Shine Your Light — You Never Know Who’ll Need It

I’m sure that the last few days have brought a profound awareness to several people in the Davis County area as to what it feels like to be in the dark and even perhaps be unprepared besides.  With the fierce wind storms that blew through that area a few days ago…. many were left without power for extended periods of time.  Getting through the night without all the conveniences that we are accustom to can be very challenging.  But what can one small light do for someone who is trying to find their way or seek comfort in that light?

We all give off light by the way we live our lives.  Some people’s light may be compared to a search light or perhaps as strong as a light in a light house guiding a ship through the fog.  Others people’s light may be compared to a glimmer of a small candle…. but none the less, we all have our light to shine.

I’ve always felt that it’s important to be aware of what you say and how you act because you never know who is paying close attention.  I know that at times I say and do things without thinking…. which I can often regret…. but we should all try to be aware of our actions and words.

I had a friend from high school tell me once that I may not have been aware of it, but she had watched me closely over the years and had appreciated my example of friendship to her and how it had affected her.  She was right…. I had no clue!  But I was grateful that I had been a friend to her.  It really made me realize that people can be watching us without our ever knowing!  What are we saying to others with our words and actions?

My goal this year has been to be a more positive person.  I’ve tried through example and the things I say and post to remain upbeat in all situations.  It’s not always easy and I may have failed at times….. but I know that the things I have said or posted have had a positive affect on people, and that has been my goal.  Hopefully I’m learning to shine my light, no matter how big or little it is, to give someone hope, to help them see that they are important and loved.

The most important thing I want you to take away from this post is that we ALL have a light to shine!  No matter how small and insignificant you may feel…. you still have a light to shine!  I was impressed with the following quote, which I believe sums up what I’m trying to say:

“Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace”   by Kent Nerburn
“We are not saints; we are not heroes. Our lives are lived in the quiet corners of the ordinary. We build tiny hearth fires, sometimes barely strong enough to give off warmth. But to the person lost in the darkness, our tiny flame may be the road to safety, the path to salvation.

It is not given to us to know who is lost in the darkness that surrounds us or even if our light is seen. We can only know that against even the smallest of lights, darkness cannot stand. A sailor lost at sea can be guided home by a single candle. A person lost in a wood can be led to safety by a flickering flame. It is not an issue of quality or intensity or purity. It is simply an issue of the presence of light.”

I’m grateful that I realize that I am a source of light to anyone who may be watching or listening to me.  I’m grateful to know that I can try to be aware daily of how I live so that that light can be a guide toward the good.

I hope that you will see that you have a presence of light within you and that you may start to notice that others will and are looking to you.  Let that light be a source for good, be it a flicker or a flood light!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

This song popped into my head as I finished this post.  Thought you might enjoy it.

I Learn From Others

I have been so grateful this last year for the things I have been learning from others….. whether it be in a conversation, in comments I read, in a newsletter or a blog….. I’ve been blessed to have my mind uplifted and had thought provoking things come to me.

Today I read the blog post of Valerie Robertson Ackley which she calls Og Invents Wheel and Other Wonders.  She has written a book for children called: What Are You Thinking? teaching children the power of their own thoughts.  I did  a post on it a while back.  You can see that here.

Because of this book, Valerie has the opportunity to meet many people at her book signings.  Many of them share stories with her which she in turn will often share on her blog.  Her recent post was very enlightening to me.  I was impressed with this woman who chatted with her at her last book signing and the story she shared.  She has had some pretty tragic things happen in her life, yet she has maintained an amazing attitude and has learn how important the power of words are.  Here’s an excerpt from Valerie’s post that I found particularly interesting:

“Our conversation began after she read through my book. She loved it and told me the concepts were true principles. Then she pointed to the word “Gratitude” on my marketing banner and said, “Do you realize there is a higher concept than Gratitude? There is a word you can use that will have a more powerful effect on your psyche than simply expressing “I am grateful” or “I am thankful”. I was completely unaware of what it would be. She said the word is “praise”. She suggested I try “I praise thee that……” the next time I want to express gratitude. She said I will be able to feel that it is a more powerful term. It expresses more clearly the trust we put in God as our master architect. It takes you one step beyond the gratitude level.”

