Surrender 116: There’s a Light in my Minnow Bucket

This evening I had time to do something with the yard sale minnow bucket that I received. I’m all about repurposing common objects, giving them new life as they serve a new purpose. It’s fun. It’s play. It gives my creativity freedom to go wild.  

I was excited to acquire this minnow bucket. The exterior part is perfect as a metal planter in my garden. I love using metal containers of all types, grouped together, to hold an assortment of flowering plants. I have wash tubs and buckets, watering cans and tall containers, a rectangular box with handles and a red toolbox. 

Holes were drilled into the bottom of the outer bucket, so that water can drain out. I learned by trial and error, mostly error, to do this as a first step. No drainage means soggy soil which results in dead plants! 

The bucket was then filled with soil and I popped colorful verbana plants into it. This newly planted metal piece will join a group of containers on the brickio. 

My imagination immediately repurposed the interior of the minnow bucket into a candle holder. I actually have such a container already, serving as a planter. I found it in a flea market. But it is lacking a top and doesn’t have the interesting pattern of holes on the sides. This adorable version has so much cuteness going for it, including a star pattern punched on the lid. 

Watching the movie A Little Chaos, I determined to bring more candlelight into my own garden. And here came the first opportunity. I never would have guessed that a minnow bucket would bring light and joy into my backyard paradise. 

I could barely wait for the sun to set. I confess that I lit a candle within the interior while it was still daylight and checked frequently, ready to catch the glow. I was not disappointed! What a beautiful and whimsical candle holder that minnow bucket makes. I am thrilled with the look. After this next round of stormy weather passes, I will create a permanent place in the garden for my new candle holder. 

Mesmerized by the soft flickering glow emanating from the bucket, I was reminded of a childhood song. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”  I thought too of the scripture that says don’t hide your light under a basket…but allow it to shine, giving light to others.

Don’t hide my light away. Make sure there are clear spaces for the light to shine through. I used to hide my light, or barely allow my light to shine. I tried to get by in life unnoticed. I no longer seek to be invisible. I shine, by being who I am, by expressing myself in creative ways. 

Like turning a minnow bucket into a planter and a candle holder. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…

Day 43: Inspirational Quote Email


Today’s first came to me via my email. I don’t like chain emails, especially the ones that promise big things if you respond quickly, and dire consequences if you fail to play along! This email was a type I had never seen before and had a request that I was happy to respond to.

The idea was simple and beautiful. Send your favorite inspirational quote, poem, meditation, or prayer to the person at the top of the list. Then remove the first person, move the second person to the top and add your name in the #2 spot. The letter is then forwarded on to 20 friends. Some of my friends received one of these emails from me this afternoon, unknowingly contributing to my first!

I had to decide which inspirational quote I wanted to send to the person at the top of the list. I have inspiring words posted all over my house. Daily I choose, at random, a card with a quote on it to affix to my bathroom mirror. My home office has my vision board, inspirational sayings and quotes I’ve scribbled out posted on the walls and my bulletin board.

This is the one that resonated with me today that I emailed on:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”    Marianne Williamson

These beautifully phrased words have been meaningful to me these past few years. I know what it’s like to attempt to shrink and play small. In fact, at times I’ve tried to be invisible. As I’ve discovered who I am, and allowed my light to shine, I’ve realized there is no fear as great as fearing who I really am and what I can do. And no risk greater than embracing all of my gifts, abilities and quirks, and offering out of a whole and full heart to the world. My life, well lived, liberated from those fears, is one of the greatest gifts I can offer.