"You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you." ~Alexander Den Heijer
This quote is accurate, especially during the holiday season. In preparing for the festivities over the next five weeks, I often hear people say, "I'm tired, I'm too busy, or I'm overwhelmed."
But what sparks a light in you? Are you operating in your passion, gifts, and purpose? Do you do something because you think it is what others think you should do? Maybe you are doing something for financial gain, but it doesn't bring you joy. Whatever your reason, take some time to reflect during this beautiful season and ask yourself...what are my gifts? What am I passionate about? What is my purpose? How can I bring joy and contentment to my life? How do I get unstuck?
When people hear how long I have been flying, I always follow it up with, "I love what I do, I love serving others, and I love hospitality! It is not work if you are genuinely doing what you love and have been called to. It sparks a light and brings joy to your innermost being.
In continuing with Gratitude and Thanksgiving this month, I want to share a story I recently read. I hope it inspires, encourages, and brings you to hope in this magical season.
Leah's story is about a woman who lives near Chitipa, Malawi, a remote area many people shy away from. In doing the work she was passionate about, Leah has done what sparked a light in her.
A friend from her church had invited Leah to join a small group called "Light," but Leah was reluctant to join. She would have to contribute a little bit of money to a group savings fund each week to join the group. Her family could barely scrape by, and they didn't even have enough money to educate their kids or repair their thatch-roofed house. Her friends encouraged her to give it a try, so she did.
After the group savings fund accumulates for a few months, any group member can borrow money, use it to do something valuable, then pay it back. After a year, the savings are shared out equally by each group member, and it all starts over again.
First, Leah borrows a small amount from the savings pool to buy sugar cane in bulk. She sold it, paid the loan back to the fund, and had money left over. Alas, she began to believe that she could do this.
She started to dream again!
She'd always wanted to learn how to make clothing but paying for the training had never been possible until she borrowed from the savings pool. She could pay for training and buy a sewing machine with the money.
Her self-confidence grew once again. Leah borrowed from the group savings to buy cloth, which turned into clothing and a nice profit. With her profits, she purchased livestock for her family, replaced their roof, and bought a bicycle her husband used to provide a taxi service.
Leah is persistent and a fighter. She has a dream and a vision to bring clean water to her village, and nothing will stop her. In her village, clean water was a two-hour, back-breaking walk away. I can only imagine what it must be like for the people that live in that particular village. So, Leah took her hard-fought earnings and personally paid to have a well drilled in her backyard so that more than 100 neighbors could have unlimited access to clean, life-giving water.
What sparks a light in you? Leah's story has certainly inspired me to look beyond myself to bring inspiration, encouragement, and hope to others.
As you count down to close out this year, do you have a dream and a vision to fight for anything beyond yourself or your family?
I wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving as you celebrate with family and friends.