Let Your Light Illuminate Others

I am happy to report that my sister’s wedding was a success! She was so beautiful and the ceremony had me crying. The love and effort my parents put into both of our weddings was so incredible. I am so greateful for them! And for my beautiful sisters.

My sisters and me at Rebecca’s wedding

Kirk’s godmother and his parents put together an awesome reception in Moline for our wedding. It was great seeing friends and also celebrating with people who couldn’t travel to California for the wedding. I’ve been busy, but it’s been fun!

Today I want to share a story about the homeless shelter where I’ve been volunteering. First, I am happy to say that the person I wrote about earlier, who taught me about staying strong when things get tough, he got a job! He is working at a local restaurant. I am so happy for him!

In the garden is the most beautiful flower, but it only blooms at night. It uses the light from the moon to open up and blossom. All of the residents love it and thank me for it, but I don’t take credit. I only water it! I love how the beauty of nature, of something so simple like a moon flower, can brighten someone’s day.

Moon Flower

Last week was tough because we needed to move hostas and replant them. I am so grateful for my mother-in-law who has been helping me maintain the garden. She has a green thumb and knows everything about gardening. As many of you know, we are facing a huge drought so the ground was extremely hard. It was like shoveling cement! One of the residents saw us struggling and he came over with two cups of water for both Lynn and I. After that, he used the same sized cup and started watering the plants with it. He would go inside and fill it up and then pour it into the dry dirt. Since residents are not allowed to use the tools (like the hose or shovel) he continued doing this until we were finished.

Like the flower that thrives on the light of the moon, I feel like we as humans thrive on the light of others. The resident is a perfect example of this. He was feeding off our our light, our love, and cultivated his own.

I want to end with this quote from Marianne Williamson that Nelson Mandela used in a speech. A couple months ago my yoga instructor read this quote and we focused on a bright light in our hearts and bringing that love to others and ourselves. It was one of my favorite classes!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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