…building a creative business: this little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine.

This little light of mine,

I’m going to let it shine.

This little light of mine,

I’m going to let it shine.

Let it shine.

Let it shine.

Let it shine.

My parents used to take me to Children’s Hospital at the end of every summer to get my height and weight tested. I remember being held down while they stuck a needle in my arm to draw out little vials of blood. I was tiny. I guess they were afraid I was too tiny and wanted to make sure that I was growing the way I should be. In elementary school we were lined up for picture day by height. I was at the front of the line. For 6 years. When kids starting wearing shorts from the Gap in middle school, I had to try to shrink them in the wash. I wore jeans from the juniors in college, still cutting four inches off the bottom of the legs, and graduated at 82 lbs. I was always too small. Too short. Too little.

I was too quite too; my voice too small. Ah, but not really. It was actually very loud, but there was something in the way of my voice coming out in it’s naturally, loud & joyous form. It was blocked. Being little goes hand in hand with being shy. Why is that? There is something about this great big world that wants to squish us and make us small. The world wants to prove to us how big it is and we respond by shrinking back or pushing back. I shrank myself, saying “Don’t worry, I know I’m small. I will stay small and quiet and not bother anyone. Don’t worry about me.”

But, well, that didn’t work so well once I grew up. My voice wanted to come out and what was inside of me was really, darn sick of being stuffed down. I actually felt like I had something to say and knew stuff. I wanted to be big.

There is a part of me that understood that I was much bigger than what I was told and what my body expressed. Somewhere deep down was a girl named Christen that had no limitations, no boundaries. It was a flicker. Sometimes I got to see her mirrored in a special friend or in a poem or in my well-decorated room. Other times I forgot she was there when I was squashed by criticism and anxiety.

If there is one thing I know about light and the sun, you cannot hide it all the times. It comes out in flickers. It finds its way through dark corners and edges. The sun cannot be blocked. We cannot extinguish it. We cannot hide it with the thickest blinds and the darkest room. It always finds a way to shine right in our eyes. In fact, when it is blocked for a long time it radiates longer and brighter than ever. It shines right in peoples faces and eyes, blinding them for just a moment.

I think God meant for the sun to be an example. It personifies so many things. He wants us to shine our brightest every, single day. He allows for rest, but in the morning we are to rise and shine.

Is there a part of you that you are hiding under a bushel? Are you afraid that it is too different, too big, too bright to show the world? Are you making yourself small in order to keep yourself safe? I would bet that hiding is causing more pain then stepping out and risking the fall.

Let’s be big and bright today, Friends. Let’s try just one more time.



  1. Sharon Smith says:

    Wonderful encouragement – thanks for that. And I am so glad your light is burning brightly because you are extremely talented and have so much to offer in every area!

  2. Your words this morning bring to mind the quote “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson. An excerpt from the quote “And as we let our own light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
    Thank you for letting your light shine.I love your mix of wisdom and home decor. Thank you too, for sharing your talents!

  3. what beautiful words…. thank you

  4. Judy Woodbury says:

    Thanks Christen for the moving words today. Your a sunshine in my life. I was feeling discouraged as I was looking for nice pieces of furniture to paint and try to sell in about a month for my first time ( I have only painted one piece so far with your help) and I’m having a hard time trying to find the right pieces at the restore shop or thrift shops, there either too expensive or something is wrong like on this buffet, the bottom on the door part inside the cabinet floor is just this thin wood then cardboard, the wood under it is gone on the bottom. I don’t know how to fix that but the piece is nice, its a older buffet with two doors two drawers on top and I think three in the middle kind of that reddish wood color from long ago. All your pieces are so nice. I have even started to look on Craig’s list but feel weary of it. But your words today have made me believe to keep trying so thanks for that. Your a breath of fresh air. : )

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