Categories
Perseverance Perspective

Sparkle!

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr. Seuss

One of my colleagues has this sign hanging just outside her classroom door:

Frankly, every time I walk past and read it I have conflicting thoughts. Thought #1: “Right on!” Thought #2: “That’s easier said than done.”

If you’re like me, your sparkle has been dulled before. And needless to say, it’s a “Once bitten, twice shy” experience. In fact “sparkle snuffers” seem to have an unfair advantage in this fallen world. The lopsided power of negativity, as seen on social media, is a prime example.

Question: how do you do that—not let anyone dull your sparkle?

That’s right, I’m asking you, because I’m not sure I know. I do have a pretty good idea, though, so please read on.

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Everything that glitters may not be gold, but REAL sparkle only comes from God. And whatever God gives you, can’t NOBODY take away!

That’s my idea: ✨God-Sparkle ✨. It doesn’t come from the world, so the world can’t dull it—at least not for long.

But the first order of the day is to make sure our glitter (yours and mine) comes from God.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

This is one of my favorite scriptures in the whole Bible. God has an AGENDA for each of His children, AND it’s a GOOD one! All we have to do is make sure we’re holding the right bottle of glitter.

We are His workmanship, so keep sprinkling your God-Sparkle (good works)!

If you need a pick-me-up from a Christian blogger who has sparkle to spare, please check out Caralyn at Beauty Beyond Bones. She’s an eating disorder survivor who’s as effervescent as a glass of Alka-Seltzer!

Again, how do YOU not let anyone dull YOUR sparkle?

Categories
Comfort grace Hope Perseverance

Turning Mirrors Into Windows

monochrome photography of people jogging through the woods
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” Proverbs 27:19 NIV

“Are you a runner?”

This simple question came to me from an avid runner and former track coach. At the time, I was an absolute newbie–training for my first quarter marathon (6.55 miles)–and hadn’t seriously considered continuing beyond that. However, the instant my friend expressed these four simple words, I heard myself say, “I AM a runner!”

Five years earlier, I’d lost my mother to cancer, only four years after losing my father to the same disease. When my dad died, it was like the mantle of caring for my mother passed to me. But when my mom passed away, it felt like the earth stopped turning; a part of me died too.

A local cancer treatment center hosts a road race every October to raise money for research. It’s called “The Spirit of Survival.” Friends encouraged me to participate, but I wouldn’t  buy it. I was stuck brooding over thoughts like, “Why did this happen?” and, “What’s the use?” After all,” I protested, “nothing could have saved my mom and dad; it’s too late for them anyway.” Not exactly uplifting, huh?

Fast forward to the summer of 2016, when I finally decided to give the upcoming Spirit of  Survival a try.  “Maybe it will help me deal with losing mom and dad,” I thought–not quite believing it.

I began training in July.  Surprisingly, almost as soon as I took to the roads, I felt a reconnection with my parents! The fog of grief surrounding me began to break, leaving light where there had been only shadows.

Running soon became my all-purpose balm for the soul, and it still is to this day. That first quarter marathon became a half marathon (13.1 miles) a year later. And when I turned 50 in 2018, I ran my first marathon (26.2 miles)!

But this perpetual adventure in healing and self discovery could have been cut short, had someone not recognized my potential and cared enough to bring it to my attention. The world needs more reliable narrators, like my friend coach Breeze, who turn mirrors into windows.

I aspire to be such a faithful guide. While you join me?

Categories
Perseverance Sufficiency

Almost Any Wind Will Do

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8

When I was in grad school, a buddy of mine had a little ten foot sailboat we liked to take out on the weekends.  My friend didn’t know much about sailing. I knew even less.  But we had a blast cruising around a little lake near the university.  That is, until this one day.

It was picture perfect with a 10-12 mph wind, which meant we were moving right along–cutting a big arc across the middle of the lake.  Suddenly, and I mean out of nowhere, the wind died down to almost nothing.  We were dead in the water and drifting AWAY from shore.  It’s a good thing the boat came with two oars, because we ended up rowing a half mile to land!

Well, we brought her in (sort of), up to this boat slip where we were met by a blue-eyed, blonde-haired teenager grinning for ear to ear.  It’s turned out this kid was a Norwegian exchange student who knew a thing or two about sailing. He’d watched our little “dilemma” unfold from shore.  We tried to explain how the freakish break in the wind left us stranded, but he was having nothing of it.  “For a sailor, almost any wind will do,” he said, still grinning.  “May I show you?”

He then proceeded to shove off, set the sail, and slowly navigate out to the middle of the lake and back under the power of an almost imperceptible breeze.  It’s funny, I don’t remember sailing much with my friend after that.

There’s a life application here somewhere…

Forces beyond our control, like the wind, can either help us or hurt us.  It all depends on how we set the sail–make the best of God’s grace.

Bon Voyage!