Tag Archive for: Encouragement

Children Who Shine From Within

“What’s your favorite insect?” my seven-year-old daughter asked as we took an evening walk on the first night of her spring vacation. “You can’t pick butterfly. Everyone picks the butterfly,” she quickly added before I had a chance to respond.

“Hmmmm,” I thought out loud. “I guess mine would have to be a ladybug,” I finally answered.

“Mine’s a firefly. I love the firefly,” she said wistfully.

We kept walking. Talking. Enjoying the rare treat of alone time—just my younger daughter and me.

And then:

“Am I okay? I mean, am I fine?” she asked looking down at herself.  “Sometimes I feel different.”

I immediately stopped walking and searched her face. Without saying what she meant, I knew; I just knew.

I bent down and spoke from a painful memory tucked away since second grade. “When I was your age. I felt different too. I felt uncomfortable, self conscious. One boy said really cruel things about the way I looked. He said I didn’t belong. His words hurt me for a long, long time,” I admitted.

As she looked at me sadly, her previous words echoed in my head. “Everyone picks the butterfly,” she’d pointed out a moment ago.

I placed my hands on her sturdy little shoulders as if somehow this could make her feel my words right down to the bone. “I want you to know something. You can always talk to me when you feel different or uncomfortable. I will never laugh. I will never judge you or tell you it’s no big deal. I will never brush away your feelings because I understand. I remember how it hurts. And some times you just need someone to understand that hurt.”

“I love the firefly,” she had said a moment ago. I then realized I had something she could hold on to.

“You mentioned that you love the firefly,” I reminded her. “Well, I think you’re a lot like a firefly. You know why?” I asked.

The worry on her face lifted. She looked at me hopefully. “Why, Mama?”

“Because you shine from within,” I said touching my finger to her heart. “Not everybody sees it, but I do. I see it. And my job is to protect that light. So when people say mean comments that squelch that light, I want you to tell me. I will protect your light by listening and loving you, my brave, courageous, and unique little firefly.”

My daughter stepped forward and wrapped her arms around my neck.  She still said nothing—not one word. Maybe it was because she was on the verge of tears. Maybe it was because silent comfort was all she needed in that moment. I can’t be sure. But what I can be sure of is this: this story is not over.

You see, as weeks have passed, I haven’t been able to stop thinking of our firefly talk and the timing of this message. The end of the school year can be hard for kids, especially the Fireflies—those who shine from within. And it’s that time—time for awards, banquets, recognition, and applause. The Butterflies will be noticed. So brilliant. So colorful. Their talents so obvious. But let us not forget the Fireflies. Their triumphs are quiet and unsuspecting. Their gifts might even go completely unnoticed.

A firefly might be a seat saver on the bus so someone doesn’t have to go to the intimidating back row.

A firefly might be a songwriter who pens music in his nightly dreams and hums away his days.

A firefly might be an artist that creates pictures you can feel with your soul.

A firefly might save his money for years just waiting for his heart to tell him, “That’s the one who needs your help.”

A firefly might stay up past bedtime calculating numbers beneath the covers because he was born a mathematician.

A firefly might be the I.T. kid of the school who jumps at the chance to help teachers with their computer woes.

A firefly might get lost in a cloud of flour, delighting in culinary arts.

A firefly might be a horseback rider finding peace in the company of animals and nature.

A firefly might devour a 357-page book in one sitting.

A firefly might have eyes for the lonely, looking for someone who wonders if she’s invisible.

A firefly might stick up for the lost, the rejected, the alone.

A firefly might be the lost, the rejected, the alone … just waiting for someone to notice his light among all the bright, fluttering wings of the Butterflies.

Maybe you know a Firefly. Maybe you love a Firefly.

If you do, please don’t wait.  Don’t wait for someone to hand him an award or a give her a certificate to make their talents and gifts “official.” That day may never come. So say it now. Say this:

I see your light.

I see it when you pick up your guitar.

I see it when you make brushstrokes of yellow, green, and gold.

I see it when you sing with your eyes closed.

I see it when you laugh with your mouth open wide.

I see it when you stand along the water’s edge dreaming of your future.

I see your light, my brave and courageous, firefly.

