Tag Archive for: hope

Rise and Shine: Woman with Arms Outstretched at Sunrise - Ready to Take on the Day


By Mother Theresa 


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; 


If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;


If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;


If you are honest and sincere, people may cheat you;


What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;


If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;


The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;


Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;


You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;



I found this poem at a time I was in great pain, and nothing in my life made sense to me.  I didn’t think I was a bad person, but one horrible thing after another happened to me anyway.  I was thinking about crawling into a cave and becoming a hermit because that made as much sense as any of the other options I had.   Then this poem appeared on my computer screen.  Reading it put everything in perspective for me, and light returned to my world. 

God put me here to be the best that I can be.  How people respond to that is about them, not me. I’ll do my best, and God will take care of the rest.   Who would you be and how would your life be if you believed that?          


(originally published 3/10/2020)

Rise and Shine: Woman with Arms Outstretched at Sunrise - Ready to Take on the Day

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


This blog is scheduled to post at 8:00 AM on Monday, October 14, 2019. At that moment in time, I will be living a life-long dream as I float high above the earth in a brilliantly colored, hot air balloon. Close your eyes. Can you see me? Can you feel the wonder and joy that I feel? Join me as I “put out my hand and touch the face of God.”

Rise and Shine: Woman with Arms Outstretched at Sunrise - Ready to Take on the Day

“A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep”, sings Cinderella in the movie Cinderella by Walt Disney.  I loved that song and that movie as a small child; I love it still.  In fact, it touched me so profoundly that I can still sing that song in its entirety… and often do.

A heart makes many wishes during the human life of its owner, and it doesn’t matter whether that human is asleep or awake. Yet many of those dreams never reach the light of day.  Why?  Having dreams and finding a way to make those dreams come true brings out the best parts in each of us.   I believe that the heart and soul sing in glorious harmony when we are creating, seeking, and living our dreams.  Again, why do so many dreams never reach the light of day?  I believe the answer is a complicated one.

Perhaps a history of my dreams will shed some light.  I started a “Bucket List” as a very small child, and the things on my list were small — a pinwheel, five extra minutes of play with my best friend, a soft yellow kitten.  Those tiny wishes were as big to my young and innocent heart as marrying Prince Charming was to a young woman of the 1950s.  As I grew, my dreams grew.   I became a young woman and dreamed of a wondrous and charmed life — one in which I would earn a college degree,  marry Prince Charming, and have children.  Some of my dreams came true; some did not.  Twice I have had to rise from the ashes of my life like the mythical Phoenix.  I did not rise by my own strength; I rose by the grace of God.

My experiences are not unique.  Wounded hearts and souls are common to this earthly journey.  The corpses of dreams great and small litter one path after another as human lives are shattered by the fears that “I am not enough” and that this hollow, empty life is my punishment.  The pain makes it very difficult to see clearly or to believe there is any hope. Then grace appears; the same grace that saved me is ready and waiting to save you.  The answer to dreams coming true is as simple as changing your focus.  Turn your eyes to Eternity, reach out your hand, and touch the face of God.   Suddenly, miraculously, you know once and for always that you are enough.  Dreams can come true for you… and the greatest dream of all, forever, is yours.

Rise and Shine: Woman with Arms Outstretched at Sunrise - Ready to Take on the Day

The tunnel is dark and cold.  The darkness presses in with such intensity that it feels alive and threatening.  The cold, too, seems a living thing – a cruel monster with icy claws that crush any will to fight for freedom from the tunnel.  Every second in this place feeds a rising horror. The black of the space is more than darkness; it is the total absence of light, and, without light, there is no hope.  There is only terror, despair, and a growing suspicion that there is no escape – that any light at the end of the tunnel is indeed an oncoming train that will bring even greater injury and pain.  Perhaps giving up, curling into a tiny ball on the floor of this hell, and seeking oblivion is the only option. Perhaps I’m not worthy of anything else.

