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A Little Goes a Long Way | Rachael Adams

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2023 1:00 am

A Little Goes a Long Way | Rachael Adams

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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April 15, 2023 1:00 am

How do you live a significant life? It might be more simple than you think. On the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author and speaker, Rachael Adams says we live in a culture that sees bigger as better. But perhaps it’s the little things you do that can make an eternal difference. Don’t miss the practical encouragement for life on the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: A Little Goes A Long Way: 52 Days to a Significant Life

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There's a purpose in his little by little approach to life.

There's a purpose in the way that he rescues us and sanctifies us and sharpens us and is molding us little by little and more into his likeness. It's easy to get caught in the comparison trap that pressures us to do more, try harder, or go big or go home. Rachel Adams was in that performance trap. Is that where you are today? If so, there's good news and you'll hear from her straight ahead. Rachel's book is our featured resource today. It's titled, A Little Goes a Long Way, 52 Days to a Significant Life. Find out more at the website, Gary, I think this is a really important principle that Rachel's going to talk about today, that God values the small things we do with all of our hearts.

What do you think about it? You know, Chris, I think that's true and I think we sometimes overlook that, and that's why I am really glad to have this conversation today. You know, I can look back at little simple things that I did that had a tremendous impact on someone's life.

If we're doing it with our heart and doing it because we feel like God has led us to do this, it can be what appears to others to be insignificant, but to that person and in God's eyes, it is really significant. So I hope our listeners will stay tuned today because this concept is going to be very, very helpful. Writer and podcaster Rachel Adams started her ministry to help women realizing their God-given purpose and significance. She's host of the Love Offering podcast that features real stories of women who are living out their faith. Rachel and her husband Brian run a family business and farm in Kentucky with their two children, Will and Kate. You find out more about her and our featured resource at

It's Well, Rachel, welcome to Building Relationships. Hey, Gary. It's a pleasure to be with you today. Thank you so much for having me. Why don't you give us a little more detail about your family, your life.

Chris mentioned the farm and all of that. So tell us a little bit about your life. Well, I'm born and raised here in the same small lake town here in Somerset, Kentucky. And so I went away just briefly to college and met my husband Brian the very first day of school. Actually, when I first saw him, he had a black eye from basketball. He was a collegiate athlete and I saw him for the first time. I thought, oh, I better stay away from him.

But then he actually tells the story that he saw me and then went home and told his parents that he knew he was going to marry me that day. Whoa. All right. I know, right? And he was right.

And God kind of probably looked down and laughed at me and my inaccurate assumption about my husband, because now we've been together for 20 years and married for 16 and moved him to my small Kentucky lake town. And now we have two children, Will and Kate, who were named before the royal couple got married. Oh, okay.

And they are they're both in middle school. And so they're just very active in their extracurricular activities. And so my husband does work at the family business. My dad actually started that business when I was first born.

And so my husband now works there and we run that as a family. And we just moved to a farm. It's a small hobby farm that we have big dreams for. But at this point, it's a lot of gravel and dirt and it looks like a lot of work still left to do. But maybe one day in retirement, we'll be able to have some crops and some animals someday.

Well, you can begin by just planting a few seeds. Okay. That's our theme anyway, right? Little things matter. Exactly. Exactly. Well, we're talking about A Little Goes a Long Way, your new book. So did you write this out of your own search for significance or where did it come from?

Where was it birthed? Absolutely. It was just this tension of, you know, here I am in a small town. I'm a stay at home mom and my days look very similar every single day. On my best days, I wake up and make myself a cup of coffee and have my quiet time and pack my children's lunches and take them to school and walk my dogs and, you know, go to the post office, maybe go to the grocery and put a meal on the crock pot and do some dishes, make some beds and pay some bills.

And, you know, just run errands here and there, maybe attend a Bible study at church. And then I pick up my kids and go to a ball game, help with homework and do it all again the next day. And sometimes it just kind of would be a conversation with the Lord like, Lord, does any of this matter?

I'm doing the exact same thing for the most part every single day. And it feels so small, it feels so unseen and routine and mundane. You know, I feel like my life is too small to make a big difference, but yet I want to make a big difference. And so it was kind of this tension, this wrestling that I went to the Lord with and I went to His Word. And the more I studied His scriptures to search for His wisdom and His guidance, I started to realize that a significant life is actually much simpler and smaller than we think.

