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Small Thinking


You may not remember, but I shared in one of my previous posts that I am the mother to not only my three teenagers but also two canines, Lexi and Toto, and a tortoise, Shelly. If I'm being honest, Shelly is not really a family pet but more my youngest son's pet. (I guess I'm not Shelly's mom but more her caretaker when my son's unavailable.) He loves all animals but has a soft spot for reptiles. My son saved his money and did extra chores to earn more money to buy his first turtle, Oogway. Sadly he passed away less than a year later. After Oogway's passing, his aunts and uncles generously purchased him a new turtle, Shelly, to replace Oogway. We're not positive about her age, but she was still a hatchling when he received her. When Shelly arrived, she was tiny and could fit in the palm of my son's hand. She appeared pretty ordinary because her unique character lines and colors didn't come through yet. Nevertheless, she seemed to have lots of energy and was more curious about her new surroundings than Oogway.


My son takes his pet owner's responsibilities seriously and does a great job caring for Shelly. He periodically cleans out her home and bathes her. He digs for worms in our yard to give her special delicacies. He studies different websites to learn what he can do to improve her life and help her live longer.


Anyway, in my son's quest to enhance Shelly's quality of life, he informed me that she required a larger container. I questioned him since her tank is plenty big as it is, and she's only about six inches now; why does she require a new one? My son answered that Shelly would only grow as much as her environment would allow her to grow. So if she has a bigger home, the more she can explore, the more she will expand.


That concept is not limited to Shelly but applies to us humans too. I don't wish to look back a year from now and see myself in the exact same place. I hope I can recognize a broadening of horizons that leads me to even more of the unfamiliar.


I have a dear friend who has driven all around the United States. She recently traveled with her RV up the northeast to appreciate the beautiful foliage and then went to Canada to visit a friend. On her return to the DMV, she drove a different route to enjoy other breathtaking landmarks. I was surprised when she shared that she fights anxiety whenever she journeys to a new location. I responded that I, too, have similar anxious thoughts, but unlike her brave self, I just wouldn't go, whereas she still goes and overcomes the fear and anxiety. She commented on how she learned so much during this last adventure. Her willingness to venture beyond the insecurity outweighed her fear, resulting in immeasurable growth. I expressed that I wanted to be her when I grew up. I encouraged her to document her trips so that others can also be inspired.


I will never forget when I heard a speaker at a conference say, "If you are a millionaire and you want to be a billionaire, you need to hang out with billionaires." To be intentional and to place yourself around those who will force you to expand your thinking is priceless.


I don't think God wants us to live ordinary lives. He calls each of us to live an extraordinary life. So what changes do you have to make to living full vs. living fine?

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