Light

2018 Give Light Giveaway

It’s Back!

The 2018 Give Light Giveaway starts today and runs through December 31st.

“Give Light and People Will Find the Way” – Ella Baker

As you know, I believe hope floats on whispers and healing can be found in the pursuit of beautiful things. Join me this season to share hope, love, and light. This year’s theme is a bit different, so read the submission guidelines on how to play. 

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Give Light Giveaway Submission Guidelines

  1. Answer the question – What gives you hope? 
    I love creative answers and want to make this as easy to enter as possible. You can write one or two sentences, make a list, or snap a photo. Sing a song, send a video, draw a picture.
    We live in challenging times and I simply want to know What gives you hope in this messy, beautiful world?
  2. Let me know how you’d like to be recognized. Please tell me your name and how I can best contact you. Optional – include a photo of you, your website, and/or social media handles.
  3. Ways to enter:
    – Send me your entry via email at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com
    Send a tweet to @52beautiful with your answer and the hashtag #givelightgiveaway
    Send me a story with your answer on Instagram (@52beautifulthings) with the hashtag #givelightgiveaway
  4. I’ll share your responses periodically over the next few weeks. Email me if you have any questions.

This year, I’m really excited because two artists, Lynne Schwebach and Laura Romberger have joined me and will be donating their artwork as part of the prize pack for the winning ‘giver of light’.

On December 31st, I will put all the names in a hat, and draw one winner who will later be contacted. You need not live in Colorado to win. Winners must respond to notification within two days or I will draw another name.

**Please keep content appropriate – I reserve the right to refuse to post if I feel content is offensive or could cause harm to others. By submitting your materials, you give me permission to share your responses on this blog and on social media. I appreciate when you share your contributions with your networks, but this is not required.

 

Katie’s Felt Board

I asked on Instagram on January 29th:

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Look what I got! Collecting beautiful quotes, clean jokes, and positive musings to put a smile faces. Send me a suggestion. I’ll share it on my board. 
#katiesfeltboard #beautifulthings#tinymessages #playalong

You answered.

Thanks for sharing to the following folks on Instagram:

@unabridged_me  – @schwebacharts @picturingloss – @savvysavagseavig – Mike Huey – and @momo_live_laugh_love_books


Today, I heard of an at-risk teenager lost too soon. A friend from college posted that she lost her dad to a year long disease.  More trauma from the shootings in Florida and heard from another grieving gal just a few years older than me. This world aches with loss and reels in the after-math of things outside our control or understanding.

Today daffodils also bloomed on my kitchen table. A baby was born. The third one this week from my friends and family. New, fresh, tiny humans waiting to make this world a more beautiful place. Babies keep being born. Life continues to sprout through the dirt and petals unfold to the sun.

We exist in both of these spaces. In the dark and the light and the shadows and glitter in between.

Think on that and read these quotes reflecting on beauty. We need it in this aching, hurting, blooming world.

 

Light a Candle

Horrific. The only way to describe what happened in Las Vegas last night.

People will say there are no words.

Wrong.

There are lots of words.

Words of Anger. Of Sadness. Of Loss. Of Grief.

Words of magnitudes.

Yet, we feel helpless. So we say “there are no words.”

Wrong.

There are words of hope. And of comfort. And of light.

Of a saying “hi” to our neighbor, or “Hey, let’s go give blood.”

Or “Here, have a sandwich,” or make a call to a senator to say “How dare you stay silent on gun control again and again.”

These acts CAN NOT be silenced.

Yes. If you feel grief, take time, stay quiet, ponder with loved ones and protect yourself.

But, please, oh please, stop saying there are no words. Try this list if you’re stuck.

Take a moment.

Light a candle instead.

Whisper, sing, shout or wail a prayer.

For the mothers and daughters, sons, and brothers and fathers who are hurting and have lost ones most dear. For the co-workers who won’t have a project mate, the child now parentless, the countless kids across the country afraid to go to school, or the movies, or the football stadium.

Light a candle for all the conversations this incident should spark.

Light a candle for you. A person with words, who can use them for good.

Light a candle for hope and for healing.

Spread the light.

 

I do not want to take away from the heaviness of tragedies aftermath. Yet, I do believe dwelling in good brings peace. Share in the comments a few things you found to be beautiful in the slurry of mixed emotions following today.

Take a Bite

Raise your hand if you’ve seen the latest meme with Helen Mirren. Maybe its not a meme.

It’s really just her face, with a quote. Ok that’s a meme. The Daily Beast pulled the image together.

She bravely tells the world that ‘2016 Has Been a Big Pile of Shit’.  You can watch her do so here.

For the most part, I agree with the sentiment. 2016 has been a challenging year for my family certainly, and for many humans.

We have faced loss and felt uncertain here in my house, just as thousands of individuals and families across the globe, as our new America frightens many.

But here’s what has been bothering me. When we focus on negativity, negativity wins.

When we feed into fear, we miss the good right in front of us.

Now I’m not saying we should ignore what’s happening in the world just to feel sparkly and bright. We shouldn’t push away our emotions, or fail to lean into the very real ‘ick’ that we experience when we address horrendous situations in our personal lives or on a global scale. This is not what I’m asking of you.

Rather, can we continue to take bites of the moon?

Bear with me – I will explain.

This week, our charming local movie theater was showing It’s a Wonderful Life. I bought tickets for my family because I thought it would be a  seasonal cheap thrill. I had never watched the movie all the way through before, and the messages portrayed resonate ever so much more in your late 20s than when you are nine.

When I was nine, all I cared about was how the gym floor would retract back to reveal a swimming pool. A SWIMMING POOL! How neat.

Now, significantly older than nine, the themes of sacrifice for family, and frustration that your plans aren’t unfolding as perfectly as you had thought they would just ring ever so true.

For those of you who’ve seen the film, you know the iconic scene where George offers Mary the moon. The women swoon, how delightful such an offer is.

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George: I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair.

This is the kind of light and enthusiasm that we need. To embrace the good in this world, to take bites, to savor it, to let us radiate with moonbeams.

I love this metaphor. Maybe George Bailey wasn’t thinking so deeply, but his little interaction spoke to me. I want to be the type of person that keeps dreaming, and searching, and reaching for the moon.  I want to find the people who will help me lasso it, because I want this kind of light to beam within me.

It’s hard, my friends, when the world feels like shit. I get it. I really do. But if we focus on the shit, we miss out on the moon. And the very beams that we can choose to ingest.