Lorri Dudley

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

Tag: Philippians 4:13

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.

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Forget Your Potential. There’s Something Better…

My youngest saying, “No!” to having his picture taken.

Why is the word No so easy for toddlers to say yet adults stumble over it? It’s a simple word, the two letters should roll off the tongue, but I admit, sometimes I can’t form the letters. They stick to my lips and swell my tongue.

We don’t realize how crucial No is to fulfilling our purpose.

We hold unlimited potential. Scripture tells us, you can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). The real question is whether we should strive to reach our potential… or maybe not.
In one day, I feel the pressure to do the following:

  • write,
  • be a good mom,
  • be a good spouse,
  • paint (because I have some talent),
  • be a leader in the church,
  • run a small group,
  • work to earn a living,
  • mentor young women,
  • keep up with my girlfriends,
  • read and learn.

God has given me the gifts and skills to do the above list, and I enjoy all these things, yet if I did them all, I would become a failure. As much as I want to fulfill my potential, it’s not realistic in the time I have been given. Instead, I try to follow Jesus’ example.

Even Jesus didn’t reach his potential. I know it sounds sacrilegious, but hear me out. Think of all the things the Son of God could have done. The earth was and is his footstool. Not only could He have gotten Himself down from the cross, He could have snapped His fingers and had us all bowing at His feet. Jesus, however, focused on fulfilling his purpose. He only had three years of ministry. Everything Jesus did was intentional. Going through Samaria was supposed to be a shortcut, but He stopped to visit with the woman at the well because He knew many of the Samaritans would believe because of her testimony (John 4:39-43). He ended up staying for two days to draw more because He was focused on accomplishing his purpose.

Focus on fulfilling your purpose, not your potential.

arrow hits target

Sometimes we get stressed because we feel the desire to reach our potential. We say yes to everything.  Then, when we make a mistake or have a setback, we feel devastated. We spread ourselves too thin, and it becomes hard for us to catch back up. In our attempt to be the best of everything, we burn ourselves out. We fall short of our expectations, lose focus of our purpose, and feel like we let ourselves and God down.

God gave us unlimited potential through him, but we need to focus on what His will is, what he needs us to do, and what His purpose for our life is. It will mean saying “no” to things that we may be good at doing, things we have the skills and abilities to do, but they can be a distraction from what God intends for us to accomplish.

Below is my middle son saying, “No,” to cake, of all things.

My middle son saying no to cake of all things!

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