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I haven’t yelled at my kids in two weeks and this is what I have learned…

It has been two weeks since I raised my voice and I have learned something unexpected.

I am meant to be a candle lighter.

I am meant to live a good story.

Right here. Right now. No matter what.

The dark is all around, ever pressing, ever crowding in.

Sometimes all it takes is one candle to keep it at bay.

Last month I read Tom Sawyer with my boys. Their faces grew chilled as we read of Tom and Becky lost in the cave, their last candle fading, darkness all around. Enveloping. There was hope until the moment the light went out, but then she despaired.

My days often feel like that. Trudging, seeking, trying to make it through a maze of carpool, school lessons, arguments and groceries. And then there is breakfast, lunch, dinner and do it all over again.

The candle goes out when showers are over and the kids still won’t go to bed or a conversation leaves my heart reeling or there’s another bill, another car repair, another doctor visit, another unkind word, another unfair circumstance. The light grows dim until I am left gasping and unseeing.

Then my voice raises frantic because maybe I can fling away the dark by my command. Journeying quiet these two weeks it has been so apparent that when my words grow loud I just add to the darkness.

Instead I’m called to be a candle lighter. Quiet, a purposeful igniting. One speck of light that seems it can’t possibly push away all the heavy black. One tiny spark that I must crouch low around, sheltering with my body, with my soul so that it can grow.

As I rock my daughter in the twilight, sunset glowing out my bedroom window I pray for a home bathed in light. I ask to be one singular flame joining the brightness of God’s glory, fed and fanned into a blaze by Christ.

I hear the refrain; many waters cannot quench love. And then His words, “In this world you will have trouble. Fear not, I have overcome the world.”

Fear not, fear not.

I do not always see my way but one gleam of light is enough to step towards. I pray for a flame that cannot be quenched and I stoke it with quietness.

. . .

If you’re reading this and want to join me, or would just like to listen and glean encouragement from others, please feel welcome to join us in the Gently + Quietly FB group!

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