Embracing the Simple Things 


We had just checked in to another hotel. (This was the third one in the last 4 days) We unloaded the car, grabbed the luggage cart (more on this later), and headed up to our room. As always, Kinsley had to be the one to press the elevator buttons and use the key to open the door to the room. 

As we made our way inside I was focused on figuring out who would sleep where. We had been upgraded to a suite that had one giant king bed and a sofa that pulled out into a bed. As I was unloading the cart, I heard a little voice ask me if I wanted creamer in my coffee. I turned around to see Kinsley up on the counter of the bar, stirring up a concoction of water, sugar and who knows what else. Her smile was humongous as she took our drink orders and quickly served up our “coffees” to us. 

For the next 24 hours this little counter was her whole world. Her dream of being a barista had come true and she was loving every second of it. Where I saw nothing, she saw everything. 

The next morning we went to breakfast just as the buffet was about to close. I chatted with the lady working and learned that she was from Cuba. When I told her that I had been there, her face changed completely. It was a mixture of pain and happiness rolled into one look. I pulled out my phone and began showing her pictures of places that she had not seen in over 20 years. As we scrolled through the streets and faces of Cuba, tears began to fill her eyes. To me they were simple pictures on my phone, but to her they were everything. Our simple breakfast turned into an eye opening history lesson and a new friendship. 

Checkout time was quickly approaching and it was time to load up the ol luggage cart once again. Addi and Colt went to retrieve it and had only been gone about 60 seconds when the phone in our room began to ring….it was the front desk. I quickly ran through the possibilities of what in the world an 8 year old and 10 year old could get into in under a minute but I never would have guessed this one. 
In the competitive race to be the first to the cart, Colt had made a mad dash in the final stretch. His only mistake, not realizing that the door he was running through was not a door at all. Hilton keeps their windows and doors very clean, so clean in fact that Colt ran straight into it at full speed. The front desk was calling to tell us that he was on the couch in the lobby and that we might want to come down. 

We arrived downstairs to 3 ladies from the front office staff and Colt hanging out on the couches. He was far more embarrassed than hurt and reeeeaaally wanted to get back to loading up the car. One of the ladies asked him if some chocolate ice cream would help his knee feel better. To a multi billion dollar hotel chain it was nothing, but to Colt it was everything. His embarrassing epidsode and knee pain quickly went away and so did the chocolate ice cream in front of him. 

After we left I kept hearing the kids talk about the lady from breakfast, the “Starbucks” in our room and the Ice Cream Hotel. All very simple moments but ones that have a way of sticking in a kid’s mind for many years to come. 

This week we are traveling through Florida, doing our best to raise money for our orphans and pastors in India. We have many “BIG” moments on the calendar, but I am learning to pay attention to the little ones as well.
 

This week be on the lookout for the simple. Take time to appreciate moments or people that you may normally overlook in the business of life. If you need help, spend some time with a child, they sure have an awesome way of reminding us just how fun life can be. 


-Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is an Executive Coach and Leadership speaker with the John Maxwell Team, as well as the Director of Rooftop Missions, an organization that seeks to train leaders internationally, as well as care for orphans through the ministry of the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home.
Smith served as an Infantry soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002-2005. Wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 by shrapnel from an IED, he is the recipient of the Purple Heart.
Because of his military experience, he now assists as a mentor with Honor & Courage (Operation Ward 57), a non-profit organization that financially assists Wounded Warriors and their families.

Should Christians Always Give In Secret?

Anyone who has read the first four verses of Mathew chapter six knows that the Bible clearly tells us not to announce in a prideful way when and how we give to others or the church. It even goes so far as to say that we shouldn’t let our left hand know what our right hand is doing when it comes to giving to those that need it. Most people I know follow these verses to the letter, and quietly bless many lives and ministries around them. I personally think we may be messing up, however.  Continue reading Should Christians Always Give In Secret?

Life as a Combat Veteran: What I’m reminded of on Veteran’s Day 

   
I love seeing my news feed on Veteran’s Day. The old pictures, the memories and the conversation between former combat brothers makes me smile…and sometimes bust out laughing. It is through those pictures and other moments on this day that I am reminded of a few things. 

1. I’m not Special. 

It seems that due to the amount of phone calls, texts and messages that I receive that I would feel the opposite, but I don’t. Each Veteran’s Day I am reminded that, like me, millions of other men and women have answered the call to serve our country. Like me, many have been wounded. Just like me, they have left family and friends to serve wherever their branch needed them to go. It is certainly a special brotherhood to be a part of, but I am just one of many who have sacrificed on behalf of our country. 