You shine from within.

And regardless if anyone else sees it or not—you know it’s there, and I know it’s there.

So keep shining.

Keep singing.

Keep creating.

Keep dreaming.

Keeping caring.

Keep adding, subtracting, and multiplying.

Keep making your magic.

And just you wait. Someday the world is going to see what I see. And your light will be so beautiful, so brilliant, so bright that the world is going to stop and wonder where such a light comes from.

And you and I will both know that light, well, it’s been there all along.

Because you are a Firefly.

You shine from within.

And I am here to protect that light, my brave and courageous firefly.

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Content By: Rachael Macy Stafford – The Hands Free Revolution

We Are Not All We Wish We Were, But We Are Here

A journalism professor in a long gray sweater taught me the difference between a story worth writing and a public relations stunt:

A real story still has meaning even if no one ever hears it; a PR stunt only matters if people are watching.

And that became a new item on the list of promises to myself: That I would never let my life become a public relations stunt.

My life would have meaning, even if no one ever knew it. I wanted to write a story I was proud of, even if nobody read it.

I used to dream that I’d grow up and dazzle the world. But time and disappointment chipped away at me until only the real stuff was left, and it wasn’t very dazzling. I just had some sad stories and a sack of regrets, and a new reverence for the pieces of me that survived.

All of these shipwrecks have stranded me in desolate places where I stared at my hands and realized that I couldn’t offer the world what I had hoped to. Dreams shatter and eyelashes fall out, and lungs aren’t big enough to carry the song sometimes.

But I still wake up in the morning and draw my hopes on the sidewalk. And every time so far, they’ve been trampled over, or hosed off, or the rain rolled all of it over the curb.

But I pick more flowers, write more stories, dream more dreams. After all that’s been destroyed, maybe it’s foolish to still be speaking this way, but at least I’m a fool with a soul alive. I swing open the doors on my chest and I offer to the world the only thing that I can: myself. I get it now.

We are not all we wish we were, but we are here, and we are trying, and we are awake.

We are not public relations stunts.

We are stories worth hearing, even with no crowd in the stands for us.

We are the heroes. We are the poem, we are the song, we are the gift.

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Written By Jane “Nightbirde” Marczewski

Image Source: Feature Image Daily News and Image Below: Nightbirde Facebook Profile

 

God Meets Women Where They Are

Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord?

Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever hear of women going to the mountains.

But we know why — right?

Because the women were too busy keeping life going; they couldn’t abandon babies, meals, homes, fires, gardens and a thousand responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains!

I was talking to a friend the other day, saying that as modern woman I feel like I’m never “free” enough from my responsibilities, never in a quiet enough space I want with God.

Her response floored me:

“That is why God comes to women. Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are.”

I have been pondering on her words for weeks and have searched my scriptures to see that what she said is true. God does in deed come to women where they are, when they are doing their ordinary, everyday work.

He meets them at the wells where they draw water for their families, in their homes, in their kitchens, in their gardens.

He comes to them as they sit beside sickbeds, as they give birth, care for the elderly and perform necessary mourning and burial rites.

Even at the empty tomb, Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection. She was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.

In these seemingly mundane and ordinary tasks, these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with divinity.

So if — like me — you ever start to bemoan the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend in the mountains with God as you would like. Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and in the most ordinary things.

He lives. And he’s using a time such as this to speak to women around the world.

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Content: Heather F

Untamed Glennon Doyle Quotes To Bring Out Your Love Warrior!

Author, speaker and activist. Glennon’s candour and vulnerability just nails it!

I could not put down Glennon Doyle’s book: “Untamed” – there was something in that book that really spoke to me so I decided to put together a collection of some of her quotes that really hit home in the hope that some of her incredible wisdom may encourage you.

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Help People By Reminding Them Of Their Strengths.

Help someone out of a dark hole by shining a light on them. 

I read an article the other day (I wish I could find it) which really stuck with me. It was about helping people who are in a dark place. It said that it is not our job to remind people or point out to them what their weakness is.  When people fall off the path, it is instead more helpful to pull people out of their dark hole by reminding them of who they were when the sun shone brighter. We should remind people of their strengths.

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