Yeah, yeah. I think a lot of stay-at-home mothers out there who heard you rattling off all that stuff say, yep, that's what I do every day. And then there are others, of course, who are in the workforce and they're, you know, again, all of us want to have a significant life, do something to enrich the world.

But I think realizing that, you know, those little things are extremely important, particularly what you just described as the life of a mother. Why do we gravitate toward, you know, bigger is better? I think a lot of people burn out just, you know, chasing a dream of significance and just push themselves.

Why do you think that's such a concept in our country? Yeah, and I think you're exactly right. And I'm so glad you mentioned, you know, those that are listening that may have a nine-to-five job, you know, whether you're a man or a woman, all of us are searching for significance. We want, we're here on earth, we want our life to matter, right? And, but yet everybody has their own routine and their to-do list, no matter what it is.

If you're sitting in a cubicle right now and you're like, gosh, I'm just typing and answering emails and answering phone calls and having meetings, you know, we can all kind of just get into the humdrum, mundane of whatever we're doing. And I think that this idea, culture just continues to tell us, like bigger is better and that small is insignificant. And I think that it's a ploy of the enemy, if I'm being honest. I think, you know, in the very beginning in the garden, Adam and Eve, the devil looked at Eve and just said, look, I've got something bigger, I've got something different, I've got something better than what you already have and took her eyes off of what God had already given her to steward, the perfection in many ways that she already had. And so I think he's doing the same thing with us today to keep our eyes off of what we're doing, to get us discouraged and have us to doubt that we do matter at all and that our contributions are too small for God to use. And so this just keeps us distracted. And if we get so discouraged in this idea that our life is too small, then we quit and we do nothing at all.

And of course, that's what he would want us to do. And so I think that we just really need to realize that we can't just keep just chasing the next thing. You know, it's like this insatiable thirst for that perfection that Eve had and we keep moving the finish line and we keep idolizing all these things when really we just need to keep our eyes on the Lord and realize that we are already significant. We're not going to get significant when we finally accomplish something we already are. Yeah, significant because of who he is and who he made us to be and what he has done for us.

Wow. How about the church? Has this concept, this feeling bigger is better and all, has that kind of pretty much permeated the church also?

What do you think about that? I actually do think that it has permeated the church. I think in many ways, we're prone to believe that only the pastors or maybe the worship leaders or those people that have podcasts or books or somebody that's up on a stage and somebody that has that limelight, maybe we just even as a congregation think, gosh, they're making a much bigger difference than we are. How does my little life by writing letters or greeting or maybe folding the bulletins or being a van driver or a nursery worker, whatever your job or the way that you volunteer and serve in your church is, sometimes we can even underestimate and discount those ways. But the Bible talks about we're the body and we all have a role.

We can't all be up on stage or there'd be nobody to be listening, right? And so I just really want everybody to believe that it's all important. The Bible talks about that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. And so really, what does it look like to continue to spread those seeds wherever we are, to continue to plant those seeds and water those seeds and let God make it grow?

And I'm even thinking about Jesus. He taught and he walked along and he planted the seeds, so to speak. I mean, he did that wherever he went. He didn't just teach and preach in one synagogue and want that one synagogue to grow.

He wanted everywhere, every place to grow and to further the gospel. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Rachel Adams is our guest today and we're talking about her book, A Little Goes a Long Way, 52 Days to a Significant Life. Just go to to find out more.

That's Rachel, as we continue our conversation, in your book, you give some biblical examples of ordinary people that God used for his greatness. Why don't you share a few examples of that? There are so many examples in the Bible. I feel like the entire Bible is about how God used ordinary people to do extraordinary things. But a few main examples that come to mind, you know, I think from the beginning, Abraham. You know, he and Sarah, Abraham was impotent and old and Sarah was old and barren. And that's the couple that God chose to further the generations that are still living now.

You know, talk about something small and taking it a long way to be the generations that are going to number more than the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the seashore. And so I think, you know, you start there and then you look at the life of David. He was the youngest and maybe least in his family. His own father overlooked him. But he became, and it really, if you think about it, he was even a shepherd. He was shepherding sheep and he was playing his harp. But that's who then God chose to defeat Goliath with a little sling and a little stone and became king. And obviously even in the lineage of Jesus. And then go into the New Testament and I think about Paul. I mean, Paul was a persecutor of Christians when he was Saul. And he had one encounter with Christ on the road and then started to be encouraged by Barnabas and the disciples. And then he continued to just learn and preach and teach and write letters that we're still reading today. But so he was a persecutor of Christians, but then became like a preacher for Christ.

