“What a horrible Christmas morning …” were the words I heard on the radio. The cohost, agreed with, “Our Christmas plans are ruined by the wind and the sleet!“
I was driving south to serve Christmas lunch at a homeless shelter indoors, but also outdoors for those who were not able to get into the shelter due to overcrowded capacity.
Cecil and his family had prepared multiple turkeys. My Gangsta had prepared massive amounts of mac and cheese. I had a carload of veggies, hot rolls, and Christmas desserts.
Many people had donated money and food to make feeding the hundreds on the inside, and hundreds on the outside possible. We carried things inside, and the many volunteers I had recruited were setting up food and serving very grateful people inside the shelter.
I turned my attention to the outside, where the rain, turning to sleet, with howling winds were making setting up our canopies and tarps difficult. But Cecil led a team and with deep dedication, they made it all happen.
As people who were cold and shivering came through the line, they cheerfully thanked us. We had hundreds of blankets to hand out. They received the as if they were being given great treasures!
I’ll never forget the one young woman (I knew her because we were there serving food weekly) who took my arm and said tearfully, “Thank you. This is the first time I have felt like I truly mattered since I was a little girl and lost my parents.“ She went on to explain how she was so devastated and confused that she had made horrible mistakes and poor choices through her teenage and her young adult years, leaving her homeless.
Her words pierced my heart. Because she did matter! She mattered to me!
She mattered to Cecil and his family who spent all night preparing food. She mattered to my team of volunteers.
She mattered to God.
At that moment, our small sacrifice of preparing and serving food in inclement circumstances was all worth it … if that was the only thing that had been accomplished! Someone knew they mattered!
A horrible Christmas morning? Christmas plans ruined? The radio announcers were wrong. It’s one of my most memorable Christmases of my life. Why? Because I believe we let hundreds of people know that they mattered!
It has continued to be my mission for many years. To let people know that they matter.
Regardless of your circumstances, regardless of your age, regardless of the stupid things you’ve done, or the foolish choices you’ve made, or the foolish mistakes… You matter.
Just this week I received an email from a very, very good friend. She said that she was reflecting on her 70+ years and felt she had accomplished little and it was too late. Yet, if I have a need and want someone to pray, she is the first on it! She never misses my birthday, the anniversary of my mother’s death, or any other occasions that are important to me. She matters. She matters to me! My job is to do a better job of letting her know that she matters.
How many people in your life matter that don’t know it? We must all step up together and let people know they matter!
You matter! Your dreams matter! Everyone has a dream at some point in their lives. And I believe that every dream has one common denominator. It will somehow serve others. That’s why your dreams matter.
Prince EA says that the wealthiest property in the world is the graveyard. Because in the graveyard are songs not yet written. Inventions not yet initiated. Businesses never erected. Ideas never brought forth.
Because the average person dies at around age 25, but are buried around age 75.
Henry David Thoreau says, “ The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Most people want to do more. Become more. But they lack the passion or the “know how” to move out of miserable mediocrity. Because they don’t know they matter.
They were told to accept and appreciate “ordinary“ (I do agree with being grateful for the ordinary)… But because of that, they have never been able to reach for, or believe for, “extraordinary.“
I’m not sure exactly why this message has been so heavy on my heart this week. Or why I have felt so compelled to let you know that you matter.
Possibly because I’ve been reading Caitlin Crosby’s book, “You Are the Key: Turning Imperfections into Purpose.” Like me, she has a deep love and compassion for people on Skid Row. They matter to her.
They matter to me. Lisa, Gangsta and I, spent time sharing laughter and encouragement In the cardboard community of Skid Row one summer. We did the same the following summer in the Bronx of New York. They matter.
But Caitlin has taken her compassion to a whole new level, and has a company of over 80 employees that came from a once homeless situation. I hope you will read her book. (Click here to order it!) Because in addition to creating a thriving company with purpose, she has been a huge part of turning their lives around.
Why? Because they matter to her.
Let me say it again very plainly and powerfully: you matter!
Yes! You matter.
Your dream matters!
I know you may have been lulled into miserable mediocrity.
But there’s better in you, and there’s more for you.
It all begins with this one very clear understanding down deep in your heart: “you matter!”
Normally I end my blog with action steps. My action steps for you this week are very succinct:
Remind yourself every day that you matter.
Remind yourself every day that your dream matters.
Remind yourself every day that there is more in you.
Remind yourself that there is more for you.
Once you get that settled in, you will be geared up and ready to go!
If you want some more action steps, I hope you will sign up for my FREE 7-Day challenge, “Advancing through Adversity.” It begins Tuesday, May 26, and goes through Monday, June 1. It’s at 8 PM CST every night. I have some amazing speakers lined up with great action steps to move you forward. Click on this link to sign up!
Remember this, my friend: you matter!
Your dream matters!
You were created for more!
And you were created to do more!
You matter! Please allow that to sink deeply within you. Let it in your heart. Say it aloud, “I matter!” Because you do!
Please go and tell at least five people that they matter today!