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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Let It Shine

Photo Credit:  Penywise from
Happy 2014, Sunshines!  Hope you all are enjoying what this new year has to offer.  I’ve had a wonderful time with family and friends and am looking forward to sippin’ some sunshine with you again this year through my blog.

Resolutions anyone?  Surely we haven’t made and broken them already!  No way – not us!  Ha!  Here are a few that I came up with:

1)  Be faster.
2)  Be stronger.
3)  Lift more.
4)  Run.

Now, at first glance, these all look like things I might be able to accomplish at a gym.  Right?  Well, yes, you’re right.  And while I do plan to include more activity into my day-to-day routine, these four resolutions listed above can be accomplished absolutely anywhere.

1)  Be faster…to forgive and to love.
2)  Be stronger…in my faith.
3)  Lift more…of my friends and family up in prayer each day.
4)  Run…to the Lord for everything.

Over the last two weeks, I was thinking about what to share today.  The same message came to me day after day and it was this – “Let it shine.”  With that theme in mind, it isn’t surprising that I have the following story to share.

Since June, I had been receiving phone calls and mailed reminder letters about a recall on my car.  There was some sort of thingamajiggy that needed replacing or else my low beam headlights, blah, blah, blah, “might” fail.  If you’re like me and most moms out there, being without a car while they repaired it, was last on my list.  So, I ignored the reminders.  I thought my car was different maybe, you know, the exception to the rule.

So, after completing a grocery store trip in record time one evening before Christmas, I headed down the highway feeling especially accomplished.  I was in my zone, just jammin’ and singin’ along to one of my WOW Worship cds.  All of a sudden…darkness.  What the?!  I messed with my lights a bit and still nothing.  I quickly realized that the only way I could use my lights at all was in “brights” mode.  Hmmmm. 

I also quickly realized that that wasn’t very popular with the oncoming traffic.  I felt terrible about it.  All the cars were flashing their lights back and forth at me and presumably saying nasty things about me too.  Ugh.  I only had two choices.  Brights or nuthin’, folks, brights or nuthin’.  I couldn’t wait to turn onto our country road.  I prayed for no cars to be on that road that night.

No such luck.  Being smack dab in the middle of the Christmas travel season, even our lonely back roads were busy.  Poo.  More flashing of lights back and forth from my fellow night travelers and my ears were burning with what they were sure to be calling me at that point.  WHERE is that garage of mine?!  I wanted to hide.

The next day, my sweet husband took the car in.  The dealership took him to work and my dear ole dad picked him up after work.  Here’s the rest in short form:  Got to the dealership.  They said it was fixed.  Got home.  It wasn’t.  Took it in the next day.  Said they repaired the recall, but not the lights.  Really?!  Really.  They said that because the recall wasn’t fixed earlier (uhem, like six months earlier); there was a short that burned out both headlights.  They then repaired the headlights.  Husband was spent.  Ordeal over.

The moral of this story?  For goodness sake, let us take care of our lights…not just the car lights, but that beautiful light within all of us.  Let it shine.  Keep it tuned.  Take special care of it.  Don’t let it burn out and catch us off guard.  Don’t ignore the gentle reminders that encourage us to care for the light God gave to each and every one of us.

Fast forward to Dec. 31st…raise your hand if you enjoyed some lovely fireworks on New Year’s Eve.  Me too.  Normally we do a little dancing to ring in the New Year, but this year we enjoyed the evening with friends at their home.  Homemade stew, cornbread, Aggie football, and fireworks included!  Our children had a blast watching the fancy schmancy fireworks show that Darrell, the Pyro-King, set up for us in his backyard.

The fireworks were incredible…once we lit them.  The pictures on the packages looked spectacular and the names were catchy, like Tomahawk Rockets and Crackling Saturn Missiles, just to name a couple.  But, the smiles didn’t come when looking at the packages.  The smiles came once the fireworks were lit…once we let them shine.  Let’s not keep OUR light inside this year.  Let it shine!

My daughter asked me something the other day that was very interesting.  She asked, “Why does exhaust come out of our mouths when it’s cold?”  Hmmmm.  I found it very profound.  Of course, she was just asking why it looks like smoke comes out of our mouths on cold days when we talk, but my thoughts took it a step further (always).

Yes, why is it that when we are “cold,” we oftentimes let exhaust come out of our mouths?  What can we do in 2014 to prevent ourselves from saying toxic words that can harm others?  What can we do to be sure our hearts don’t turn cold?  What can we do to keep our light shining?  Can we read, watch, or listen to something inspiring?  Can we give the same type of love that we so desire to receive in return?  Can we give hope to the hopeless?  Can we forgive the unforgivable?  Can we love the unlovable?  Can we give a glimpse of Christ’s love to everyone we meet in everything we do and say each day?

Of course we can and one way is to keep our focus on THE LIGHT.  We can be a beacon of Christ’s light.  Father Bentil also reminded us to let the light of Christ guide our way this year.  I found some other wonderful resolutions to share from one of Pope Francis’ facebook pages:

  • Don’t gossip.
  • Finish your meals.
  • Make time for others.
  • Choose the more humble purchase.
  • Meet the poor in the flesh.
  • Stop judging others.
  • Befriend those who disagree.
  • Make commitments, such as marriage.
  • Make it a habit to ask the Lord.
  • Be happy.  (The Joy of the Gospel)

However you choose to nurture your light this year, just be sure to let it SHINE for all to see!  The song that has been playing in my head constantly for over a week now is Chris Rice’s, “Go Light Your World.”  I encourage you to take 5 minutes and 17 seconds of your time today to listen to it and watch the video.  I think you might be inspired too.  “Take your candle and go light your world.”  Happy New Year!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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