And he really, you know, think about just really just taught and traveled and wrote letters. And what a difference he made in the early church that we're still experiencing today. And so those are just a couple of examples, but again, the Bible has just filled every single character in the Bible. And we could say and make an argument, so to speak, that they were ordinary, but it was God who partnered with them and made their life extraordinary. Yeah, it's always his work in us, right? Yeah. Well, you know, you also share how God created abundance out of little or turned the ordinary into extraordinary.

Can you give us some examples of that? Yeah, this is another, you know, the Bible is just filled with it. I think the one that would maybe most of us are familiar with is the little boy who had the fish in the loaves that, you know, just brought his little sack lunch.

You know, whether he packed it or his his mom packed it for him, but he was just willing to give it. And then God ended up feeding the multitudes with it. And he is the one that multiplied it. And then I think about, you know, the widow's oil. Elijah, he just said, what do you have? And she said, well, I have just this little bit of oil. And she continued to be able to just fill more and more and more jars with that oil. And that was something that God did.

That was something that he multiplied. And I think about just the disciples, you know, you talked about we were just the ordinary nature of their jobs being fishermen and tax collectors and zealots. And that's who God used to advance the church.

You know, they just went about their days and had conversations with people and traveled. And so I think about that, if that's the way that the early church started, that's still our task today. And so we can continue to further that message as we go about our days. You write that God wants to use us for his will, even though he doesn't need us to complete his will. Sometimes we exalt ourselves. You know, God needs us. He's going to get it done without us. Well, God, you know, God could use a billy goat, I guess.

He used the donkey one time. But what role does our effort play in God's kingdom's plan? You know, this always baffles me every time I think about it. It does seem unfathomable that God would even want to use us because we know how sinful and fallen and really inadequate that we are.

But for whatever reason, that is a part of his plan. You know, I think about every decision that anybody in the Bible ever made, every thought, every behavior, every action. It set into motion, whether it was good or bad, it set into motion what we're now experiencing, even now still today. You know, our lives really are so intertwined and woven together. And so I just think about how, I don't know, just the magnitude of that, even in our decisions today. You know, I think growing up, my parents were wonderful parents, but they chose to get a divorce.

And so that then set into motion me having step-siblings, me having step-parents, and now even my children having multiple grandparents. And so all that to say, like, our decisions do shape more than what we think that they will in the moment. They're shaping future generations, and I think that that is just so important for us to think about when we do go about our lives, that our decisions and our actions do really matter, our prayers really matter. We know all throughout Scripture that God listens and he hears and he responds to our prayers. And so I think that we just need to, you know, act as if it depends on us, but then pray and trust that God, you know, everything eventually depends on him. But the fact that we do get to partner with him, it's him that is going to take our little offerings a long way. So our job is just to say yes and be in tune with his Holy Spirit and be obedient to what we feel like he's calling us to do.

Yeah. You know, as we gain a greater understanding of significance from God's perspective, and we see the examples that you've talked about in Scripture, how can we learn to break through our doubts, our insecurities? You know, God could never use me.

I don't have any skills or what. How can we break through that in the years ahead? Yeah, this is something I've battled really my whole life, just feeling very insecure. And it's interesting and a little bit ironic that I have the Love Offering podcast and yet I doubt what I have to offer myself. And so this has been something that I've just been growing in and developing in and still have to look to the Lord every day. But I think that I've realized that insecurity really is just a focus on myself. You know, sometimes pride can be more of just an overall focus on yourself, too, but insecurity is in the same way.

Like, I don't have enough or I'm not good enough or I'm not smart or I'm not talented or gifted or whatever, you know, fill in the blank. And so I think the key to this is to take our eyes off of ourselves and to keep our eyes on Him, our gaze on Him and what He is capable of. We actually aren't adequate. We are weak and we do need Him. We are dependent on Him. And so in some ways, I've now started to realize that my, like Paul says, I'm going to boast in my weakness because that's when I know that, you know, when I'm weak, God is strong.

