This little light

This Little Light of Mine

A few nights ago, I struggled to fall asleep;  and as I lay there staring at the roof, I noticed a little firefly.

Fascinated by the bright little light moving about in the room, l was reminded of the song “This Little Light of Mine”.

And I couldn’t help but smile because God always seems to use insects as His special messengers to remind me of the most important things.

Just keep on shining your little light EVEN IF it feels like you are in a dark place….ESPECIALLY WHEN it feels like you are in a dark place.  Keep on shining your light every day of the week because you never know when someone else might need to see that light, to show him the way to find hope.

The light of one firefly is not enough to lighten a dark room, but its presence is clearly visible.  In the same way, His light shines brightest in your darkest hours and will guide you to His arms of love and power.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Sometimes I forget to follow the light, and I lose my way.   Then, I am reminded by His still small voice that I never have to walk in the darkness because I have the light of life.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16 

Another effect this firefly had on me is that it made me curious. Curious enough to ‘google’ and read up about fireflies. I’ve discovered that “the light is the most efficient light in the world. Nearly 100 percent of the energy in the chemical reaction is emitted as light.”

Perhaps if we simply keep on shining our lights in all the dark places it will make others curious as well. Of course there is only One source and if we are not connected our lights will fade.

My prayer is that we will keep on shining – no matter how dark it gets. That we will always be sure to have enough ‘oil in our lamps’ and that our lives will glorify our Father which is in heaven.

Photo Credit: Rondell Melling (Pixabay)

How can you  help

How can You Help (Guide)

I remember being at an African orphanage years ago; after we came back from playing with the children one afternoon, we discovered that some of our belongings were missing. I remember that we were not so upset about the discovery of the loss as by the realization that we had failed to consider their basic needs.

Here we were, many kilometers deep into Africa with the best intentions – – – bags full of Christmas gifts and a truck full of construction material we’d hauled all the way there to build some kind of playground structure. However, we had lost sight of the reality of their situation, that they had a greater need for underwear and toiletries, especially for the girls.

In a country where a girl has no say and an orphan has no mother to ask for deodorant, it is wiser to forget your assumptions and just ask her how you might help, what she might need, and what she might want mentally, physically, or emotionally.

In general, our most basic needs are fundamentally the same. Others probably need the same things you purchase for yourself on a routine basis. But when you get down to the real basics, they need love, acceptance, and opportunities to see their dreams come true.

Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

However, I have to admit that I often have the willingness to help but lack the wisdom to know where and how to start. As I read the statistics compiled about refugees, orphans, and human trafficking in the world today, I am paralyzed by the overwhelming problems and accept the lie that there is nothing I can do to help, resulting in inaction on my part. I am like Israel in the presence of Goliath – – – weak, limited, and afraid to go to battle.

Instead of trying to change the statistics or focusing on the size of the problem, perhaps we just need to look around ourselves and deal with the things we can do today where we are to make a change. If we simply show up with the little we have and willing hearts and minds to help with the needs around us, we can become part of the story of change.

I see a story being played out every day in the lives and actions of those who still choose to love, to care, to give and to share….no matter how small the deed may seem.

And it may not feel like we’re changing the world, but we will know that we are slowly being changed and evoking change in those around us. It is truly more blessed to give than to receive, and the harder we try to help others solve their problems, the better our perspective will be on our own daily struggles. I want to encourage you today to simply open your eyes to the simple needs around you…. and be creative.

What do you have of great value that others lack? Do not be fooled into thinking that money is the solution to all problems, because there are problems in the world that money cannot fix. There is an overwhelming need for compassion. Our bank accounts may be overflowing while our hearts are bankrupt of love and compassion, which the world is crying out for. We need to reach out to others with the things that satisfy…the things that speak love, hope, and forgiveness…the things that are eternal….the things that we receive from God and God alone.

Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus told us everything we need to know today to please God: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” I pray that we all seek wisdom from God to be obedient to the law of love written on the tablets of our hearts.

If you still feel like you do not know where to start I’ll give you a few ideas:

Get locally involved at the orphanage, old age home, shelter or public hospital down the street. Ask yourself if it were your child, mother, brother, or sister, what would they need?

Or even better – go and ask them.

Get globally involved by empowering those who are already reaching out. The options are endless and the idea is not to promote a specific organization but to challenge you to find the people who are already making a difference in something you are passionate about.

How can you get involved or encourage others in their ministries?

Find ways to involve those you love. Even your children are never too young to learn how to care about others, and it is so much better if they can learn from you.

But above all, receive God’s perfect love and His Spirit to empower you to share His love with others. Once you receive Jesus as your Lord, you have received the One who supplies every need for the spirit first, then for the body.

Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ….”

Restoration Project

Restoration Project

Four months ago, my husband bought a dirt cheap rusty old car in Chiang Mai (well over 1,000 kilometers north of where we live) and drove it “home” with plans to restore it himself. He had a few breakdowns along the way, but the fact that it made it all the way here was already nothing short of a miracle.

To be honest, it looked like a piece of junk hauled from the junkyard. I was a bit skeptical about the whole idea – not that I know anything about cars. It just didn’t look like a feasible investment from my perspective. However, I decided to trust my husband’s judgment, and obviously, he must have seen potential in it and believed he had the skills to transform it. So, I tried not to be too negative and gave him the freedom to work on his project.

