Sunflower Sparkle Girl

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted.  Isaiah 49:13

The other day, I escaped to my refuge: Panera Bread. While there, I saw a young, twenty-something girl with a broken ankle. Instead of having crutches, she had one of those scooters where you rest your cast on the seat and push yourself along with your good foot.

Clearly she had a challenge she was dealing with. However, she was handling it with such style! She had adorned the basket of her scooter with vibrant, silk sunflowers and blinged-out the rim of her cast with big, stick-on jewels. Every time I passed her to refill my water, she and her scooter caught my eye. Every single time, the flowers and jewels made me smile.

It got me thinking about how I handle my own struggles.

Honestly, I’ve never thought to face my struggles with any kind of style at all. I’ve never tried to make the best of something by decorating my issues and making them sparkle. Instead, I either do everything in my power to alleviate my burdens. Or, I put on a pouty face and gracelessly mope through.

What if I changed tactics and approached things like Sunflower Sparkle Girl? What if, instead of bemoaning my circumstances, I found a way to not just make the best of them, but actually highlighted my challenges with style?

Obviously Sunflower Sparkle Girl’s ankle is going to heal with time. One day soon, they’ll cut off her blinged-out cast, and take back her sunflower bedecked scooter. That’s the day she’ll stand up on her own two good feet and walk away. She’ll be able to do so with her head held high. Not only will she have conquered her challenge, but she’ll have done so with grace and pizzazz.

Most of our own challenges are temporary too. In time, the majority of them will get resolved, one way or another. Sometimes, the steps to do so will be in our power. Other times, they won’t. But always, always, how we approach them will be for us to decide.

Either we choose to live through our struggles like a dark cloud and cast shadows over everyone and everything we come in contact with. Or, we can be like Sunflower Sparkle Girl and encircle our challenges with beauty and bling. If we choose the latter, we’ll become a bright light who can’t help but make others smile, despite our hardships.

Questions for Reflection:

     * What challenges am I facing right now?

     * Has my attitude been one of moping? Or one of making the best of it, even highlighting it with style?

4 thoughts on “Sunflower Sparkle Girl

  1. Sunflower Sparkle Girl … Beautiful image, Claire, that we can all apply to help change our natural reactions to the little and even big difficulties we all meet in our ongoing journeys. We need, just like YOU, the eyes to see the beauty and hope that’s right there right in front of us in those unhappy encounters. You’ve done it again, Claire. This one’s a winner and will stay in my imagination to be tapped when I need it!!!!!!


    • Thanks so much, Jackie! I can still see Sunflower Sparkle Girl in my mind, and she’s still making me smile. I just wish I got the nerve up to ask her if I could take her picture so I could share her with the world!


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