And so then I don't get any of the glory. He gets all the glory and He can then work in and through me. And the more dependent I am on Him, the more inadequate and insecure I feel many times, the more I have to say, Lord, I need you.

You know, I'm in desperate need for you to show up and help me in the situation or in the circumstance or in the way that I'm feeling. So I think in many ways we do kind of need to look at ourselves like He did create us from dust and it's Him that breathes life into us. And so we are small and inadequate without Him. And so I think that we just need to realize that it's Him that makes us significant. It's Him that makes our life meaningful and Him that can make much out of our little. Yeah, that brings to my mind what Jesus said in John 15 when He said, I'm divine, you're the branches, stay connected to me, you bear fruit. And then He said, without me, you can do nothing.

So yeah, we can't, we can't even breathe without Him. But then Paul said, but in Him, I can do all things. And that means everything in the world, but I can do everything that God has in mind, you know, for my life. So, wow. So recognizing our insignificance can be good and lead us to a sense of realizing, hey, with God, God wants to use me, so let me be faithful.

It's great. How about as a mom or as a dad, how do you pass these truths on to your children, the value of little things? Yeah, this is so important to me because it's taken me so long to grasp and I think, gosh, had I grasped it so much earlier, it would have changed so much for me. And, you know, I think about with my children and for those listening that do have children, you know, even when I found out I was pregnant, I loved my children. I mean, even just in my stomach, I started to learn to love them before they had done anything. And then I think about when I first held them in my arms for the very first time, they hadn't done anything and I loved them just for simply who they are. And I think that that more than anything, that's what I want my children to realize, that they don't have to perform or strive or earn my love.

There's nothing that they can do to make me love them anymore and there's nothing they can do and anything less that they can do to make me love them any less. And so I think that that's the main thing that I want them to know is that they don't have to do anything to earn the love, that they simply are loved for who they are. And we find this even in Scripture. You know, in Genesis, when God created mankind, he looked upon his creation and he said it was very good before they had done anything. And then I flip over to the New Testament and Jesus, before he had officially launched into his ministry, he was being baptized and God the Father looked down upon his son and he said, this is my son with whom I'm pleased.

And so that was again before he had really done all the miraculous things in his ministry, at least what we can see through the Gospels and through Scripture. And so I think even God wants us to maybe love him for that too. You know, God, I love you simply for who you are and not because of what you do for me. And I certainly know that that's true of him with us. Like he loves us simply because of who we are and not what we do or accomplish. While there is good work for us to do, he loves us already.

Absolutely. And what ways have you seen God use small things to make a big difference in your own life? There are so many ways. But I think the one specific way that comes to my mind is belief, a little belief in me. You know, I've had, of course, my parents and my friendships and teachers and coaches all throughout my life that have seen qualities in me and have encouraged me and believed in me. But specifically my husband, who I mentioned earlier, Brian, he knew I struggled with insecurity.

I have as long as I've known him. He used to think I was fishing for compliments, but now he realizes that I struggle in this area and need and want validation and affirmation. And luckily, I've grown in only mostly needing that from the Lord and getting that validation and affirmation from the Lord. But many years ago, Brian, he looked at me and he said, Rachel, if you could see yourself through my eyes, it would change your world. And I think about how the Lord may be speaking that over all of his children today. Like if you could only see yourself the way I see you, it would change everything.

And I think that that's what he wants for us to look at his word and see how much he loves us and what he really thinks about us. And then moving forward about a decade ago, I really started getting serious about going to church and getting involved in church. You know, there's something about having children that makes you really or made me really start to think, OK, what is it that I want to pass down to my children?

What kind of values and character and morals and behaviors? And so Brian and I started getting really involved in church. And one of the women there, her name is Sarah. I was going to her women's ministry Bible study on Wednesday nights and she looked at me one night and said, Rachel, I really see something in you. She said, I feel like you should lead a Bible study.

Would you be willing to do that? And it was something I didn't see at all in myself. But she, for whatever reason, maybe at the Holy Spirit, I suppose, saw that and then called that out in me. And I ended up saying yes and started leading a Bible study, which then ended up morphing into me writing, which morphed into a podcast and then morphed into me writing a devotional.

