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I like to see them, and I like to see them now. That’s why last week the quilt on our bed was a little damp after coming out of the laundry, the banana bread is often slightly undercooked and my nails get smudged shortly after polish is applied.

I want the final outcome and I don’t want to wait very long. If it can’t be done fast, then why would I even do it? Give me all the things I like, and right now would be great, thanks. Combine this with my “dream big” personality and I can easily turn into a big walking billboard that shines a light on myself.

I’d like to blame my attitude on our “self-absorbed, look at me, please like everything I do and say” culture, and while that may be part of the problem – the other problem is that I have bought into it all.

So, I get out the spotlight and start to make all my things known to the world.

Hustle.

Promote.

Share.

Succeed.

Give me all my hopes and dreams in this moment.

And then?

Well. What happens, feels a little bit like going to bed when your covers are still wet. Imagine if I had just waited longer, and didn’t pull them out of the dryer impatiently? I’d be all cozy and feeling awesome and warm, and not like I’ve been camping in a tent thats been leaking rain on a hot, humid summer day. Maybe if I learned to wait, and not be so impatient and just trusted the process –  things would actually BE BETTER.

I’ve even let this “make it happen now” mindset creep into what I want for those around me. My husband, our family, the future I hope for my kids. JUST LET IT ALL COME TOGETHER is what my heart, and sometimes my actions like to scream out.

In the words of Taylor Swift, I keep telling myself:

“You need to calm down.”

Sometimes waiting is better.

Sometimes the best outcomes take time.

Sometimes working quietly and being faithful in the present, is what opens up the future.

Sometimes the spotlight just makes everything worse.

In the middle of a few of these situations right now in my life, ones that get me unsettled and impatient – I heard a couple words deep down in my heart last week that made me slow down and take a breath.

Just be.

Shut off the spotlight that you like to shine on your life.

Work on what’s inside.  

It’s easy to think that if everyone can see us, and all we do, and all we long and hope for – that we will be validated and valuable and loved. It’s not a bad thing, we all want to know we have purpose in this world, and sometimes we work hard to make things happen.

But what if we turned away from spotlight?

What if we didn’t focus on lights that shine on us, but light that shines through us?

Spotlights fade.

They burn out.

Sometimes they don’t even get pointed at what really matters.

Light that shines through comes from within.

It’s plugged in deep and it’s not a light that follows you around but it’s a light that you bring wherever you go.

I want to bring light wherever I go. Not a light that fades but one that will keep burning – even long after I’m gone because it has affected those around me for the better. That’s the real hustle I want to go after.

I don’t want light that shines on me, I want light that shines through me. Reflecting my Maker, and His love in my life that is to be given away and shared. A light not about me at all, but about Him.

I’m still going to talk about things I care about, I’ll still post my blog for people to read, I’ll still share my hopes and dreams, and pictures of taco bowls because all of those things are part of my purpose and who I am. None of those things are wrong, all of those things are good. We all have passions that we have been called to share with the world.

But I want to make a subtle change.

Get better at embracing the things that no one sees.

Learning to love life in the background.

Everything doesn’t have to be about me.

Spotlights are actually blinding.

Sometimes they make people cover their eyes and look away.

Light from within burns gentle and constant.

Drawing in, not pushing away.

When it all comes down to it, no one really cares about what I do

But, they will remember who I was,

and where I focused my light.