Sparkle a Little Brighter

 

Sparkle Brighter

There’s an old expression about human existence that says “in the end, no one gets out alive.” While that’s true, we all have whatever amount of time that we do have here, to live. In other words, to “be alive” while we are still living. To choose to be present. To make a decision to bring life to our moments (thoughts, attitudes, circumstances, expectations and relationships) or at least, allow life to infuse them. Life, in part, means energy, possibility and hope.

It is no secret that life ebbs and flows. Some seasons of our journey are simply more of a challenge. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have control over our attitude or mindset in the midst of those seasons. There may be times when you feel darkness creeping in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn up the wattage. Sometimes, we just need to plant a flag in it and say, “No more!”

When you feel darkness or discouragement closing in, take time to breathe in memories of goodness and joy, and the little things that have encouraged or lifted your spirit in the past. Let yourself reminisce about the things that once made your heart smile. Look for beauty in creation. Take inventory of the innumerable blessings (whether they’re things, people, discoveries or insights) that you have to be grateful for.

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. -George Iles

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. -Christopher Reeve

Love is the light that brightens every heart’s darkness. -Bryant McGill

When the world says, “Give up,” hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” -Author Unknown

All of us have memory vaults filled with positive and beautiful gifts, some more than others, but no one is exempt. Sometimes we just need to lift the vault handle and be reminded. Hope believes. Love frees.

So here’s a friendly reminder: when the light dims, sparkle a little brighter.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Celebrating the Spirit of Thanksgiving

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. -Thornton Wilder

Pause to Reflect

It’s easy to become so consumed with the swirl of life around us that we rarely pause to reflect on the good things in our lives. I think that’s why so many people appreciate Thanksgiving—a day dedicated to remember, appreciate and to give
thanks. We set aside just one day out of the entire year to allow our minds to stop
and consider our many blessings and to allow our hearts to swell with gratitude;(and of course, the plethora of tantalizing tastes and smells doesn’t hurt!) As we adjust our routine, slow our pace and begin thinking about all of the unexpected joys, triumphs, lessons, opportunities—blessings—of the year now past, the list goes on and on.

Connecting the Dots

As we begin to think about one thing we’re grateful for, a natural snowball effect begins to take place.  And that’s good. It’s good because we do more than just check an item off our mental list. We take time to look at the details of a thing and realize it’s not just about a solitary experience, incident, possession, or relationship, but the reality that our lives are full of connections. If we let our minds relax and expand on a single grateful thought, other thoughts begin to flood in.

Time Doesn’t Stand Still

We’re grateful for time off from our normally busy schedule and routine. It’s time to recharge our batteries, let down our guard, and maybe relax in a way we haven’t all year. Time is a commodity we don’t necessarily stop to be thankful for on a regular basis. Why? Because we think it’ll just “always be there”. But, it won’t. We all live on borrowed time. We spend it, use it, and invest it in whatever way we choose, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. So, we are grateful for time. Time to be with, or catch up with, those we care about. In the process, we are also making new memories, and that brings up something else to be thankful for–the people in our lives. It’s an opportunity to reflect on each person who has brought something into our lives that has made our personal tapestry even richer.

Perspective Matters

Maybe we’re thankful for the chance to travel this holiday and to appreciate new scenery; or, we’re glad we don’t have to cook because we’re visiting family or friends away from home, and we appreciate the change. Or, maybe on the flipside, we are the ones that are doing the hosting and “work”, but we’re grateful that we can serve others this holiday season. And, we consider it a blessing to be able to share in the warmth, laughter and joy in our own home. Then course, there’s the food. And even with that, it’s more than just the initial “food” thought. Yes, it tastes wonderful and we are more satisfied in the end than when we first gathered around our tables. But more than that, to be grateful for the plenty—for the abundance of provision, when so many don’t have the ability to enjoy even the simplest of meals. We are thankful to live in a place where we are free to farm, to buy and sell our goods, and to make a living so we can enjoy days like these, celebrating with the ones we love.

Linger, Reflect, Celebrate

If we linger on that thought, it goes even deeper. Our hearts surge with gratitude for our freedoms and liberties. We’re grateful for those who have gone before us to
make a way. We’re grateful to live in a land where freedom is celebrated and not cursed–a land where every man and woman has the ability to pursue their passions and live out their dreams. We have great cause to celebrate our freedom of speech, religion, and basic human rights that so many around the world cannot take for granted. We’re thankful for the opportunity for prosperity, peace, and a hope that still burns brightly for those who believe.

The Simple Things

And, it is the simple things. A glance at the fireplace and we’re thankful for its warmth. A glance out the window and we appreciate the leaves that are changing hues and the crispness in the air. In nature, we witness that there is order in the
universe, the changing of seasons like clockwork, and the beauty of each new transformation. We take pleasure in the smiles, laughter, and camaraderie of our family and friends that have gathered. Maybe we stop to ponder the newness of life, gratefulness for the accomplishments and blessings of the past year, or the opportunity for fresh beginnings ahead. And on and on it goes, if we take the time to pause and reflect.

Count Your Blessings

So, as you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, what are you thankful for?Who are you grateful for? What do you want to be more appreciative for in the year
ahead?

Thanksgiving should be more than a holiday we set aside each year. We can choose to live with the spirit of Thanksgiving in our hearts and minds—as a part of who we are–with an attitude and posture of gratitude every day.

There’s an old expression, “Count your blessings count them one by one,” and that’s the idea. When we start to break it down, we begin to realize that each thing we have to be thankful for is connected to something else. Every blessing is filled with its own blessings, like gifts within gifts. And behind every gift, no matter how great or how small, there’s a gift-giver that is worthy of our expressions of gratitude.

May your heart and home be filled with gratitude this Thanksgiving season, and throughout the year!

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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