How To Shine In Your Corner

“Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.”

Back when I was in grade school, we would often sing this song. [Any school friends remember those orange songbooks?]

I’ve thought of this topic so often. How can we bless those around us? How can we shine in our corner? [And how do I write about it and give examples without tooting my own horn?] When people bless me, it means so much! That they took the time to send a card, to do an act of kindness, and to show that they cared.

First of all, ask God how you can reach out to those around you. If you ask, He will be faithful to open your eyes to opportunities or to nudge you with His Spirit, when He has an idea for you. 😀 God’s ideas for blessing others are far above ours!

Shine first of all, at home. If you are still living with your family, bless them. Notice when your mom needs help around the house and then give her a hand, read books to your younger siblings, have a tea party with your sister, mow the lawn for your dad, spend time with your brothers doing things they enjoy… the list is endless. If you are married, look for ways to bless your husband. Make his favorite food for supper, text him and tell him you’re praying for him throughout the day, put a love note in his lunchbox or vehicle, make sure he has clean clothes, and strive to make your home a haven. Surprise him with a special snack for just the two of you in the evening. Be creative. 😀 If you have children, there are so many ways to invest and bless their lives. Nurture them, love them, teach them truth, create special memories with them.

Shine at work, if you have a job. Seek to please your boss and do your very best. Have a good attitude and strive to be a person who is easy to work with. Make friends with your co-workers. If you work in retail, be friendly to customers and genuinely care about them.

Shine your light at church. There are many hurting people within the church, and so many that need encouraged. Notice the people that don’t seem to have a lot of friends, or who look sad. Find ways to be involved in their lives during the week. Have a tea party or brunch for the youth girls. Bake cookies for the bake sale. Help the young moms with lots of little children that are overloaded. Take people out for coffee.

Shine your light to your neighbors. Talk to them and befriend them. Have them over for a meal. Take them cookies or bread or fresh produce, and not just around Christmastime.

The key is to notice and look for opportunities to bless.

: : : : : :

So! What exactly does shining in your corner look like? It will look different for everyone. However, if you need a few ideas…

Send a box or package to someone in the mail. There is nothing MORE FUN than getting a package addressed to you and finding all sorts of goodies inside. Bonus points if you wrap it in fun paper. Scrapbook paper, old music pages, paper placemats, old wallpaper, brown craft paper, wrapping paper — anything works. Customize the contents of the box to fit the person you are sending it to.

This was a box I sent to my family a year ago. It contained a Mother’s Day mug & Almond Joy for Mamacita, dark and milk chocolate for those in the family that dispute over which is better, chai tea, a coloring book for Isaac, and dark chocolate cookies in the red tin — mostly for Ted, who was bemoaning the fact that I wasn’t going to be around to make him cookies anymore. 😀

A box for my dear friend whose second baby is due in a week. I wish so badly that we could live closer and do more things together. But we don’t, so this box had to do for now.

A conglomeration of happy things: granola, pinwheels & plaque (not pictured) for Averie’s room, snacks for the mama-to-be, and happy cupcake papers & sprinkles.

Take flowers to someone who needs some cheer. If you can’t afford to buy a professional bouquet, pick them from your flowerbeds or make a wildflower bouquet. Daisies are always a good choice!

Design a photobook or scrapbook to give as a gift. Do one for your grandparents with family pictures. I’m sure your mom would be delighted to receive one for Mother’s Day. (Well, next year maybe?) Make a photo cookbook for someone who is getting married or moving out on their own. Use your imagination!

Text a verse or encouraging word. I used to do this quite often, and got out of the habit. Ask a friend how you can pray for them specifically today. Then do it.

Send a card to a friend. Sometimes we forget to tell people how much we appreciate them. It’s always nice to be reminded that someone is thinking of and praying for us. 😀 Include a fun little something if you want– a packet of flower seeds, a bag of tea, a coffee gift card, a letter, a chocolate bar.

Give food. Food is such an easy way to bless people. Take a meal to someone who is sick, or has just had a baby/surgery, or just because. Invite people over for supper, or Sunday lunch, or for an evening snack. Give the pastor’s family a special baked treat. Give your neighbors freshly baked cookies. Make a little bowl of cole slaw for the town lady who comes to church and always raves whenever you make it. (hehe!)

Use your creativity and dream up ways to bless those around you. Your Father in heaven will see and reward you.

“Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around,
Many kinds of darkness in this world abound:
Sin, and want, and sorrow—we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.”

How have others blessed you or what is your favorite way to make other people’s day happy? Any stories to share? 😀

: : : : :

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]

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