Sunday, September 22, 2013

Making Room for the Light

Gloria Ashby is a wonderful storyteller and my guest blogger today. Thank you, Gloria for offering your gift to us and letting your light shine.

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The child's wavy blond hair fell around her face as she peered into the hole carved into the top of the pumpkin. "Gross. Isn't this clean enough? It's icky. Isn't there enough room for the light?" she whined to her brother, who kneeled close by and bent over his own pumpkin with both hands thrust inside.

Remembering my past pumpkin carving rituals, I paused in the middle of sorting pansies to see if someone would rescue the child and finish the task for her.

"Not clean enough," the brother declared after examining his sister's pumpkin. The girl rolled her eyes, sat back on her heels and sighed, tossing her scoop to the ground. Her brother shrugged his shoulders and returned to his own pumpkin preparation. She'd get no help from him.

The girl's mom paused from leaf raking and glanced toward her children.

Ahh, mom to the rescue, I assumed. Wrong.

Mom leaned on her rake where she stopped her yard work. She encouraged her daughter to continue. "Scrape it clean — all the way to the walls. Get all the seeds and stringy stuff out."

"Why?" the child still resisted the disgusting task.

"So you can put the candle inside and let the light shine through."

The young girl cocked her head, as if considering whether she wanted a light in her pumpkin. After 60 seconds of weighing options, her wrinkled forehead relaxed. She picked up her scoop and kneeled to finish cleaning the pumpkin's icky insides.

Microsoft clip art
"Now I'm done," the child's voice drifted with the breeze into my yard. I watched the father round the corner from back of the house and walk over to the newspaper full of pumpkin goo. He inspected his daughter's work, nodded and smiled as if to say, "Well done." Then, without a word, he lowered himself to the ground and began to carve the pumpkin's face through which the light would shine.

In that moment, I understood the Father's call on my life. Only when I choose to be emptied of the goo of self-will, self-control, and self-love, can God transform me to make a difference. The more I empty myself of the goo, the more room I make for Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit. I am called to do as my young neighbor did ... to hand my life to the Father and let Him shape me into the person He created me to be.

But first, I must choose to empty myself. To make room for His Light.
"You are the light of the world...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14, 16, NIV).

For more of Gloria's story devotionals, link to her web page at
 Gloria Ashby's passion for teaching began at the age of five with stuffed animals as her audience. Drawing from over 20 years experience, Gloria speaks with wit and wisdom to faith-based as well as professional business groups. She is a Christian Communicators graduate and contributing author to Love is a Verb, The Heavenly Company, and The Plight Before Christmas. Her stories appear in The Secret Place, The White's Chapel Herald, and several Chicken Soup for the Soul publications. Gloria lives in Texas with her husband, Jim. They have one daughter who lives close by with her husband and four dogs.
Find more of Gloria's speaking topics and reflections at her website,
Email Gloria at  
Today's Featured Resource will help you to reflect God's light in your world:

Back cover: "Christians can and ought to be the movers and shakers of social change -- 'roaring lambs' who infiltrate and make an impact on their workplace and world with their faith."


  1. What a great story to remind us we must rid the "goo" in our life to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

    Thank you, ladies!

  2. Thank you, Jean, and have a blessed week in which your light shines.

  3. I loved the story of the little girl. We are all like this. We want to resist what God has in store for us if it might seem 'icky' or hard. It's when we let God shine through us that we can see the many blessings He has through the plan He's has for our lives. I love this. :)

  4. Thanks for the reminder! So great seeing both of you today on the blog. :-)

  5. What a wonderful story and lesson - I'm often like the little girl - I want to skip the goo scraping part!

    Thank you both!

  6. thank you all for your encouraging thoughts and making room for your light to shine.

    Blessings, Gloria


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