And it's shaped so much of what I do now. So, you know, something as simple as my husband's belief in me and supporting my dreams and encouraging me. And then a woman that I will study just saying, would you lead a Bible study? And again, I mean, that was a decade ago and my whole life is different because she was obedient to see that and mention that to me. And so I want to encourage everybody, you know, could do you see something in somebody? You know, do you want to help them believe in God, first of all, but then help them to believe in themselves and what you feel like God may be directing them or see gifts or talents in them that maybe could change the trajectory of their lives?

Yeah. What's that old proverb that says, life and death is in the power of the tongue. So your husband spoke life into you when he saw positive things in you.

Or the pen. Gary, we've talked about this before. And I just changed desks and I went through all of these old birthday cards and Father's Day cards and things like that. And I found several notes, handwritten notes from you that said, you know, want to encourage you and, you know, not just typed out or somebody. You wrote this on a little piece of paper and I squirreled that away. I think, Rachel, I think those words on a page can be things that come back to you down the road. Do you agree with that?

One hundred percent. And actually, I write about in my devotional, a little letter goes a long way. And my mom has been so instrumental in this. I mean, from the time I was little and she was putting notes in my lunchbox on little post-it notes too. She's just so good about, you know, the snail mail, really writing letters on stationery and in dollar store cards even. Just an encouragement on Valentine's Day or on birthdays, of course. And I keep all of those notes.

I mean, from the time I was little till up until now. And she even does that for my children. But there was one specific instance that she had come for a visit at my house and I was having a really rough day that day for whatever reason. She left to return home.

She lives in a couple of states away. But she had left this note, just a simple little note like, I'm proud of you. I don't even remember exactly what it said, but you know, I'm proud of you and I love you.

Have a great day. And it was like that note came at the exact time that I needed it. And so we really don't know, you know, maybe it's even a text that you could send somebody. I know I've never received an encouraging text that I didn't appreciate. And so, you know, for those that are listening, write that note, send that text. You just, you never know who will need it and what they need to hear and how they may be discouraged and need a little uplifting.

And maybe again, yeah, we can keep it as a reminder, especially those handwritten notes for many years to come. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. You can find more simple ways to strengthen relationships online at We have some great resources. You can hear a podcast of the program. Download the Love Nudge app and find out about our featured resource. It's the book by Rachel Adams. A little goes a long way. 52 days to a significant life.

Just go to Rachel, before the break, we were talking about the power of sending written notes to people. And my wife is one of the best at that.

And it's just amazing. She can say positive things, you know, to people. And people come back later and affirm her for the ministry she had in their lives. So it's those little things, you know, that really do make a difference.

Now in your book, a little goes a long way. 52 days to a significant life. You talk about that there's an action plan and prayer for each of these readings.

When they read the devotional, there's an action plan and there's a prayer. Does that help people follow through with what they've just read? Absolutely.

And I do want to be clear. You know, it doesn't take 52 days for you to have a significant life. You already are significant. But I do love this idea that we can, you know, 52 days or 52 weeks. And I do think it all does begin with prayer. You know, we've got to include God in this process because as we talked about earlier, it's Him that makes our lives significant. And so I do believe that it all starts with our every single day. Lord, use me. I want to be used by you.

Help me to just open my eyes. Let me be receptive and aware and sensitive to your Holy Spirit leading. And so I think it all starts there and that's why it was so important for me to include a prayer each day. And then the little tasks, you know, we're all so busy. We don't necessarily need more to do on our to-do list. But I just want everybody to start valuing the little they're already doing. Many of these things are things you're already actively doing on any given day. I just want to create more of an awareness to it so that your eyes are open to it the ways that God is already working.

Yeah. And we talked about written notes and that sort of thing. But what are some examples of simple gestures that we can do to influence others in a positive way that demonstrates, you know, God's love to them? It was really important for me to look at the way that Jesus lived. You know, when you look at his life, he was born as a baby in the tiny town of Bethlehem and he never traveled outside a hundred mile radius.

And you look at the way that he spent his time. He was likely a carpenter with his earthly father, Joseph. He likely studied the scriptures until he was a rabbi at the age of 30 and was able to launch into that full-time ministry.

But even once he became a rabbi, you look at the Gospels and how he lived his life. You know, he attended funerals and weddings. He washed feet and he held children and he shared a lot of meals. You know, we mentioned some of those really big multitude, you know, 4,000, 5,000 people that he ate with.

But he also ate fish by the seashore with just a few disciples. And we see him sharing meals and table fellowship a lot. He prayed with people. He invited people. He had conversations. He touched people in tender ways.

