A week ago I returned from Allume. Allume’s purpose is the following:
Our goal at Allume is to minister to the woman, the blogger, the story teller. We want to love well, encourage, and spur women on to shine the Light that lives within them. We want to serve you in ways that cultivate the Light in you, help you expand your influence, use your influence well (in your home, your community, or around the world) and encourage you with stories of those who are living out the Light.
While at Allume, I attended Stephanie Bryant’s session on finding your personal brand. In the session, she advised us to create 5 Pinterest boards which would help guide us to find our own brand. I created the following boards:
While I could see there was definitely a consistent style there, I couldn’t quite tell how to pull it together. I still can’t, to be honest (feel free to send me feedback).
I solicited help from a few friends to help me analyze the pins and a friend picked up on one theme within the photography board that I hadn’t noticed in the least upon pinning.
While I was pinning these, I had no intent to pin pictures with such an obvious theme of light. I was just pinning photographs that looked pretty to me. Nothing more, nothing less. I didn’t even pick up that it was a theme until many emails were exchanged. But looking back, it’s obvious.
Just a few days after I returned from Allume and pinned these pictures, I started reading through the Bible with a group on Facebook on November 1st. On the first day of reading, Genesis 1:14-15 stuck out to me
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
I could not shake the idea of lights “marking sacred times”. I had no thoughts of Allume or my boards though.
Gary Morland spent his 31 days series talking about connecting dots in our lives. Some might refer to it as God’s tapestry, seemingly unrelated strings woven together. I’ve definitely seen this at work in my life before.
All these themes of light started coming together in my mind over the weekend.
Before and even during Allume, I was very close to closing this site. I wasn’t sure of my purpose anymore. But that phrase “marking sacred times” has given me my purpose.
Matthew 5:16 calls us to shine our light before men and I look back to Genesis and find my why. Just as the sun and moon mark sacred times, my words help me shine His light, marking the sacred: the sacred moments that he speaks to me, the sacred moments I question Him, the sacred moments I share with my children.
As if all of theses weren’t enough dots to connect, a friend emailed me just the other day, not knowing about my Pinterest boards or Allume’s purpose statement or even my Bible reading and says “I look forward to your posts, they make a difference to me, your light is shining BRIGHT.”
I feel a bit awkward talking about my blog on my blog and “letting my little light shine” might seem juvenile, but for me, when I see God confirming a message in many places, it’s sacred. And you might now agree, I would be remiss not to mark it with words.
And P.S., just as I finished writing these words, I flipped over to my reader and saw these words from Sarah Bessey:
A few months ago, I wrote an essay for Deeper Story called In which I am practicing. It was born out of a turning point in my own life, and I wanted to mark it by writing about it.
Really? Really, God? I think He just likes to show off, eh?
My prayer from here is not just that you’ll continue to come here to read these words, but that you’re looking for your own strings and connecting dots and finding your unique way to mark the sacred.