Secretly, I also hoped that it would turn out well, because it would be nice to be able to go to Big C supermarket or the beach as a family – something we have not been able to do since the little one was born eight months ago. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of time to observe this transformation: from the stripping down to bare metal to be built up again, layer by layer. Can you admire someone’s patience and endurance for finishing what they start and still feel jealous at the same time?

Knowing that you have a lot more in common with an old car than you would like to admit:

– The need to be restored.
– The hope that no matter what you look like on the outside, someone will see your potential and make an effort to bring out the best in you.
– The desire to be used for something despite your cracks and leaks and everything else that seems to be wrong with you.
– The need for the Master’s love, patience and skill to turn you into something beautiful for His use.

A car might have character, but lacks a soul. However, in the same way I looked at that old car, I’m quick to repeat one of the biggest mistakes we all make by looking for my worth in someone else’s eyes. Likewise, I define myself by my reflection in the mirror, I measure my success in terms of affection and appreciation from others, and I compare the close up view of a rusty life with the seemingly shiny lives of others.

It’s no wonder I fall short….Every….Single….Time.

And in the meantime, I miss out on the beauty of being called His beloved. I’m wasting energy that could have been used for good. Even if all I see are my imperfections and flaws, it doesn’t change the fact that I am created for a specific purpose. For there is a promise written over my life of not just being restored but being made new.

I’m learning to pray that God will continue to patiently restore my rusty soul hidden beneath layers and layers of “paint” and years of pretense and that unresolved feelings and hurt will not slowly eat away parts of who I am created to be, but that it will be dealt with and covered in love and forgiveness instead.

I’m learning to trust that God knows what He is doing, even if the process hurts and doesn’t seem to make sense from my perspective. I pray that I will not be discouraged by negative feelings and emotions but instead hold on to what I know: “God is always good”.

Despite my doubts the car is up and running and I have a feeling there will still be a few lessons on this journey – I look forward to sharing them with you.



Most of my “heroes” are at least 60 years old. I am unimpressed by the fame of overnight celebrities or even young billionaires. As far as I’m concerned, success can only be measured in days, months and years well-lived.

I think of someone like my grandmother whom I’ve always admired for her ability to keep on going no matter what happens to keep on finding ways to make life more beautiful and fun.  She always follows our travels on her maps, in her mind, and, most importantly, in her prayers.

My “heroes” are people who still get up every morning with a reason to live, a song to sing, a smile on their faces, and a prayer on their lips and in their hearts.  No matter how much effort it takes or how much trouble they’ve been through, they somehow always end up being the ones who encourage others.

I think of some of my patients who have inspired me over the years. There was a 94-year-old man who walked more than a kilometer each week to play his harmonica at another nursing home for the elderly.  This same fellow learned to play the violin at 80 and had just bought himself his first piano.

I think of some of my teachers who have inspired me.  I’m sure their actions, words, and examples still breathe hope into many lives today.  I believe that compassion is the core to making a difference in this world.

It’s better to be loved by the few people who know you than having a fan club full of people who like the idea of you.  I do not envy the stars of this world – in a way I actually feel sorry for them. We’re all living on borrowed time and when all our days are numbered, the only thing we should be counting is the time we’ve wasted.

In a few months, I will be 30 years old.  Wow!  It is an eye-opener:  I should have done a lot more with those 10957 days. Are we taking the time we have for granted? Do we realize that all we have are the days in between? A fraction of time that will determine how we spend eternity.

The Psalmist says:  “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked“.  I believe this, and I’m longing for the day that I will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Until then we simply get to make the most of the days we have left.  May we choose to spend them wisely.
Belly Laugh

Belly Laugh

I am sure there is no better sound in the world than a baby belly laughing… especially if it is your baby.

And for a moment you become more than willing to be the clown, to make silly sounds and funny dance moves, because sometimes we need a bit of crazy to find our normal.

We all need more laughter, more joy. ” Do you still laugh,” my one friend asked in an e-mail, and I’ve had to admit that I do, but not often enough.

I watch a fair amount of funny clips on YouTube and funny things happen in daily life as an expat in a country where most people cannot speak English very well.  (For example when they send someone to cut your “glass” instead of your “grass” because you pointed at the window when you tried to explain.)

However, laughing at something is not the same as the laughing that comes from a place deep within. Selfishness is stealing our ability to laugh at ourselves, and pride makes us laugh at others instead of with them.

I used to love metaphors and puns – now I’ve learned to just let it go, because a joke is not so funny if you have to explain it, and a lot of humor gets lost in translation.

Instead, I’m learning to belly laugh again without needing a reason. To embrace the moments of silliness’. To have my mourning turned into dancing as joy comes in the morning.

Because a new day dawns each morning, as it always does. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to get up during the night, or how many times you failed yesterday; your perspective changes as the new light breaks.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. –  Proverbs 17:22

Even better than laughter – there is joy to be found.. True joy that will fill us up and make our lives full and overflowing.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  – Matthew 13:44 KJV

I hope that your life will be filled with this priceless joy and a lot of belly laughing!