And he prayed with people. And so I look at the way that he lived his life and I think, okay, I can have conversations. I can walk along the road or walk along the hallways of my workplace or the post office or the grocery store. I can start conversations. I can study the scriptures. I can pray with people. I can go to weddings and funerals, you know. I can hold children. I can wash clothes and wash dishes, you know, and wash hands.

I can do all those same things too. And so if nothing was too insignificant for the Savior of the world, then nothing is too insignificant for me and for you. And so those simple gestures, that's prayer. It's being present.

It's spending time with people sharing meals and having conversations. It really is as simple as that. You know, the thing that also kind of takes it to another level is when Jesus said, as oft as you do these kind of things in my name, you do it to me. So when you're washing dishes for your family, you're washing dishes for Jesus.

That kind of takes it to another notch. It's so powerful to just focus on the value of the little things, as you said, that we're already doing. Now, you have a podcast.

We mentioned that. What are you hearing from your listeners about how these concepts in the book are helping them? I have loved that I release a podcast episode every single week. And so we've been going through this devotional and taking one of these topics and having a conversation with another person on each of these 52 topics. And I've loved that. But I think what I'm hearing most and that I didn't anticipate, but it just thrills my heart. And of course, this is again, I really am living out this message.

Here's this little old woman from Somerset, Kentucky, a really small town. And I've just said yes, and I've offered what I felt like God laid on my heart, something that I've struggled with from my perspective. But a couple thoughts come to my mind. I had this devotional.

One of the local spas has it sitting in the lobby. And the owner of the spa sent me a message that there was an older man in his 80s that was reading my devotional as he was waiting on his wife to get her nails done. And he looked at the book and he was reading the book for the couple hours that she was getting her treatments. And he said, this is one of the best books I've ever read. And he said, and it honestly blessed my heart so much. And the reason I'm mentioning that is because it doesn't matter what age we are or what gender we are.

We want to know that our daily actions, the unseen mundane things, that they do really matter. And I'm hearing so often from those that are retired. They're not working. They're not getting the validation from a paycheck or they're not raising their children anymore. And they're physically not able to do what they once were able to do in previous seasons. And so maybe they are just able to have simple conversations or write a note or give an encouraging word.

And for whatever reason, circling back to our conversation at the beginning of the show about cultures telling us bigger is better. And so as we continue to maybe enter a new season of life and aren't able to do what we used to be able to do, we can start to question, well, maybe my life isn't significant now. But as I pointed out, as children, we're significant. As teenagers, as college ages, that middle age or even into the nursing home, God still has you on this planet. There's still work for you to do and you can make an impact whether you realize it or not. And I think we're going to get to heaven one day and God will pinpoint and show us all the many, many ways that we made a big difference and didn't even realize it at the time.

Yeah. You know, what you just said reminded me of a pastor friend of mine many years ago who came down with a disease that rendered him almost totally unable to do almost anything. He just had to lay in bed. He couldn't walk. He couldn't move his arms. The only thing he could do was move his head, his neck up and down in the bed. And the library came out and set up a little contraption so that we could put a book in there and he would come down with his neck and it would turn it to the next page.

So he would read books that way. But he also was praying for people. And I gave him, if I was doing anything, I'd let him know what I was doing so he could pray for me. And a lot of other people started doing that.

So, you know, even when we get older and we are incapacitated in many ways, we can't do the things we used to do. There's an example of a man who was making the most of what he had, you know, and having a tremendous ministry through prayer. So, yeah, what you're saying is just so significant. Can I just add this to, Gary, because I think about this in your life, in your ministry. You weren't always a New York Times bestseller, you know, best selling author. You didn't always have your radio program. I mean, there was a time in your life when the mission board turned you and your wife down because, no, it's not a fit here for us. And you were a pastor in that church. And I see you doing the same thing that you were doing 40 or 50 years ago. You're doing now, it's just that the scope of your ministry has widened. You're no more significant now than you were then. It's just that there are more people. Do you see what I'm saying?

Yeah, I do. Yeah, more people are aware, you know, of being touched by my ministry. But, yeah, it was the same. It's all God. And so, you know, whether we're young, whether we're old, whatever gifts we have, just invest them, you know, like Rachel is doing. Not only your book, but your example, Rachel, is just powerful here.