Isn’t that an interesting thought?  It’s intrigued me to want to learn more about what kinds of words I use when I speak.  I’m not sure where to look to study that…. but I’m sure that now that I want to find out…. it will start appearing to me in my daily activities.  It’s one of those things that if you are aware of something, or want to know more…. you’ll be amazed at how that info can come to you in many ways.

This is just one of the many ways that I learn from others.  I’ve quoted very often in my posts things I’ve read in the newsletter I get from Meditations for Women.  I subscribe to several other newsletters that I find enlightening.

I love the fact that we can teach each other things.  It’s wonderful how someone can just say something that makes you think about things in a way you’ve never thought of before.  Words are powerful.  Words are enlightening.  Words are encouraging…. but words can be damaging too.

I’m grateful for all the friends I have made in my quest this year for personal development.  I’m grateful that I keep being introduced to others who can continue to enlighten me!  We will never know it all!  And, if we ever think we do….. we are wrong!  Just consider yourself a lifetime student and learn what you can from others!  The World is our campus!   (Where have I heard that before???)  🙂

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Gone Too Soon

Have you ever noticed how when someone is reflecting on another person’s life they often talk about what that person taught them?  What they learned from them and how it has affected their life?  We are all teachers.  Knowingly or unknowingly.

Today I witnessed an amazing tribute to a friend, Gae Morrow Beckstrom.   Even though she was a teacher in her career…. it was obvious today that she was a teacher in life.

It always breaks my heart when someone goes too soon.  I guess, depending on how old you are you may not think that 56 years old is too soon.  But I do.  WAY too soon!

Gae Morrow Beckstrom

It’s not fun to watch a person suffer when trying to fight off a debilitating illness.  Particularly when they feel they are making all the right choices in that fight.  Trusting modern medicine.  There’s much the medical community does not know about many diseases…. but they do their best to give advice according to the knowledge they have to recommend what they feel is the best procedures.

Though I was not around Gae the last few months to see her illness take a hold of her…. she kept most of us that were concerned about her up to date by blogging about her experience.  Check it out here.  I could tell from the last few posts that it wasn’t looking good.   Unfortunately, the disease got the better of Gae and we lost her last week, after a long courageous battle.

What an amazing woman.  My one regret is that I didn’t stay in closer touch with her over the years.  We were first year roommates in college.  She was so much fun to live with.  She was always happy…. and fun loving.  After listening to her children talk today…. she remained that way to the end.  We had some good times in our college apartment.  We stayed in touch for the first few years, but I unfortunately let that slip away.

About a year ago, one of our other roommates made a trip to Salt Lake and wanted to try and get those of us in the area together.  That’s when I reconnected with her after so many years apart.  That’s also when I learned she was fighting this horrible disease.  I remained in touch with her a little over the last year.  Mostly through email and by reading her blog.  One other visit I made to her home…. but I wish I’d been there more.  We always have regrets after someone passes, don’t we?

After sitting through her wonderful service today…. I sat with much regret that I didn’t stay in touch with her all those years.  I missed out on so much.  The kind of friend you want for life.

What a wonderful tribute she was given by her family.  I can only hope that when I’m gone…  my own children will feel about me that way hers do about her.  It was so touching to hear them talk about the things that she had taught them and also talk about what a vibrant passionate person she was.

Her career as a teacher made it possible for her to touch so many lives.  I believe there were many former students there today.  Many who loved Miss Gae dearly.

I was impressed with a few things that her children talked about today.  One of those things was what they refer to as their family motto:  “No empty Chairs”.   Gae had a passion for wanting to make sure that her entire family are together in this next life.  Because of her strong beliefs, she knows that it takes obedience to His commandments be offered all the blessing our Heavenly Father has to offer.   She stressed that very strongly to her family.  She taught them how importance obedience was for their eternal happiness.  Hence their motto:  “No empty chairs”.  She wants them all there with her!

