|Joel and Mikaela's Wedding, 2014|
l-r: Micah, Melanie, Papa, Joel, Mikaela, Mama, Jonah, Lauren, Susanna
We have high hopes for this blog. We pray that it will not just be a way to catch everyone up on our earth-shattering home events, but that the small attempts, mistakes, and joys in our own family will encourage others to brighten their own corners. We chose "One Bright Corner" for our blog title because it embodies our desire to be a light for Jesus and encourage others as well as hints at our love for music, for we were inspired by the song "Brighten the Corner Where You Are."
You can catch our inspiration by picturing, for just a moment, the year 1912. Woodrow Wilson was president, the Titanic was wrecked, Gene Kelly was born, and Ina Duley Ogdon found herself staying at home. She was tending to her injured father when she had planned to be speaking to thousands at Chautauqua.
Fast forward one hundred years or so, and we are in the new millenium. Barack Obama is president, we've made it through the brutal terroist attacks of September 11th, Gene Kelly is dead, and we still find ourselves having to turn from the glaring light of fame to the dark corners of obscurity. We still find that the desire to do something great sours the sweetness of doing the unnoticed but foundational things. This is why “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” is still so relevant to us. This is why the song became an old favorite when we first read it, and why it has become a motto for our life. Ina Ogdon turned from the great spotlight she could have experienced to her dark corner, and she rolled up her sleeves and resolved to light it with God’s light.
When she wrote, “Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,” she lassoed the procrastinator in us that wants to struggle through this part of life until we find something really "great" to do.
When she wrote, “Tho’ into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,” she seized the people-pleaser in us that is more concerned with the jovial groups than with the lonely child in the corner.
When she wrote, “Brighten the corner where you are,” she convicted us of all the winds of temptation and sin that we let blow at our feeble lights, and suddenly we realized that the smaller our corner is, the brighter we can make it, through Christ's strength. Matthew 5:14a says, “You are the light of the world,” and that includes all the nooks and crannies we can find!
It is not any material charm that makes “Brighten the Corner" so special. For us, it is the heart of one resolved young woman—Ina Duley Ogdon—speaking to these young women over 100 years later saying, “Your little efforts are not little. Your one word is not short. Your one light is just what is needed to turn the tide.” And we, in the 21st century, can only hope you will find the same heart on "One Bright Corner.
In the end, Ina's song opened every Billy Sunday meeting for 22 years, and Ina never did touch her thousands. Instead, she touched millions, but it all started because she focused on her own corner. We post every Tuesday and Friday, and we invite you to grab a cup of tea and join us as we document this journey called life and our feeble but sincere efforts at brightening our own corners.
~Lauren and Mikaela