Monday Motivation: Let Your Light Shine

Monday, October 1, 2012

Me and my girls at reCreate 2012!


"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. 
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

Whether or not you grew up in church, you probably know the famous hymn "This Little Light of Mine." 

I have many memories of singing this song during worship services, Sunday School classes or at Vacation Bible School camps I occasionally attended with my cousin. 

Being the kind of kid who always over-analyzed things and drove my parents and teachers crazy with questions, I often wondered to myself, "What is my light, what does it actually mean to let it shine and why do I need to do it?" And to be honest I never found answers to my questions until three days ago. 

This weekend I attended the reCreate Women's Conference, an annual two-day event held at Church of the Highlands and the highlight of my fall. 

Pastor and author Holly Wagner was one of the speakers at this year's event and I was so excited to hear her message. She spoke at the conference two years ago and I left the church that weekend ready to take on the world and I was eager to have that feeling again. 

Wagner's Friday evening talk was all about being a light. What is your light? Those personality traits, talents, and skills that you have that make the world a brighter place. Your light is your wisdom, your knowledge, and your accomplishments. 

As a Christian, I believe that light comes from God, but the lessons imparted by Wagner on Friday night were, in my opinion, valuable for anyone regardless of their religious beliefs. 

Many of us aren't quite sure what to do with this light. Some of us are so shy and unsure of ourselves that we hide our light. For instance, we may be a talented writer afraid to share our work with others. And this is exactly what Jesus says we should not do. In Luke 11:33 he says, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light."

Some of us love the light, the spotlight, that is, and we think our talents and achievements are all about us. We think the light is there for us to bask in and be celebrated. Those of us who believe this have it all wrong. 

And then there are others of us, and I'm really talking to Christians here, who try to use our light to point out all the flaws in other people. Our light has turned into a blinding floodlight of judgement. That's not the purpose of this light, either.

Light brings color and beauty to dark places. Light can also serve as a guide. So that means we're supposed to do just that. 

We are meant to go out and bring light, beauty and color to places filled with darkness and hopelessness. We're supposed to live our lives in such a way that they can serve as a guide, whether that's how we pursue our passions, love our spouses or friends, or how we raise our children. 

Also, to truly be light and let our light shine we need to open our mouths and open our eyes, Wagner said. Open your eyes to the possibilities and the great need around you and then be willing to step up to the challenge. Open your mouth and use your words to right a situation whether that be apologizing to a friend or offering someone words of wisdom. 

And I believe we also need to speak up for others. This is exactly why I love using my writing skills to share the stories of others and why I created See Jane Write to help encourage women to tell stories of their own. 

And so, I leave you with this:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, 
for the rights of all who are destitute. -- Proverbs 31:8

More photos from reCreate

At Friday night's After Party. I'm not sure if this was taken before or after we hit the dance floor to do the Cupid Shuffle.

It was so crowded at this conference that we resorted to using banana peels to save seats for our friends. 

Lunch on the Lawn
I love these girls!


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