Well, and that's what I hear you saying, Rachel. Whatever it is that you're doing right now, just do it with all your heart and see what God will do. You don't have to have a bestseller with this book in order for you to be significant, right?

Right. And, you know, I do hope everybody hears, you know, I know that God works in really big, miraculous ways. He is a big, miraculous God, and He can certainly do that. And I think, you know, we can even read the Bible that way and just highlight those big moments that God worked in people's lives and forget all the little ways and the daily ways that they had to trust Him and be faithful.

And the same is true for our lives. I think, so I don't want to demonize the big ways that God works, but I also don't want us to discount those small ways. And as you all were talking, I was actually thinking of a story from Franklin Graham.

I had read an article written about him. And of course, we know he led thousands of people to the Lord. But this article I read about him said that he feels like he would have accomplished so much more if he would have spent more time reading God's Word and spending more time on his knees in prayer. And so, again, those are those, there's both, you know, we can preach and teach on a stage, but we can also accomplish just as much or more by reading God's Word alone and by spending time with Him in prayer. And so, you know, and I think about the impact that Franklin Graham has had and Billy Graham have had on this world. But then I also think about, you know, my husband's grandmother who has spent her whole life caring for her husband, my husband's grandfather, and spent time at the nursing home with him and helping to take care of him, even though when she didn't need to be there and he had Alzheimer's.

And I don't know, I just think about everybody has value and it just looks different. And so I think we just, again, have to be faithful wherever we are with whatever gifts God has given us and just steward that time and those resources and those gifts well. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Rachel Adams is our guest, and if you go to, you'll see her book titled A Little Goes a Long Way, 52 Days to a Significant Life.

Find out more at Rachel, in our last segment, let me ask you this question. What part does gratitude play in all of this? And how might a little gratitude change others' lives? I feel like gratitude is such a perspective shift to just truly be grateful for the lives that God has given us and be content and just trust his providence.

He doesn't make mistakes, and so he's given us what we need when we need it. And the story that's coming to my mind is the ten lepers. And when Jesus is, only one leper comes back to say thank you to Jesus for his healing. And so I just think about ourselves, and are we the nine that receive so many blessings, or are we the one that come back and say thank you and are appreciative to God for what he's given us? And so I think we just need to focus on what we have. We maybe can keep a record of God's faithfulness, journal, and really reflect on how much he's given us.

I think that that will just change so much as opposed to looking at everybody else and what everybody else has and maybe being discontent in that way. But to really reflect and be thankful for the little ways that God is working, the little ways he's provided, the daily bread he's given us, the little miracles. I know for me, I've seen many more little miracles than the really big miracles, but I think in many ways that is the miracle that he continues to work and be present in our lives. And just to focus on the little glimpses of goodness throughout our days.

And I think the more that we open our eyes and are grateful for those little glimpses and those ways that God shows up and is present in our lives, the more that we even get encouraged and expectant and hopeful to believe and look for those ways that he'll continue to be present. Because there's so many there for all of us, even those who don't have a father in the home, for example, and they can feel like, well, everybody else has a father and I don't have a father. Well, thank God for your mother.

You have a mother there. So wherever we are, and I think sometimes we kind of get upset with God if he doesn't give us the things that we want for ourselves. But if we realize there's so many things to give thanks for, even though we may be struggling. Talk a little bit about the power of forgiveness. I know you have a devotional on this, the power of forgiveness as an act of love and what that can do for our relationships. Yeah, we all need forgiveness.

You know, we obviously, none of us are perfect and we're all sinful and fallen human beings. And we know that we have been forgiven much and as much as we've forgiven, we need to forgive others. And so, you know, the Bible talks about, you know, are we supposed to forgive seventy times, seven times? You know, there's no end to that forgiveness for us.

And then there shouldn't be for other people and that God forgives our sins as far as the east is from the west. And so if that's the way that he treats us with his help, with his Holy Spirit's leading, then that's how we can treat the people in our lives. We all need mercy. We all need grace. We all need forgiveness.

And so when we don't extend those things to the people around us, then how do we expect God to extend that to us? And so I think that that's, you know, it says a little bit of forgiveness, but really it probably should be a lot of forgiveness because we've been forgiven a lot and we need to forgive each other a lot. But that's how we continue to keep and develop our relationships. We have to. We have to keep removing the barriers that have been created when someone offends us.