Another teaching point that her son shared was that Gae taught him to never give up.  He quoted her as saying:  “Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you’re defeated!”  Isn’t that  a great lesson we can all learn?  Its’ only those who give up that fail at things.  That’s why we need to keep on trying.

I recently read a story that talked about a man who tried for 25 years to pass the Bar Exam!  It took him more than $50,000 in testing fees and over 144 hours spent in testing rooms, but at the age of 61, he finally passed the Bar!  Now that’s persistence!  That’s knowing you aren’t defeated, even though you didn’t win the first time!  Great philosophy!  Thanks for sharing it today, Adam.

I’m so grateful that I had the blessing of knowing Gae Morrow Beckstrom.  I’m grateful that she touched my life in such a profound way just by her example.  I’m grateful for the wonderful family she and Blake have raised.  What a tribute to them both!

Don’t forget to tell someone you love and appreciate them today.  You never know when they will be gone too soon!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

ADDED Nov 17, 2011

I thought this post on Meditations for Women today went so well with Gae’s philosophy that I wanted to add it here:

“Persistence overcomes resistance.”

When you’re persistent you find the power to hold on and persevere in spite of anything. You’re able to overcome every obstacle and you do all that’s necessary to succeed.

Persistence does not mean you will not fail, but it does mean that when you feel defeated you rise above your disappointment and keep trying. Instead of giving up when all seems hopeless, you find a way to keep going. You simply refuse to give up.

Great things come your way when you endure what seems impossible. No, it’s not easy, but remember big achievements require time. Be patient and don’t give up.

Sow persistence and reap success!

Govert

I know that I took a chance to be grateful for ‘in laws’ in general a while back.   But I hope you’ll indulge me again to express gratitude for my amazing father in law, Govert Copier.  I’ve always been very grateful that I have a great relationship with John’s parents.  It makes life much easier…. but I would like to pay tribute to a wonderful man today….. it may be a day late for his Birthday….. but I love and appreciate him EVERYDAY!

This is a gentle, loving, wise and funny man.  He will listen and not judge, can give counsel with tenderness and yet can be very humorous too.  The man loves to sing.  He had the opportunity to play the part of Tevye in a Stake production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ right after John and I got married.  It was kind of funny to hear a Dutch accent on a Jewish man…. but the audience loved it.  He was very cute in the part.  It was a sentimental moment for me since I had played the part of Golde in my high school production only a few years earlier.  Because of that experience, we shared a love of the show in a different way than most of the family did.  He has always loved to sing ‘If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset”  since then….. particularly at wedding receptions of the grand kids!   We all get a kick out of it when he does it.

It’s hard to see your loved ones age.  He just turned 91 years old yesterday….. and though he is doing OK…. he is showing signs of being older, including battling with the effects of diabetes.  Though he can’t do a lot of the things he used to, he is still always so cheerful and so happy to see you.  I have always had a special place in my heart for him and probably even more so since my own Father passed away almost 5 years ago.  He fills that void in some ways…. though not in all ways.  I am grateful for a man who has always showed me AND my children tremendous love and affection.  I hope that he will be with us for a long while…. but as he is getting older… you never know when his time will come.  In the meantime….. I will just be grateful for what time we have left with him!  Thank you for being the tremendous wonderful person you are, Govert!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

In Laws

Today I am grateful for In Laws!  The term ‘in laws’ encompasses a lot of people.  Not just parents, but brothers and sisters too.  And I have some great in-laws… on both sides of the family!  I appreciate their examples of being such good men and women….. hardworking and loving…  so many good qualities.  And what great families they’ve had!  So many fine nieces and nephews!  How much joy they bring to so many…..   But then theirs my mother and father in law….. oh… my…. goodness!  How blessed could one person be!  What great examples they are to me.  Full of love, kindness, charity and so many more qualities…too numerous to mention!    I love them so much.  They have always been so good to us and well as each of their children.  And what fun personalities they have too!  My kids have always enjoyed  being around their Grandparents.  I’m so grateful that my father in law passed on so many of his qualities to my husband.  He’s almost 91 and his mind is still sharp!  They would both give you the shirt off their back if you needed it.  Truly no finer people!

I am Grateful!  How are you?