God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
I imagine the light was gradual, like a dimmer switch, slowly going from black, to gray, to light, to piercing brightness.
I wonder what prompted God to flip the switch? Had he been toying with the idea for a while or was it spontaneous? How long did He exist in the dark, and why?
Questions. I have questions…
But I am thankful for light. I’m thankful for lights in my house that when illuminated, vanish darkness. Thankful for people who light my way, lighten my mood or lighten my load. And thankful for a man from the Bible I’m learning about named Jesus, who is called the light of the world.
So when I read God’s words, “Let there be light,” I can’t help but think about the kind of lightness I have experienced through my short faith journey so far. Peace and strength that have calmed and anchored me when I have felt caught up in the hurricane of my problems. If this is available to me now, someone who’s just getting started, I can’t imagine the amazing things that await me as I grow and learn more.
It also makes me think about the kind of light I can be to others. What I need to remember is that I can shine my light on others in simple ways every day.
Kindness = light, compassion = light,
and those don’t cost me anything, so why am I not constantly giving them away? It’s a message I give my children frequently and I should remember to take my own (darn good) advice… “You can shine your light, or cast shadows, the choice is yours.”
Shine. I choose to shine.
Ed Sheeran is so right. I was listening to his song, Thinking out Loud, on the radio the other day and it hit me. It hit me hard.
One, how in the world does this young guy, with twenty-four years under his belt, have all the answers, when I’ve been walking around in circles most of my forty-something years, trying to get to the bottom of it?
And two, I wish Ed Sheeran would have been around in the 80’s when I was so impressionable, and hit me over the head with his smarty-pants lyrics. Seriously, where did Jessie’s girl, Jack or Diane, eyes of tigers or angels who were centerfolds ever get me? Nowhere good, I tell ya. Nowhere good.
Here’s the lyric that struck me…
“I’m thinking out loud, that maybe we found love right where we are.”
He wasn’t saying “Hey baby, wasn’t it amazing how when we fell in love, everything was perfect? No, he was so happy that he didn’t have to go to great lengths or change himself or his situation. He and his gal found love in their everyday lives. I’m assuming a pop star’s life might be a little more glam than mine, but most of the time I bet it isn’t.
Back to me…
To be totally honest, I’ve been sort of waiting around for my life to begin. Thinking something magical will happen when I have more money or am more sophisticated. Like I will all of a sudden be, well…a better version of myself. You’ve seen those people too, right? The ones that look like they have it all together…they just know things. And I bet they never have to dig through a messy purse for car keys. For absurdly long periods of time.
But as of late, I’ve been embracing the here and now, and it’s such an amazing lesson that I feel the need to
shout it out. So here goes…
Find love, acceptance, peace…or whatever you might be waiting for, right here, right now! Because guess what? It’s there for the taking, even if you still have 20 pounds to lose or your house looks like an episode of Hoarders.
Catching up with an old friend recently, I asked how things were going in her marriage, knowing that she hadn’t been in a good place for a while. “You know, they are good,” she said, and I could hear peacefulness in her voice. She shared with me that she made a conscious choice to be happy, even in the midst of the chaos of the valley she and her spouse were mucking through. It dawned on her that even though her situation wasn’t the way she wanted it to be, she had to figure out a way to work within the confines of it.
So she found love right where she was.
Marriage is like a roller coaster ride, my mother once told me. Expect peaks and expect valleys. After almost twenty years of marriage, here’s what I will share with my own children about the roller coaster.
Peaks seem to be the obvious destination, but they are fleeting. It’s all about the journey, people.
Peaks are awesome—no doubt. They are triumphant times. The valleys though, will show you what your relationship is made of. The valleys give you the opportunity to have your spouse’s back when he/she needs you most. Foundations of trust are laid in the valleys, which can lead to deeper connections at the peaks…really, deeper connections at every turn.
And when the roller coaster comes out of the dip and starts on the rise…those are exceptional times. Times of dreaming, anticipation, potential, and times when you know, that at least for the moment, your stuff is together and you and your partner are both looking in the same direction.
But the most important part to remember about the roller coaster is this: Don’t get too comfortable with the ride, because it will change. Just when you’ve figured out to lean left on the second curve, the track will shift and a new course will be laid out with new scary parts, new valleys, new rises and new peaks. It’s your coaster though, so embrace it and be a student to what it has to teach you.
What it’s taught me, with a little help from Ed Sheeran, is that I can probably wait my whole life for the perfect time to do this, that or the other. Or, instead of waiting, I can participate even though my circumstances aren’t perfect. For instance, I’m still lovable even though I have age spots and wrinkles taking up permanent residence on my face, even though my book isn’t on a best seller list, and even though I’m such a bad housekeeper that mold is growing on my shower curtain. Now you do it. I’m still lovable even though fill in the blank here with the lies you tell yourself. Friends, life is short. Learn from my mistakes and start really living your life. Right. Where. You. Are.
Now if you’ll excuse me, Ed’s got a new song out about love and memories in photographs that I need to go dissect, because I’m certain it will teach me something about myself I didn’t already know.
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.
What a great opening line of a book. I can hear the richness of Morgan Freeman’s or James Earl Jones’ voice, saying the words, adding layers of depth the way that they do.
It’s a simple sentence, yet it’s hard for me to grasp all that it encompasses. Seriously, this includes EVERYTHING. Dinos to no-see ‘ums. Glaciers to grains of sand. Outer space to atoms. The vision it took to create and piece it together like a puzzle is mind-boggling. Were there things He made and then reconsidered? Was the world as we know it His first draft? There were no bar napkins back then on which to sketch and plan it out. My forgetful pea brain has a hard time comprehending it all.
As I’m learning about God, thinking about what “In the beginning…” means, has a profound effect on me. Some days I doubt and question, and other days simply glimpsing the beautifully intricate pattern on a leaf or the workings of the human body can settle me into a place of certainty that there must be a God. Brilliant designs and a masterful plan... I mean, can you imagine thinking through every last detail of every last thing?
It sounds reasonable to me that a big bang, or two things colliding could form a planet. But start adding people who think and love and reproduce, animals (who do the same!), and vegetation of almost infinite variety and stars and the tides and seasons? It’s then that something inside of me just knows: How could all this life and beauty be accidental? It’s simply too miraculous for it to be anything else. And it’s okay for me not to understand it, to simply appreciate it and believe there’s something out there that’s bigger than me.
Clearly it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There’s ugliness galore. But even beauty and goodness can be born out of pain and suffering, and that, I’m quite certain, was no accident.