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.

You are my sunshine.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away”

My daddy woke us up almost every morning with this song. We used to pretend we hated it and that he was sooo lame but the truth is that it is one of my favorite memories! My dad was always using songs or movies or cliches to teach us about life. I was watching Girl Meets World and the daughter on the show was telling Cory that he didn’t have anything else to teach her and I know I’ve said that 100 times but she learned at the end of the episode that daddy’s never stop teaching you.

1. “Can’t never could do nothing.” I heard this a million times growing up. “Whether you think you can or think that you can’t, you’re right.” Can’t was not an option in his house. You sit there until you figure it out. I am so beyond thankful for this lesson. My daddy never let me give up on anything, from weeding that awful flower bed to now, in college.

2. “Do you need the Rocky speech?” My daddy knew that life was hard sometimes but that was not the important part. The important thing was that you picked yourself up, dusted off, and went again. My daddy has a big heart and no matter how many times you tell him no or he’s not good enough or he can’t do that, he will prove you wrong. “You can do anything you put your mind to.”

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

3. My daddy taught me to have a servant’s heart. To give more than I take. That people matter and we have to take care of each other. My daddy is one of the most giving people I know. Whether it is some random guy at a gas station or the walmart parking lot or starting an outreach project at church, we have to give back. He taught us early on about doing the right thing and showing God’s love to everyone we meet. He likes to tell stories of how I used to run around with my bible as a kid but does he realize who taught me to do that?

4. It wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine with my daddy and me. Partly because we are so alike. We are both so passionate and opinionated and our way is the only right way. We saw things differently from time to time, because he was an adult I thought he meant he was the only one right but then he would say things like “Even a child is known by his doings.” That man confused me sooo much as a kid but I get it now. It wasn’t necessarily that I had a difference in opinion or thought. (Even though sometimes it was.) It was my attitude when I said it. I didn’t show respect. He had more years of experience and life knowledge and he knew it. I was my daddy’s strong willed girl though. So, when daddy said something I didn’t agree with I had to tell him. I felt like I had to teach him as much as he was teaching me. (Even though that drove him crazy sometimes.)

5. The most important lesson my daddy taught me that I am a princess, his princess and God’s. He taught me that I should be treated with respect and that I should be valued. He taught me how to wait and have patience. He taught me that I am worth waiting for.

“Hide your love away
Wait for me, wait for me
I will do the same
Wait for me, wait for me”

So, I pray that my daddy knows how much I love him. I pray that he knows he is useful and valued. I pray that he knows that I am still learning. I pray that I continue to see all the good in me that my daddy gave 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.