Saturday, December 12, 2020

Above and Beyond

December has slowed way-yyy down on the Journey after the busy month of  November's Praise Posting.  At first I was going to declare this month a time of margin for me with rerunning a few of my advent reflections weekly.

Instead, some of those advent posts have shown up on my  Instagram feed, while the blog has enjoyed 11 days of quiet.

But today's prompt over at the Five Minute Friday community made my fingers itch to get back to the keyboard. For the next 5 minutes, please enjoy my thoughts on "beyond."


For some time now, I've noticed something about myself. I have a characteristic that not only describes me, but has been passed down to each of my daughters as well.

We're "extra." We are people who are never satisfied with doing the bare minimum of anything. If it's worth doing, it's worth putting heart, soul, and even, heaven forbid, even physical strength in the project. Going above and beyond what is necessary is bound up in our DNA.

All four of us channel it in different ways, of course, but it is still there deep inside. It's actually interesting to see it show up in each other. It would take a long conversation to cover this characteristic in each child; but for today, I'm going to talk about what I know best. Me.

It's no secret here on the Journey that I'm a bible enthusiast. But what I've noticed is I get more joy when I can dig deep and find connection below the surface of what a story in scripture relates. I want to study all the words in the original language. I want to find out what noted commentators may have said regarding the passage. Is there a hymn that goes along with the story? What's the story behind the hymn?

Going further, how can I apply it to my life. How can you apply it to yours?

When the Holy Spirit reveals to me something about the Word I'd never seen before, I get so excited! And grateful. Who am I that understanding would come to me?

Make no mistake, you get so much more out of bible study when you dig deep and not just skim over the words trying to meet some goal of reading x number of chapters in x number of days. Going beyond yields nuggets of gold!


Naturally, my 5 minutes of free-writing has snuck up on me way before I was ready.

Going above and beyond can mean a lot of extra effort, a loss of sleep or other things put on hold. In my mind, the end result always justifies the work expended.

However, sometimes just going one step beyond what an "average" person thinks is reasonable can yield doors being opened to you. 

One resource I learned a lot from was a book from Florence Littauer, "It Takes So Little to Be Above Average." I encourage anyone to read it who wants to be effective in whatever you put your mind to accomplish. Just the title alone often encourages me to just go ahead and go beyond what the average person would do.

I once heard it said, "Why would you want to be average? Average is being the best of the worst and the worst of the best!"

This is the time of the year when I always want to reflect on how close I came to my goals and then plan where I can improve. Do you do the same?

I know 2020 has sucked the heart out of a lot of people; but God allowed it for a reason. I want to come away with some lessons learned; and I want to surpass, or go beyond, in 2021. In coming weeks, I hope to discuss more of this with you.

I'd welcome any feedback you would care to share. Are you "extra" too?


I'm linking up with the communities at Five Minute Friday and Grace&Truth


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  1. I hope to be a workman who does not need to be ashamed. With God's help I can do more than expected.

  2. i loved this post!! I"m one of those going above and beyond kind of teachers/moms/wives as well. But sometimes GOD has to nudge me to SLOW DOWN and DO NOT GO ABOVE AND BEYOND in order for me to have good boundaries with time and energy and resources. I believe there is wisdom in balance. at least for me. I can become a bit OCD at times. and that's not super healthy mentally, emotionally, physically or even spiritually.

  3. Great post. I however am not so much as a beyond person. I am however inspired to look into the mindset. I love the idea of learning the deeper meaning of words. I have done that at times and have found it to be fascinating. God bless you and yours.

  4. Yep, I'm resonating with that itchy finger feeling!

    I hope this week finds you stronger, Jerralea ...

  5. I always go the extra mile,
    it's how I have been trained,
    to take up slack with a broad smile,
    even if I have been maimed.
    We have to work together here,
    each one must do his best,
    and put away all dread and fear,
    and all our hope for rest,
    for we live in a foreign land,
    we were not made for earth,
    and in teamwork we understand
    our next, eternal, birth
    gives leisure for which we do long,
    our voices raised in praiseful song.

  6. I'm glad you are a little "extra" here, Jerralea. :) I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Word and for letting that spill over onto us!

  7. You're extra is a blessing to many!

  8. I know that feeling of "EXTRA", Jerralea. I also know the feeling of itchy fingers and am glad your fingers got itchy enough to write this post! Merry Christmas!

  9. Thank you Jerralea, I enjoyed reading about your passion for studying the word of God and "going above and beyond"!


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