having different children. (Plus, I’m not sure I hold the patience to re-live the potty-training phase again.)

My mistakes have made me who I am today. Even though they are painful to remember, I can rejoice over the outcome. The would-you-rather question got me thinking about how God gives us just the right amount of wisdom and strength for each moment when we need it. He doesn’t give us too much so we become prideful and think we can handle things all on our own, and He doesn’t forsake us and leave us to fend for ourselves in our time of need.

God’s wisdom and grace are sufficient for each moment.

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Graduation photo tossing hats by Emily Reinquist

I Don’t Know… You Know What I Mean?

“I don’t know. . . You know what I mean?” This was a friend of mine’s response when being asked for some difficult future advice. It sounds funny, but I do understand what he meant. How many times have we lacked the wisdom and the right words? How many times have we been caught in a situation that we don’t understand, or felt lost hoping someone can point us in the right direction?

Graduation celebration Pexels photo by Emily Reinquist

It’s graduation season, and many young adults will leave home to start their futures. I still remember staring at the college application where it asks to declare a major. I had no idea. I took one of those career tests at school to determine what professions would be best for me. The test said I should be either a Rabbi or a parole officer. Since I wasn’t Jewish nor male, I figured the Rabbi position was probably out, and no offense to any parole officers out there, but I can’t imagine the push-over in me surviving long in that job.

I was stuck, afraid I’d pick the wrong thing and ruin my life. I was waiting for lightning, inspiration, or God’s voice to tell me what I should be. I thought there had to be perfect conditions. I thought I had to know everything before I could venture out.

I was wrong.

Whether I picked an unfit major or worked at a few jobs that might not have been for me, it all worked out. Each was a learning experience. Each developed my character and allowed me insight to know who and what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Fork in Road

Did it slow me down and keep me from my potential?

Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to first experience what it’s like to be lost.

There is no return without some risk. We have to step forward and make the opportunity. Mistakes will happen, but we can’t fear them. God Almighty isn’t going to let a few mistakes ruin His plan for your life. God’s will is going to be done, and even if we swerve off the path a couple of times, He can get us back on track. But one thing is for certain, it’s a lot harder to steer a car when it’s in park.

“A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?” – Proverbs 20:24 (NKJV)

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my son saying wow!

Wow Before How

Just say wow before you say how. It has become my mantra. Andy Stanley, Pastor of my son saying wow!North Point Church, introduced this idea at a Leadercast summit, and the visionary part of my husband strapped it on like a jetpack. Ideas excite my husband. He thinks on a macro level. It’s what makes him a great entrepreneur and businessman. He has a million ideas, but because of my stunned reactions, he has learned to only tell me about three each day. I don’t want to be the rain cloud darkening his day, but my personality-type jumps to the micro level, working to figure out how to implement things. For me not to squash his ideas, I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed and hear him out or to just say “Wow,” before I say “How?”

Similarly, in writing, there are three types of people: plotters—those who outline every scene in detail, pantsters—those who open their computers and start typing detailed drawing of writing a business planor “fly by the seat of their pants” (hence the name), and those who fall somewhere in between. In life, some of us are plotters who want to know all the details before we move forward. We are always asking God for direction. What major should I declare and what classes should I take? Should I ask for a promotion? What should I say to my boss? Should we have children? If so, how many, and how can we make them excel in school, be social, and athletic?

Seeking God’s guidance is a good thing. However, we often want to know all the answers and have a guarantee of a good outcome before we even start.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details. We can be paralyzed by the what-ifs. Yet, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we cannot see,” (Hebrews 11:1). God may be waiting for us to step out in faith first before He shows us what’s up ahead. If I had known how much was involved in writing, I might not have started, and if I had known all that is involved in parenting, I still would have had kids, but I might have stalled a bit longer. The truth is God knows what we can handle, and He has equipped us properly (2 Peter 1:3). David had five stones to slay Goliath, but it only took one.

But what if we make a mistake?

Failure is an event. It is not a person. Don’t get caught up in the fleeting moments. Often, we focus too much on the obstacles the devil throws in our path that cause us Wow before How written on lined paperto stumble or fall. A setback isn’t going to stop God. The Almighty will see His purpose through to completion. Dust yourself off. Learn from those fleeting moments, but trust in the One who controls your ultimate destiny.

Remember that the Maker of the universe is behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” (Isaiah 30:21).

When you focus on God’s greatness, it’s easy to say “Wow” before you say “how?”

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