Friday, July 24, 2009

Just Enough Light For The Step I'm On

Wow! I loved all of your thoughts on this photo! This is what I had written about this photo shortly after I took it:

A year ago life seemed easier some how. Maybe even a bit predictable. Much has happened since last July and now things are anything but predictable in many facets of life. The kids are growing and entering new stages, my husband's job may be having more major changes ahead; it seems everywhere I turn I am faced with some kind of change.

What struck me about this photo is that there is enough light, bright light even, for the next few steps; but the path following has not yet been illuminated.

That is a lot like life for me right now. God has provided a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, but He alone holds the future. The glow of the illuminations provided dims as the path moves on.

I can choose to focus on the light that has been provided and embrace every inch of it's luminous warmth, or I can steady my gaze on the shadows of the unknown and exhaust myself trying to figure out what is yet to come.

I know what choice is best; which focus will bring peace and fullness. And yet I seem to have to surrender those shadowlands back to my Father often. What is the draw to those shadowed places rather than to the illuminated path? Than to the face of my father?
Draw me closer Lord. Help me to be so filled with Your love and truth that I can see the beauty of the whole picture; the beauty of Your plan. Guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus I pray, Amen.

Psalm 16:11 "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

Phillipians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."


A couple of years ago, someone gave me the book, "Just Enough Light For the Step I'm On" by Stormie Omartian. I will be giving a copy of this book away to the winner of my "Blogaversary Give Away" in addition to the book that they choose. There is still time to enter! I will be posting the winner on my blog on Monday's post!

Many Blessings!



Bethany and 3sonsplus1 crew said...

Great post!! I can really relate, and am often times relieved that all I have to do is follow, not actually blaze the trail.

christy rose said...

Shanda, I loved your interpretation of this picture. It is so true that the light only shines on the steps we are taking now. And as we take each step in faith, the light of God's truth and direction lights the way for us. It looks dark up ahead but yet still inviting and peaceful. That should be our thoughts toward what is up ahead in our future too. Not being able to see it, but knowing it is going to be a great place to trust and rest and enjoy the provision of our Guide. I really like this picture a lot.

Have a great day Shanda!

Gretchen said...

When I grow up, I want to have your maturity, Shanda. :). Your words are so wise, so good, & so true. What a great reminder that we take on much of what makes us anxious--and conversely, we can let much of it go, as well.

Happy weekend!

Pam D said...

I absolutely LOVE that book... got it, read it, and then ended up passing it on to someone who needed "a light" at the time. And it's funny how our minds think alike; I looked back at my comment and was pretty much on the same page with you. Which doesn't surprise me at all; I suppose that's why this is one of the blogs on my sidebar!

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

I love the visual imagery in that picture and the precious reminder to stay focused on the light that is guiding my way.

Farmgirl Paints said...

I love that book and think about it alot when I'm going through uncertainty. Which has been often as of honey is waiting to hear about a job. His company is going to let him go soon. Please pray with me we will hear soon.

Daveda said...

Oh, how I can relate! There are changes happening here as well. I look at them as new opportunities. God moving us forward on our journey. I trust in His love for us, and believe it will all be good!

There are a couple of these "opportunities" that I find myself pondering more than others. I too, find myself asking God to help me to trust in His plan, and His ability to get us wherever HE MAY BE TAKING US.

I love the picture and the analogy of only "Just Enough Light For The Step I'm On"

Great Post, Shanda!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture and a beautiful interpretation. Thank you Shanda. I'll have to get that book (if I don't win the giveaway... wink, wink). It's so timely for me right now.

Jennifer said...

Stormie's book is one of my favorites!! I know someone will be blessed by it. The shadows always seem to grab our attention/ are right, how we need to bask in the light we have for today!

Keystone said...

That dark forest is US!
And it is not dark.
It is simply misunderstood, as much as night time is required to view stars, lightning bugs, and galaxies. The light is there if you look.

The Book of John opens with a title saying "The Word Became Flesh". We all know this. What is the 5th sentence to follow the title?
THAT ONE is hidden in darkness of our knowledge.

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it".
~~~John 1:5

This is the theme of the entire Gospels.

What does Matthew say?

"YOU are the light of the world"
~~~Matthew 5:14

Ask your entire audience and they will reply that this verse refers to Christ. False!

Christ is the speaker, and He is speaking of YOU, and believers. Indeed, by verse 16, Christ adds this:

"let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven".

No matter how much we "shine before men", it pales in comparison to the light of Christ.... but, it is there.

