How to Shine When Life Distracts You

Life is distracting with problems that make it hard to shine. With God's help, shining is possible when change overwhelms and life hurts.

I had the joy of going to Des Moines, Iowa last weekend where I joined Barb Roose, Heather Von St. James, and Lauren Gaskill, our host, at the Finding Joy Ladies Night Out – Shine Bright Event!

Jesus said His followers are the “Light of the World.” That’s you and me. And I love it but in all honesty, it stresses me out a little, too.

Why does light shining make me anxious?

Because sometimes I just don’t want to shine.

Sometimes I feel dull and broken.

And last Friday night, I once again realized the struggle is the same for everyone. The four of us talked about illness, depression, loss, fear, rejection, pain, stress, anxiety, etc. When the presentations ended one after another, women came up to us saying, “thank you so much,” I’m struggling with _______.”

The truth . . . sometimes life is distracting with circumstances that make it hard to shine.


With God’s help, shining is possible even when change overwhelms and problems are plentiful.

I noticed something recently while studying Matthew 5:14…

God’s Spirit in His children is LIGHT!

Did you know the word enthusiasm is made up of two little Greek words, en and theos? En is the Greek word for within or in, and theos is the Greek word for God.

Don’t you just love that!

God puts enthusiasm in you! Just as He is enthusiastic about you!

Life is distracting with problems that make it hard to shine. With God's help, shining is possible when change overwhelms and life hurts.

I’d like to tell you a story:

I greeted her as she walked into the store and she responded with an understated smile. Tall and beautiful with dark eyes and short curly brown hair, she wandered back to the sale section and began sorting through her size.

As I approached her I noticed she seemed to be lost in her own far away thoughts . . . that spilled into words as I asked if I could help her find anything special…

She said, “I’ve been focused on my career for more than 15 years. I love what I do, and thought it was my life–until I met ‘John’ and fell in love. I’m so blessed to be with such a wonderful man. We were married a little over a month ago, and this morning . . . I found out I’m . . . going to have a baby.”

I congratulated her and she added, “It’s all good and kind of exciting, but I’m overwhelmed. Everything is happening so fast. So many changes. I want children, I think, but I didn’t expect this so soon”

A couple of things made me think she followed Jesus.

1. She used the word blessed.
2. And even with the “deer in the headlights” look on her face . . . her eyes sparkled.

We started to talk faith.

About God’s plans and the way He can surprise us by taking our plans and turning them upside down. How He lifts us out of our comfortable to draw us close and show us how much we need Him.

We talked for about 20 minutes while looking for a few cute tops she could wear when her figure began to change.

And then she was gone.

I will never forget that brief meeting although it happened almost a decade ago.

  • Not because it was the beginning of a lasting friendship – I never saw her again.
  • Not because it was profound or all that unique.
  • Not because the words spoken had a major impact on my life.

But because . . . though she felt overwhelmed, her eyes sparkled with God’s light! 

Overwhelm of any kind, good, bad, or everyday normal, can dull our sparkle if we let it.

If shining was up to me, I have to admit far too often it would not happen.

God says His grace is sufficient no matter how overwhelmed we feel or how His perfect plans differ from our own. It can light our way and make shining possible.

Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Galatians 5:22–23

I ask the Father in His great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through His Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. Ephesians 3:16–17

Friend, God enthusiastically takes your mess . . . those things working to dull your sparkle and replaces it with the light of His truth.

Jesus – the Way, Truth, and Life. The Light of the World. The Lover of your soul is enthusiastic about you!

And He gives you everything you need to shine with enthusiasm in Him and for Him.

 “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” ~ Jim Elliot

How to Shine When Life Distracts You - Counting My Blessings by Deb Wolf

It’s possible even when you are overwhelmed, anxious, or your heart is breaking because God’s spirit will meet your needs . . . every one of them.

My God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. Philippians 4:19 

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8

What’s distracting you today?

What’s dulling your sparkle?

Give it to God. Go to His Word. Trust His promises. And pray with persistence.

He will give you all you need to shine for His glory!

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  1. Deb, I love your re-definition of “enthusiasm” here! What a joyful way to look at this word, and to realize more than ever that God does dwell in us, and we can let His light shine even when we feel dulled and unworthy.
    Thank you for this inspiration today!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Eyes Wide OpenMy Profile

  2. Dear Deb, I enjoy your column and practical thoughts. Yes, feeling overwhelmed with mixed emotions as a birthday and wedding anniversary (today) are remembered this month for my son, who died at age 33 4 years ago. Thank you for your understanding and encouraging thoughts.

  3. Oh! How spiritually satisfying this article was for me this morning. I felt ‘life’ overwhelmed before I read it but ‘Faith’ lifted afterwards. So refreshing and strengthening. I was worried about my 14 year old grandson. He’s being bullied at school because he’s quiet & a little shy. This ended in him fighting yesterday. We’re thinking of homeschool but he needs the interaction from other children. Thus the worry! But I’m ok now because I gave it to God! Simple! Thanks Deb!