Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

2.08.2011

Fuel for My Fire

Lauren hit upon the perfect summation of the concept of brightening one's corner this morning--we are firebrands. Some of us are "revolutionary; one who agitates against the current situation; a torch or other burning stick with a flame at one end [1]." Some of us are "flaming or smoldering material such as leaves, pine cones, or glowing charcoal that could start another fire [2]." I hope that you are a firebrand too, whether you are just beginning to smolder with the possibility of starting many a future fire, or whether you are flaming with a revolutionary glow for God. I'm always talking about what I can do and what you can do to brighten our corners. The truth is, however, that none of us can do this alone. We must rely on the fellowship, accountability, and inspiration of other Christians that God has provided; we must depend upon God Himself; and sometimes, we are bolstered from a total stranger or a random event. These things keep me going, renewing my courage to do all I can to brighten this corner God has given me. So what are these things this morning (they change daily, weekly, monthly)? I'm so glad you asked!




Modest, pretty clothing always brightens my day, and I just recently renovated this skirt. I had made it wrap-style five years ago, and while I was still in love with the fabric, I had grown tired of the skirt itself, so I ventured into the world of sewing without a pattern--that's right, ladies and gentlemen, I "winged it" and am completely happy with the results (which said happiness may or may not have involved dancing and spinning like a five year-old to test the essential "twirl factor"). Don't underestimate the power of dressing beautifully and modestly--it will not only make your day infinitely better, but it will also show respect to all you see and may even brighten their day as well!

I'm listening to Handel's Water Music right now. The peaceful yet vibrant, joyful music seeps into my soul and makes me simply blissful. How incredible is it that a man who lived 325 years ago is still illuminating the darkest, dankest crevices of the world?

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee [3].
Now that's the epitome of a firebrand!


The steaming hot Yorkshire Gold tea I'm sipping right now from a teacup gifted to me by a special someone. Well, how can my morning not be brighter?

The passage I memorized and have been meditating upon has been convicting me greatly--and what better way is there to reach into the ravines of my soul and turn them inside out into mountains for God's glory than to immerse oneself in Scripture? Deuteronomy, in particular, is a powerful book, and Deuteronomy 8:11, 12, 17, and 18 has something for everyone: "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest--when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them....then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.' And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."

These shoes...ah, these shoes. An utterly vainglorious, gratuitous picture of these amazing shoes. Alright, so these certainly don't brighten my corner in the truest, most noble sense of the word. But they make me happy every time I wear them or look at them, so I thought I'd spread their happiness to you!

The sixteen children I'm teaching these week--nine of which are today--brighten my corner immensely. Short or tall; big blue eyes or small, shining brown ones; five or sixteen--it really doesn't matter. The pleasure of passing on the art of playing violin or piano; and the delight of learning to know who they are and what they dream of and think of and do; and the honor of being their sounding board for whether or not twelve year-olds should read Twilight or how to deal with loss--I am teaching these people so much more than music lessons, and the challenge of it all delights me. Ultimately, however, these children are so much more than passive students, because they are my teachers as well, and having sixteen teachers brightens my life extraordinarily!


I feel that I could go on and on. I haven't even touched on specific people. The woman who embraces me in her arms every time I see her and reminds me exuberantly that "We are God's girls!"; and the man who spends hours working to make some upcoming projects of mine excellent with his ideas, inspiration, and skill; and the friends with whom, just this week, I have discussed stimulating topics ranging from cinematic worldview to growing up; and my family; and my church; and the little girl with big eyes who smiled at me last night at the Y. It never ends, does it? Is it any wonder, then, with all these firebrands bolstering and fueling me, that I should strive to brighten my corner? In fact, to waste these resources, to hide my light, to live in egotistical slothfulness would be the terrible sin Deuteronomy 8 talks about. Even though my world is so light-filled, no one but I can brighten my corner. I am a steward of this corner God has given to me, and I will be called to give account one day. So please excuse me, will you? I'm a firebrand--and I have a corner to brighten!



Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
[3] Studd, C.T. Only One Life, 'Twill Soon Be Past.

9 comments:

  1. A friend once told me that for me to feel good somehow I should look good. She wants me to dress up whenever I feel down.

    I love the way how you re-invent the skirt. You gave me a new idea.

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  2. Very inspiring! What a great metaphor "being a firebrand". It is so nice to hear/read about other virtuous young women leading godly and upright lives; doing their vocation to the glory of God and the edification of their neighbors. How wonderful to get another glimpse of being in this world but not of it. Thank you. PS - The skirt is very adorable and I love the fabric as well.

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  3. This is an encouraging post! Yes I do believe dressing in a beautiful and Christ honoring way really does give a better and more joyful attitude! When I am doing anything in pj's and a t-shirt I am not in a good mood usually. I definatley agree with dressing beautifully giving a better attitude!

    I was inspired and was able to brighten my corner today because I was reminded from the Word this morning to do so and your blog later in the day. Thanks for shining for the Lord in a dark world and internet! I have been memorizing the Word lately as well! Romans really is convicting! It really helps me as well to get my focus on brightening my corner!

    God bless and your posts are so encouraging as usual! keep focusing on Him!

    In Christ,
    Rebecca

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  4. Sey--your friend certainly knows the ways of women! ;-)

    M&M--Thank you! I know exactly what you mean, because I too enjoy reading other young ladies' blogs. The ideas, inspiration, discussion--the stimulation is endless! It is so wonderful to know that, even though none of our lives are cookie-cutter copycats, we are all sisters in Christ if we are saved and can learn from each other. Thanks for commenting!

    Rebecca-So good to hear from you again! Thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragement--I value both. I am not as faithful as I should be in memorization, but it is certainly a priceless treasure, and that alone should inspire me to make it a habit! And I know what you mean about Romans--so practical, and yet so deep.

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  5. Mikaela, thank you for the encouraging post! I was blessed to read of what "fuels" your fire. :)
    I especially liked these two sentences: "Even though my world is so light-filled, no one but I can brighten my corner." What an amazing thought and so true! I love it!
    "I am a steward of this corner God has given to me, and I will be called to give account one day." Just today I was teaching my computer students about stewardship and what that means for all of life, even in relation to learning about computers. :) God bless you!

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  6. I love it--corners or computers, it really doesn't matter, does it? Stewardship is vital everywhere! ;-) Thanks for your sweet words of affirmation!

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  7. Alright, where did those shoes come from?

    Don't get me wrong, that was a great post, but those shoes.... ;)

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  8. LOL Victoria! ;-) They were an ebay find from last summer, and were made by one of my favorite companies, J Jill.

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  9. Lovely piece! I think of the fires in my life too.And they are numerous. God bless you all

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