2. America is Grateful. 

While there will always be extremists on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to any issue, I truly believe that most Americans appreciate what the members of the military have done and continue to do. The posts of gratitude are heartfelt, sincere and come from just about every person that we know. You may say that it is only a status update and doesn’t require much effort, but I appreciate each and every person that takes a moment to remember. 

3. Freedom is Worth the Cost. 

This is a hard point to write and to think about, but it is true. The cost of freedom is not cheap but it is necessary. If the alternative means sacrificing our freedoms of religion, speech and so many more, then I think we all would agree that we must continue to defend the way of life we all hold dear. As I write this I realize that the future battles of the United States will not be fought by myself or my military brothers. It will be up to future generations to carry on the tradition of service, sacrifice and duty. This could include our own children. While this thought makes me cringe inside as a parent,I know that the freedoms we hold dear will not go without future attacks. 

So this Veteran’s Day take the time to thank those who served our county. As a group, they are special and are worthy of our gratitude. Also take a moment to discuss with your children what this day means and why it is so important. For it is their generation that the responsibility of our freedom will be handed to one day. 

Praying that God continues to bless America! 

                     –Andrew Smith


Andrew Smith is an Executive Coach and Leadership speaker with the John Maxwell Team, as well as the Director of Rooftop India, an organization that seeks to train leaders internationally, as well as care for orphans through the ministry of the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home.

https://give.rooftopmissions.com/rooftopmissions

Smith served as an Infantry soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002-2005. Wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 by shrapnel from an IED, he is the recipient of the Purple Heart.
Because of his military experience, he now assists as a mentor with Honor & Courage (Operation Ward 57), a non-profit organization that financially assists Wounded Warriors and their families.
http://www.johnmaxwellgroup.com/asmith
http://www.facebook.com/thepurpleheartvet 

Is Your Life Significant? 

Many times we confuse success with significance. We spend so much time trying to reach the goals in front of us and very little time thinking about why we have those goals in the first place. 

Merriam-Webster defines being Significant in these 3 ways:

1. Having meaning

Does your life mean something to you? Do you think you are on this earth for a purpose? If so, then you probably want to live a certain way and accomplish specific things while you are alive. What goals have you set to make this happen? 

2. Having or likely to have influence or effect  

A focus on success is usually based on selfish motives. A focus on significance realizes that our lives can and should have a positive influence on those around us. Do you take the responsibility of influence seriously? Do you purposefully grow your level of influence? 

3. Important 

Everyone wants to feel important. All of us want our lives to be ones that are wanted, needed and valued. The question we have to ask is, “What makes my life valuable?” Are we content with the value of our life being based on what we can offer an employer, or do we really believe there are other ways to add value to the world? 

A significant life will not happen by accident. Just like being successful takes focused decisions over a long period of time, significance requires us to shoot for a specific target. 

Over the past few years, I have watched my children grow from babies to the nine, seven and three-year olds that they are today. I have missed many days that I will never get back. As a dad, I want to make a difference in their lives. I know it is my job to discipline, teach, love and praise them. These things don’t happen automatically though. 

I also want to be the best husband that I can be. I want my wife to feel loved, appreciated and valued, but again, these things don’t happen by accident. 

Our lives will never be significant unless we are willing to live in a very intentional way. Our goals must be clear, our time managed and our attention focused on the things that truly matter. 

-Andrew Smith

*If you are interested in living an Intentional Life, then check out the link below. John Maxwell’s new book, Intentional Living is now available and it comes with a special 30 day Challenge! 

http://clicks.johnmaxwell.com/aff_c?offer_id=9&aff_id=163 

 
Andrew Smith is an Executive Coach and Leadership speaker with the John Maxwell Team, as well as the Director of Rooftop India, an organization that seeks to train leaders internationally, as well as care for orphans through the ministry of the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home.
Smith served as an Infantry soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002-2005. Wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 by shrapnel from an IED, he is the recipient of the Purple Heart.
Because of his military experience, he now assists as a mentor with Honor & Courage (Operation Ward 57), a non-profit organization that financially assists Wounded Warriors and their families.
He has also owns and operates a small business -Yellow Dawg Striping – in Southwest Virginia.

http://www.johnmaxwellgroup.com/asmith

http://www.facebook.com/thepurpleheartvet