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Kelle Shultz challenges us to see joy in the trials we face daily.

Ever have one of those days when you take the time to do something that you really don’t have the time for, and you discover something wonderful as a result? I found a wonderful nugget on Facebook recently that made me think of Galatians 6:9, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

What struck me was this list of the hard things you have to do in life:
• You have to care more about others than they care about you.
• You have to make the call you are afraid to make.
• You have to lead when no one else is following you.
• You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
• You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.

The post went on to say that the hard things are the easiest to avoid, and yet these are the things that define you — the difference between living a life of mediocrity or a life of outrageous success.

It got me thinking about success and being outrageous in it. I think for that to happen, I need to add a few things to the “to-do” list. These additions are not necessarily hard, but I believe they are necessary for me to have a successful life. Your list may be similar or very different.

• Prepare a eulogy now for your parents and be ready to share their lives at their funerals. Tell how their love and hard-learned lessons shaped you into the person you are, and describe the impact they had on their community.
• Take a walk in the snow at night and feel the quiet.
• Shake a veteran’s hand and say, “Thank you for your service.”
• Make a valentine.
• Have a baby fall asleep on your chest. Snuggle up to her tiny head, and breathe in the smell of innocence and life.
• Have a best friend whom you love like family.
• Learn to make fudge so tasty that everyone who eats it wants the recipe.
• Indulge in a bubble bath with someone you love, and include a rubber ducky.

What I want to emphasize is the importance of doing the hard things and the heart things. Life is a gift from God. Be mindful that we owe it to God to appreciate, respect and enjoy His gift by being outrageously successful in life.

O Lord, we give thanks to You for this glorious gift of life You have given to each of us. Show us how to embrace the gift. We pray that You will help us to see joy as we greet our trials for the day and through this know we are loved by You and can do the hard and heart things with You by our side. Amen.

1. We are molded into the people we are through the hard stuff in life and how we handle it. Tell about a hard choice you made that changed your life. In making this choice, did you find yourself closer to God?
2. Within your role at Habitat for Humanity, do you ever make decisions no one else wants to make or hard choices that are necessary? Does doing so help you learn and become a stronger leader?
3. What would you put on your “to-do” list?
4. Do you already do any of the items you would put on your list? If so, how do you feel? If you don’t,why not?

By Kelle Shultz, President and CEO of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, Tennessee

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