by Kay Wyma
Can we all start the day with a loud shout-out to sweet Courtney for creatively paving the path for all of us to not only to teach our kids about the true meaning of the Christmas season, but to hit it home for us as well? I love the mantra of Courtney’s effort: “Lil Light O’ Mine™ believes we can raise a generation of kids that light up the world.” Because isn’t that what its all about?!
A couple years ago, we embarked upon an experiment in our house – a large portion of which centered on service. A tiny bit hair-brained, our experimenet revealed much more than we ever could have expected about our purpose here on earth. No premeditative strategy (which would have required thinking, and I make it a priority to steer clear of any taxing use of my non-existent brain cells), I was frustrated that my kids were looking to me to serve all their needs. As we bumbled down the road toward self-sufficiency, I came face to face with the secret to life.
Pretty bold. I know. The audacity to claim knowing the “secret of life.”
But, the deal is… it’s not my claim or my secret. In fact, it’s not new to the scene. We’ve heard it since we were little kids. But, witnessing the Secret in action is crazy exciting.
It’s like Ponce de Leon searching for the fountain of youth – and finding it. If that were true, hoards of botox-shooting, testosterone-patching folks would book their tickets today and cement their quest for youth. But unlike the mythical fountain, this Secret is true. Not because I say it is, but because Christ said it. It has a little something to do with the “greatest commandment” and loving others as He loves us. And, His secret not only lights up our lives, but all the lives around us.
We’ve had a full moon this week in Dallas. It has been a stunning display. Suffice it to say, I might have missed a few turns and narrowly escaped a couple fender benders as I’ve been distracted by its staggering beauty.
(My life is in the car – just sayin’.)
“Hey – look through the trees. Do you see it?” I asked my shot-gun riding passenger on our way home from dropping her brother at a friend’s house.
“Oh my word! The moon! It’s crazy beautiful!”
Slightly annoyed by my excited pestering, she looked up from her iPod. “Wow… it really is amazing.”
“It looks like it’s so close that I could touch it.”
“It does, doesn’t it.”
“Wow… and it’s brighter than the street lights.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she oohs, completely mesmerized, no longer aware of the Instagram pics that had held her attention, surrendering to the beauty blazing before her.
At this point, I can’t stop myself from steering both of us toward truth. “You know the moon, on it’s own, has no light … really no life. For all effective and purposes, it’s just a gigantic rock – tethered to the earth by gravitational pull.”
She’s listening, so I keep going. “Any light that we see coming from the moon is only a reflection of the sun’s light. Since tonight is a full moon, every part of it is reflecting the sun. It’s as if the moon if fully surrendered to the sun.
Still listening… “You know, that’s like us when we fully surrender to God – we shine. And the shine is never our own. The more we surrender, the more we bask in His light and the more we reflect His light.”
I stopped there. We both needed to chew on it a bit.
I thought about the secret of life: serving and loving others. I thought about its power. I considered the fact that every time we serve – genuinely serve, with no ulterior motives – it’s like drinking a power shot. So much so, I actually caught one of my kids exclaiming, “I’ve never felt so good” after doing it.
I loved that the moon’s mesmerizing light diverted my passenger’s attention from Instagram (a teen’s gauge on likeability and acceptance) and toward beauty. And I relished that Christ’s light does the same for us. Only His light isn’t just visually appealing, it actually gives life.
Reading 1 Peter 4 this morning, I realized the power of the Secret reaches even further.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
“Serve… with the strength God provides.” Apparently, serving offers us intimacy with God. True serving can never be on our terms. True serving can only come from and through the power of the only pure servant to have walked the earth. Staggering to consider. And so freeing. Isn’t it just like Him to not only share the secret but to provide the means to do it. And by simply embracing/surrender to the secret, we bask in and reflect abundant life.
Hmmm… “… Kids that light up the world” – not by any light we might have or think we must have (that gravitational pull to make it about ourselves), but by the light of Christ through us, reflecting off us.
Now that’s a great secret. A life-giving secret, shared each time we do it.
Thanks for walking the road with me.
Kay Wyma, mother of five, is the author of Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. She shares the hilarity and the tears that come with raising adolescents & teens on her blog The Moat … because who wants to walk that road alone. I LOVE her book and it has given me so many ideas for fighting off youth entitlement in my home. Kay is just one of many talented writers I have asked to share their hearts on Light ‘Em Up during this special holiday season. I am so happy we have been connected by the Wolgemuths – your pep talk to me is a moment I’ll hold dear. Thank you Kay! – Courtney
Hey WDS moms…. want to know a little secret???? Kay said “yes” to a little event this Spring known as the Mother’s Day Brunch! What!!!!!!
ALSO – Winners for the Let.It.Go. book are Dina Caballero & Jennifer Gearheart. Winner of the Southern Nest monogram is Lacey Poag. Please email at courtney(at)LilLightOMine(dot)com for information on redeemzing that lovely prize!