Hope [A Giving Key]
[CELEBRATE This Week No. 231]
Most days there’s a necklace around my neck. Usually it’s a Giving Key, but there are also a couple of others that make regular appearances. One is a homemade chain and leather necklace from my buddy Christy Rush-Levine. Another is an old cross from the summer camp that shaped a large part of my soul. There’s also a frequent favorite that came from a long-time friend who I had never met.
Michelle Nero sent me a necklace with a yellow rectangular pendant. On one side it said SHINE and on the other was the reminder: Never let anyone steal your sparkle.
Michelle included a note about how she was out shopping, saw the necklace and bought it for me before she realized we weren’t in person friends. She shared, in her sweet way, that she was a little embarrassed by the impulse purchase of buying a gift for a friend whose address she didn’t know. She saw the necklace, thought of me and bought it without thinking through the logistics.
She was right: it was perfect. My One Little Word for the year was SHINE. It was yellow, and the words on the back — never let anyone steal your sparkle — was a message that was straight from heaven to my ears.
At the time in my life, I was allowing others to make me feel inferior. I felt like every single characteristic I possessed was a negative trait. I felt like no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t measure up. Things were rough on the momma front and rough on the writing front and rough on the friend front. Things were rough all the way around.
Never let anyone steal your sparkle. The words gave me the courage to make decisions that allowed my light to shine. Too often we allow others to dictate who we become. Michelle’s gift and note were just want I needed. I’m so glad she had the courage to respond to the nudge to buy the necklace and send it to me.
It was so much more than a necklace. It was a turning point in my life. I made major decisions in the name of not letting anyone steal my sparkle. I remembered who I was made to be and embraced my messy, creative, and unhurried way of life. I decided to be me.
I’m so grateful for the nudge Michelle gave me.
Truth be told, the necklace Michelle gave me served as the nudge I am still grateful to have been given. It was a natural progression to become a fan of The Giving Keys. I learned the power of a necklace reminder. If you’ve been a long time reader, you’ve heard me mention The Giving Keys. It’s an organization that provides jobs for those transitioning out of homelessness. The premise is you wear a necklace with a word and when you meet someone who needs the word more than you do, you pass it on. The Giving Keys is a pay it forward company.
I knew I was going to meet Michelle last Tuesday and I wanted to give her a gift. I wanted to offer her something that would encourage her and in some small way let her know the big impact she’s had on my life. Her audacious gift saved me and I wanted to offer a meager thank you.
I realized it on Sunday afternoon. It was time to pass on HOPE. I gave my key to Michelle and slipped SHINE around my neck.
Never let anyone steal your sparkle…
Thanks Michelle. You changed my life, and I am so happy to finally meet in person. You are as charming as your sweet stories.