God lets the light and rain fall on all; good and evil.

The light does not end at the turn in the road and beginning of the forest.

For those of you who would like to see the forest filled sith sprays of light, follow these directions.

Note your arrow keys: {Up, Down, Left, Right} to the lower right of your keyboard.

Note your Control key marked "CTRL" to the lower left.

Next to "Backspace near the upper right corner, is a + (plus) and to the left of the + is a - (minus) key.

Go back to the picture Shanda posted.
Hold down your "CTRL" and simultaneously hold down the + key. The picture will enlarge.
[This is true of any page you view anywhere, anytime]

To reverse the process and go back to "normal, simply hold your "Ctrl" and the -
key and everything shrinks back.

While you are enlarged, after the "Ctrl" and + being held at the same time (you can go as large as you like by clicking + a step at a time, or just holding the two keys down as long and large as you want), the arrow keys now come into play.

Move around in the forest and it is loaded with light everywhere.

This is "us" from Matthew 5:14-16 shining in a darker world. But it is easily seen when you go in there with your keys from OUTSIDE now.

Indeed, DAY lillies abound in there.

To the right, as you follow the fence, the top has cuttings (2 lines) that you fail to note, even in broad daylight of the highway.

The daylight does not end because the road turns, it ends because of the trees and leaves. A winter caption from the same position would yield all the light everywhere and equally, for the leaves would be gone.

But we need this world to survive. Those leaves give off oxygen and we breathe it into our lungs. Our exhale is carbon dioxide, and the trees need US to survive, by transpiring an exchange to keep both sets of life in continuation.

But in that forest are loads and loads of light... available to all who have eyes to see.

"You are the light of the world".
It just takes the darkness of the tree leaves in midday to dampen the power of the true Light of the World, enough for us to glimpse one another in there. Go look at the pockets of light beaming through those leaves, and inhale the fragrance of pure oxygen while you sit in that forest.

This picture tells the story of the entire Gospels. Christ is spiritual illumination.

When we know Him, the Old Testament Psalm comes alive:

"For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light".
~~~Psalm 36:9

Life in its fullness as it was created to be is found in light, and I assure you, the forest is filled with light in that photo shot.

Dawn Jenkins said...

I love this...probably b/c that is exactly where my life is right now. Right now I am in transition...God has shut a few doors in my life and hasn't opened any "HUGE" doors for me to walk through. At first I thought I must have made God mad, but now I know I am in transition. This is a season. This is a time for growth. This is a time to trust. Why is it so hard? I don't know, but what I do know is that God has shown me I have to just walk and look for TODAY, and I have to trust that He has good plans for me. He alone will complete what He has started. Thanks again for the simplicity you bring to the Good News.

Shelley said...

How insightful. I would love to win the book. Thanks for the chance.

Shanda said...


"This picture tells the story of the entire Gospels. Christ is spiritual illumination."

I love it!

As always, I so appreciate your perspective and words. Yes! You are indeed right, there is much light in the forest. Both you & Pam D. noted that we are lights for others. The salt and the light.

Our Littlest one has been having difficulty sleeping. He wakes up and comes to me telling me that he is scared.

"What is it that you are scared of?" I ask him.

"The light. I need the light." is his reply

He soothes with the illumination. (And a little love.)

Don't we all?

I have missed you my friend. And I did take a book (or 4!) on my trip to "readst!"

Blessings and prayers this Monday!

Keystone said...

"What is it that you are scared of?" I ask him.

"The light. I need the light." is his reply
~~~Shanda's son.

I had this with my daughters too. We bought packs and packs of different sized stars. The stars soaked up the light as we read each night. When reading time and prayers were over, I kissed goodnight and headed to the door.

I flipped the switch off and the room went dark...for a few seconds until all those stars that soaked up light, started to glow in the darkness and made a galaxy on the ceiling, the dressers, the walls, everywhere. Some times, I shut off the light and sat on the floor to stare in amazement myself.

Get your son some sticky glow stars in all sizes and fill his room. He needs the light, and it only comes out in the dark.
Sweet dreams always follow.

Rachel said...

How timely this was for me.

Today was a hard day. Filled with many uncertainties and many unpleasant decisions that needed to be made regarding our workplace.

The results may be life-changing for someone. Either a consequence for someone else, or a decision to walk away for me. And over and over again I need to find my peace knowing that HE knows every step.

I love what you said in your most recent post too - that we can trust the heart of God towards us... how perfect.