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 hope you dance.

There is an article going around called: “10 Ways Your Little Is Actually like Your Child.” I saw the article a few months ago and immediately knew it was true. It was on my newsfeed again today and I’ve been thinking about my littles this week something fierce so, I thought I would pray for them today.

They have impacted my life so much and brought me so much joy! I literally can’t even imagine my life without them. They have become a part of me. Here are the 10 ways that the article describes:

1. “You enjoy spoiling her.”

Trueeeeeee. I spent months saving and shopping and crafting to make sure they were taken care of during I-Week. I still love spoiling them! For Diamond, it was her birthdays. I made sure her door was decorated every year and that she knew she was loved. For Katie, it’s my time. I know she values the little things so, I try to set aside time each day to talk to her or spend time with her. I want her to always know I’m there. For Avery and Alecia, it was their I-Week baskets. I crafted out the wazoo! I think I literally had like 10-12 canvas paintings for each of them. I wanted them to know that I loved them and that they were important to me.

2. “You’re protective over her.”

One of the best things my big did for me was to protect me. From literally everything. She completely took care of me so, I tried to pass that protection along to my littles.

3. “You give her what she wants.”

“If she wants to borrow anything, it’s hers. It’s like everything you own might as well be hers too. If she needs a favor, you go out of your way to do it for her.”

4. “You’re responsible for her behavior.”

Becoming a big is a tough job sometimes. My big was there to catch me when I fell and help me learn from my mistakes so, I hope I did that too. Every now and then I’ll have these moments like Rodney Atkins and I’ll start changing the lyrics and singing She’s mine.

I yelled she’s mine that one
Got a wild-hair side and then some
It’s no surprise what she’s done
And I’ll take the blame
And claim her every time
Yeah, she’s mine and she’ll always be
The best thing that ever happened to me
You can’t turn it off like electricity
I love her unconditionally
I’ll take the blame
And claim her every time
Yeah, y’all, she’s mine
I thank God, she’s mine

5. “Your relationship is judgment-free.”

I tried to do my best to have open, honest relationships with my littles. For Kristin, it was pref night. I have literally never had a pref night like that one. I don’t even know how it happened, but I gave her a little part of me that night. We poured our hearts out and literally cried. She said she felt like God was leading her to Alpha Gam and it was all I could do not to claim her as my little right there and then!

6. “You mentor her.”

“Any tips and tricks that have helped you get by in college, you want to share with her. You want her to know all of the shortcuts, all of the dos and don’ts, and all of the secrets you never knew. You want to warn her about every mistake that you made and learned from. Anything you can possibly help her with, you do.” I tried to share my experience with them as much as possible and let them learn on their own at the same time. I wanted them to have the best experience possible.

7. “You show her off.”

“You’re actually like that mom that brags about her child to all the other moms.” Yes, I am. I am so deeply proud to call my littles, mine. I have invested in them and cherished them. I want everyone to see the potential I see in them. They’re fabulous and everyone should know just how fabulous they are.

8. “You feel for her.”

“When she’s happy, you’re happy. When she’s upset, you’re upset. You hate to see her going through a hard time and it hurts you just as much as it hurts her. If she’s down, you do whatever you can to cheer her up. Her happiness is just as important to you as your own.”

9. “You listen and give advice.”

“It is almost maternal in the way that you offer your advice.” I have tried to always be there to listen to them. I want them to know they can come to me with anything and everything. Nothing is too big or too small. Keith Urban and Eric Church have this new song that I completely loveeeee that explains it.

“Raise em’ up
You’ve got a voice, you’ve got a choice
Go make some noise
Don’t ever let em’ tell you
Who you are”

10. “You love her like family.”

“No matter what she does, you will always love her.” I may not have raised them, but I am so thankful for the people that did. I hope I have helped them as much as my big helped me. I hope they know they are loved and important. They are gonna change the world someday and I so thankful to be able to witness it.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray they know they are loved. I pray they know how special they are. I pray they know how smart, generous, kind, thoughtful, talented, and amazing they are. I pray that we only get to know each other more in the coming years. I pray they love their time in Alpha Gam as much as I did. I pray they learn a lot and grow as much as possible. I pray you protect them and guide them. Thank you for putting them in my life. Thank you making them the people they are today. It’s been my honor to be their big and I pray they know just how much it means to me to be their big. 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.