Yeah. You write this in the book, and I'm quoting here, Interruptions can be frustrating. We all have things we want to do and things that need to get done, so we don't like anything that gets in the way of those plans. But what would happen if we changed our perspective to see interruptions as opportunities to embrace God's plan rather than obstacles to our agenda?

Address that concept. I am, as everybody's kind of gotten to know me, probably realize I'm very performance-oriented achievement. I love a schedule. I love a routine. I love a to-do list. I love to cross things off of my to-do list. And I've even been known to add things on my to-do list that I've already done just so I have the gratification of crossing it off. I can get very much to be a project over people type person, and I don't want to be that way.

But we have our own timeline and our calendar and our agenda. And so when things kind of bump into that, for example, I tell a story in the devotional about how I was at a coffee shop and I had a deadline and I had my earbuds in and I had my keyboard. And I was just ready to stay focused on this project in front of me. And then in walks a person that said hello. And I could just sense through the Holy Spirit, you need to pull out your earbuds and close your laptop and see this person in front of you.

Well, it ended up a couple hour conversation and she ends up hugging me and says that you don't know how much I needed to have this conversation today. Thank you so much for making space for me. And in that moment, I was so thankful that I listened to the Lord and that I put a person over the project for that day. And I think so often I can get so caught up in even in my own home, you know, I'm doing laundry and dishes and making meals. And, you know, my own children are like, well, you just sit with me or mom, you've not even given me a hug today.

You know, where I feel like my love is, you know, packing lunch, they maybe just want me to sit and give them a hug. And so just to be mindful of it, you know, yes, there is good work for us to do. Yes, we need to not be lazy and be diligent and of course, you know, steward our time and resources like we've talked about well. But we also just need to not forget the value of people and be willing to just let the Holy Spirit lead and not be so busy that we can't pay attention to other people. Maybe leave a little bit of space in your calendar so you can just be obedient to those Holy Spirit leadings throughout your day. Yeah, yeah.

I think all of us can identify with that. Rachel, as we come to the end of our conversation today, let me ask you this question. Ultimately, what do you hope people are going to take away from your book?

A little goes a long way. I really hope that people realize how significant they already are. You know, we are God's workmanship. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are created in His image and we're beloved. We're His beloved, again, apart from anything that we do.

So you're significant already and everything you do is important. You know, the big and the small, God is going to use it all. And so we just have to offer Him our little, be willing and be obedient and let Him take the little a long way.

And I think something that a friend of mine challenged me with years ago was, Rachel, are you okay being the one to plant the seed and never experience the harvest? And I think that that's what we all need to kind of keep in mind in many ways. Many of these small things, little things, we're not always going to see immediate, tangible results or fruit.

It may remain unseen until eternity. But I think we just need to trust that God's going to use it, that it's God that's going to take it a long way, and that He's going to work little by little, that He's, you know, He created the whole universe little by little. Yes, He could have created instantaneously with a snap of His fingers, but there's a purpose in His little by little approach to life. There's a purpose in the way that He rescues us and sanctifies us and sharpens us and is molding us little by little more into His likeness.

And so I just pray that people realize that, again, they're significant as they already are, and everything they do is important, and He is the one that will take our little a long way. That reminds me what you said about planting seeds and never seeing the fruit, maybe not living long enough to see the fruit. But I think when we plant the seeds, you know, we're serving God's purpose.

Some plant seeds, some see the harvest. It's rewarding, even when we don't see the fruit, because we know we did what we should do. We did our part. Well, Rachel, I want to thank you for being here today, and thank you for taking time to write this book. And I believe God is going to use it to help those who read it recognize, first of all, what you just said, their own significance. Without doing anything, they're significant because they're made in God's image. And then the little things they do with whatever God has given them, whatever abilities God has given them, doing those things has tremendous impact in the kingdom of God. So thanks for what you're doing in the kingdom, and it was great to have you with us today.

Thank you so much for having me. What an encouraging conversation about those little things that can make a big difference. If you'd like to read more about what Rachel has put on the page, go to You'll see her book, A Little Goes a Long Way, 52 Days to a Significant Life, against by Rachel Adams. Go to And next week, stories of "The 5 Love Languages" in action. Don't miss the encouragement for your relationships in one week. Before we go, let me thank our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-15 03:28:37 / 2023-04-15 03:48:08 / 20

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