We are shaped by the light we let through us.

I feel like Lee Ann Womack every time I drive to work. Like my drive is literally the music video to A Little Past Little Rock. There is hardly anyone on the road, it’s just me and my headlights. And deer, lots of deer. I used to listen to that song every single day. One of the perks to working nights is driving home as the sun rises. When everyone gets up in the morning I make to turn the lights on for them to start their day. When they leave, I run around the house singing Trace Adkins’ Every Light In The House and turn out all the lights. Then before they come home, I run around again turning all the lights back on, so when they come, they’re not coming home to the dark.

There is a reason I like lights and sunshine. It’s all because of my relationship with You, Lord. I see things differently, the more I walk with You. I can’t look around without seeing Your handiwork. Lord, sometimes I’m so busy turning on the lights for others, I forget to leave a light on for myself too. Dumbledore said: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Lord, even when I forget, You make the sun rise. You always leave a light on for me. Father in Heaven, You always give me light at the end of the tunnel. You give me a way out. Of my darkness. Of my pain. Of my grief. Of my despair. Of my sin. Of my sin. Of my sin. You give me a way out. I just have to look for the light. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Let me say that again so it sinks deep into my soul. He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Lord, Your grace astounds me. Not only are You with me in my struggles, but You don’t leave me there. I don’t have to live in my sin. You provide a way out.

My Little and I were talking the other day about how we wanted to dance in our kitchens with our husbands one day singing old country songs. Those country songs about leaving the light on and how light shines through are the ones I wanna dance to. Those songs show that a simple act like turning on the lights can show you care.

So, here are my top country songs about light to dance in the kitchen with:

  1. Every Light In The House – Trace Adkins (this one is obvi my fave!)
  2. Glass – Thompson Square
  3. You Light Up My Life – LeAnn Rimes
  4. Shine The Light – Sugarland
  5. You Are My Sunshine – Johnny Cash

We are lights to those we love: friends, family, spouses, kids. We shine brighter because we are loved and because we love them. Lord, You are the ultimate giver of light. You are the lighthouse in the storm. You created the sun. You created light. You guide us home. You show us the path to take. You give us a way out.

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, thank you for all the light in my life. Thank you for your promises. Thank you for the love I have been given. Thank you for giving me so many people to turn the light on for. Thank you for turning on the light for me too. Thank you for giving me a way out. Thank you for teaching me to turn the light on for others and for myself. Thank you for teaching me how important the light is. Thank you for teaching me to let the light in. Thank you for showing me the light around me. Thank you for allowing your light to shine through me. I pray that I continue to shine bright for you. I pray that I continue to look for the ways out. I pray that I am always looking for the ways out of the darkness. I pray for resilience and strength in fighting the darkness. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.

Day 3 in the 30-Day Challenge for Single Christian Women is deal breakers.

  1. Anger
  2. Playing Games
  3. Family

Anger. Let’s just go ahead and start with the big one. I can’t deal with it. I’ve worked my whole life to not let anger control me, to practice grace and patience. And Lord, you know better than anyone, sometimes I let it get the best of me. But I cannot and will not spend the rest of my life scared or controlled by anger. I need what Suzanne Collins wrote in The Hunger Games: “what I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” I need someone to love me like You love me. I need someone willing to put in the work to communicate in healthy ways without getting all riled up and throwing a hissy fit. Lord, I need someone strong.

Playing Games. I am all for nerf gun wars and playing monopoly until 2 o’clock in the morning. I am all for acting silly and playing around like a bunch of kids. But I cannot have my heart toyed with. My heart is not a play thing. My emotions cannot be pulled like a game of tug-of-war. Lord, I need someone gentle.

Family. Lord, I do not want to spend the rest of my life fighting with family that don’t like me. I do not have the energy to fight with anyone. It is just not in me. I will fight for someone until my last breath, but I ain’t fighting with someone. There is a huge difference. And Lord, I want a house full of kids. I want to foster, adopt, the whole shebang. I want a house full of love, laughter, and all the gray hairs and wrinkles that come with it. Lord, I need someone with a big heart.

Lord, as much as I say these are my deal breakers, I know that where You guide, You provide. So, if I am blessed with a man who has all three of these things, I will love him and learn to have some more patience. I will still praise You.

So, here is my prayer. I pray that he walks the line. I pray that I walk the line. I pray that we walk the line together. I pray that we walk with you. I pray that I find the dandelion in the spring. I pray that he is strong, patient, and slow to anger. I pray that he is gentle, intentional, and kind. I pray that he has a big heart, that he is loving and generous. I pray that he knows that he loved. I pray that he is willing to work and grow. I pray that I am willing to work and grow. I pray that no matter what, we praise you, together and apart. I pray that I put my trust in you, Lord. I pray that for him I’d even try to turn the tide. I pray that I do everything in my power to protect him and honor him and give glory to you. I pray that you guide me. I pray that I follow. I pray that I am prepared for where you are leading. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.

“It’s a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning,
I’m stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning,
You give me strength,
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.
It’s a good morning”

It’s labor day and I have so much to be thankful for today so I’m gonna make one of my lists.

1. I am thankful for my new dog. His name is Jackson. Bryce said he would teach him how to hunt. He is the most precious thing ever! He’s so sweet and smart and so well behaved! Jackson is a lab and terrier mix and he is about 9 weeks old. He is gonna live with my family until I move off campus and can get a place where I can keep him. On the way to get him we sang Johnny and June’s “Jackson.” (I get so excited for the “go comb your hair” part, I practically scream it.)

“Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead and wreck your health.
Go play your hand you big-talkin’ man, make a big fool of yourself,
You’re goin’ to Jackson; go comb your hair!
Honey, I’m gonna snowball Jackson.
See if I care.”

2. I’m thankful to have some time at home and be surrounded by such a wonderful family. Mariah, Morgan, Bryce, Daddy, Mama, and Samantha are all here. We are about to eat lunch. Dad cooked bar-b-que and ribs all night long. This morning Dad got Jackson up and let him play outside while he smoked the food on the grill.

“God is great and God is Good,
And we thank God for our food;
By God’s hand we must be fed,
Give us Lord, our daily bread.
Amen.”

3. I’m thankful for my daddy who took care of me. He got me new tires and an oil change yesterday so that I can go home safely today.

4. I’m thankful for my mama who got Jackson a camo bed, leash, and everything camo.

5. I am thankful for such a wonderful day. It’s been such a perfect day.

So that is my prayer today. Thank you Lord for everything you have given me. Thank you for today and for my family. Please keep watching over my family and protecting them. Make sure they take care of Jackson while I’m gone too. Keep my eyes open so I can see the beauty in all your blessings around me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.