I’ve been in the tunnel.  I thought I would die there.  Instead, miraculously, I found a light more glorious than you can imagine. How is that possible?  

Simply put, I sought the light – not a glorious and powerful light.  I was too wounded and weak to believe that was possible for me. With my last tattered shred of hope, I searched for a sliver, even a dot of healing light.  I began setting my clock for 5:00 AM rather than 7:00 AM to seek the presence of God. He seemed so far away; it seemed I didn’t deserve His love or grace because I must be truly bad if my life had come to this.  I sat in the dark, still and silent…and the light came. God, who had been there all along, reached out to me and wrapped me in His love and light. He erased the words of “not enough” and “I must be bad, a truly rotten apple, to deserve the horror that my life has become” from my mind and gave these words.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13.  Encouraged and hopeful, I searched for other words of love and promise.  I found many, but a poem by Marianne Williamson changed the course of my life and my work forever.  It seemed a call to shine a transforming light across the globe.  

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness 

That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 

So that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are all meant to shine,

As children do.

We are born to make manifest

The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;

It’s in everyone.

As we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we’re liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others. 

What would this world be if we chose to be our best selves – if we chose to “shine as children do”?

Think about it.                                            

As I sat in the silence that day that I realized God is always with me, He gave me a gift that changed me forever.  He gave me the power to see myself through His eyes rather than the eyes of a broken and exhausted human. Seeing with better eyes made it clear that the tunnel is a function of taking in the hurt that the human world inflicts and believing that, because I am unworthy, I deserve to suffer. Those messages are lies, and I saw that I always have the power to choose to reject them.  I know now, once and for always, that I am enough. 

I am a person just like you.  I often say, especially when I’ve done a particularly brilliant job of procrastinating, that “I’m the biggest flake in the box.”  Yet God created me to be so much more than I can even imagine; He created me to shine as “children do”. If God can free me, He can free you.  Break out of that dark, soul-crushing tunnel and, SHINE! Your light will transform the world…and you.

Rise and Shine: Woman with Arms Outstretched at Sunrise - Ready to Take on the Day

Good morning, Born2Shine.  I’m so happy that you chose to join me this morning. In fact, I would like to invite you to join me every Monday morning for Rise and Shine. This is going to be an interactive blog, and I would truly welcome your input. Subscribe to my blog (to your right, simply enter your email address and hit subscribe), and you will receive a note in your inbox each time I publish a post.

Someone once said that “we were all born geniuses, but being in the world ungeniused us.”  Each one of us wants to be the best person possible, and each one of us wants to have the best life possible.  Yet, at some point, each of us confronts a problem that is too big to overcome alone. We all need help sometime or the being ungeniused spirals into “I’m not worthy and everything bad is my fault.” That is not just a problem; that is a loss of self.  God is leading me to create a global resource for healing in order to offer powerful tools to each individual who wants and needs to believe that light can triumph over darkness. With such a belief comes hope, and with hope comes the power to choose to become a healthy individual rather than a broken one.

Rise and Shine is one of those tools.  There will be a new post each and every Monday morning.  The first one tells a story of a time in my life that was so traumatic and so devastatingly painful that I, to quote myself, “fell through the bottom of the universe.”   When these times come to each of us, we will either be mangled beyond recognition by events which seem to be more than we can bear, or we will RISE AND SHINE.  There is always a choice.

 I pray that you will partner with me by using Rise and Shine as a powerful key to unlock your ability to see yourself through the eyes of God – to see that you were born to shine “as children do”.

Close your eyes and imagine an incredibly beautiful gate.  Can you see it? It is the entrance to a land of wondrous and limitless possibilities.  You have the key. If you use the key to open the gate, you and I will begin a journey together that may transform each of us.  How or if we are changed will depend on the choices we make; will we remain locked in the cold, dark tunnel, or will we step into the light to transform the world… and ourselves.