What does it mean these days to re-kindle? Does it mean to download another book to your Kindle? I suppose it could. I do have a Kindle, and it sure comes in handy for fast purchases of books.

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But to me to re-kindle has a much grander meaning, of course. It means to restore and renew flagging spirits.

Black and white picture of a candle being lit by another Stock Photo - 2221153

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light”. Albert Schweitzer

There have been moments in my life when I have felt completely defeated and downhearted. I am sure that most of you have felt that way, too. Sometimes it is people that make you feel defeated, sometimes it is circumstances beyond your control that overwhelm you with sorrow, grief, or even anger. And it seems that ‘this is it’. You almost literally sit down in the middle of the sidewalk, draw your knees up, and shriek and cry. It feels as though that horrible feeling will be a permanent thing. Then it happens. Someone comes along and says or does something that soothes your pain. Or maybe it isn’t a person. Maybe you are sitting on your deck crying or angry. …and a little songbird or butterfly lands on the porch rail. the bird tilts his head and bursts into a beautiful, full-throated song.

Or someone calls you, or someone stops by…….you may say these are coincidences. A wise friend named Louise told me over 20 years ago that coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. I agree with her 🙂

When I have felt alone and overcome He restores me. He often does it through wonderful grace-filled re-kindling moments. There have been countless ones in my life. I am guessing there have been in yours as well. I need to look back through my past posts and see what stories about that I have already shared before I share some more  of my re-kindled moments. I don’t want to repeat myself too much! But over the years of life’s gains and losses, I have needed re-kindling and restoring. By now it is no longer to possible to accurately count my blessings. There have been so very many. Each re-kindling event makes me stronger, and my flame burns longer as a result.

There was a summer during my college years when I went on a retreat that lasted for I think somewhere between 5 days and a week. This followed my freshman year of college. I had a tough and lonely year. when I came back home my friends at home were distant, too. I felt like I fit in neither place. Then I headed out of town for the retreat ~ with some people I knew from my TEC [Teens Encounter Christ] retreat from senior year of HS. They were from all over the Chicago metro area. Those few people were the only ones I knew on the retreat. There were a bunch of other people on the retreat that I met there for the first time. We camped, we did Scripture studies, we sat around the campfire and song, talked, and prayed. Some days we had canoe trips. We had 3 people per canoe—and you guessed it, I was in the middle. Some of the kids called me “the Queen of the Nile” because I was in the middle, and they proclaimed me to be beautiful. Many of the guys started calling me their “little sis”.[I actually have 2 younger brothers, and was the 1st grandchild on both sides of the family. So to be “little sis” was joyous]. I was surrounded and enveloped by love. They accepted me and nurtured me from the get-go.

To say that they re-kindled my flame was an understatement. They re-suited with a suit of armor made of pure love. I was no longer one bit afraid. I was healed, re-stored, re-newed ~ and laughing out loud; no longer crying on the inside. Past rejection no longer mattered. It truly didn’t. I knew in my heart that I would be blessed with friendships, real friendships at all times of my life. I didn’t know whether this particular group of friends would be “forever-friends”. But I knew at a new level that love would be returned by the people God wanted in my life.   That was the same summer that “Garden Party” became a hit. So you see, it all intertwined. It was my “hear me roar” summer. During the previous 12 months prior to the camping retreat, I had accepted others’ version of me. I had believed I deserved their rejection, bullying, humiliation, and alienation. Of course, I had not. The camping retreat convinced me of that. Not only did that experience re-kindle me, it added a huge stack of wood for future fires as well. It gave me strength so that God at times gives me the strength and light of a lighthouse or a campfire. On my own, without Him and the love of others, I could dissolve into a tiny birthday cake candle.See, I told you I am blessed.     

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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16 Responses to Re-Kindled

  1. I was involved with TEC in the St. Louis area during my high school years. Christ and these folks permanently changed my life. I reconnect from time to time. God has sent other folks in my life who remind me that “I am chosen and beloved of God”. I am part of a whole, yet appreciated in my uniqueness. Blessings!

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Yay for TEC. It was life-changing for me, too. I went on TEC my senior hear of HS. The next year they developed 2 additional programs. TIC (for freshman, sophs, and juniors) and TOWH (for college students). I stayed involved during a big chunk of college and became a TEC and TOWH team leader. They all made a huge difference in my life. HUGE.

  2. Caddo Veil says:

    Oh this is so good, as usual, Kate–am having a low-confidence day, so I’m working on a poem that hits pretty close to your target. Thanks for being here–what a plentiful well of encouragement you offer from His love. God bless you abundantly.

    • diggingher says:


      This is beautiful. I enjoyed hearing of your rekindling experiences very much. I am always so thankful when I can look back upon a situation and see where God showed up. Thank you for sharing.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      God bless you too, sweet Caddo. I am sorry you are having a low-confidence day. Skip and dance until you feel the joy, sis. You are in my prayers.

      • Caddo Veil says:

        I’m way okay, now, Kate! Writing usually fixes me up–that and a good night’s sleep, which is where I’m headed next! Thanks for those prayers–God bless you Big!

  3. I really hear that God gives you the spark and the encouragement that not only fuels you to go forward, but also to give you the added resource you so liberally share with others. Some people keep it all for themselves, but that’s not you, Kate. That is a blessing! Debra

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Thanks, Debra. I guess I have always been a sharing type. God created me to be that way. I am the type that shares. Thanks for your kind, generous, and loving words.

  4. Susan Michaels says:

    So encouraging and ‘right on’ Kate! How important to be built up by others. God uses people to re-kindle us…Together, we burn brighter! This message desperately needs to be heard and ‘lived out loud’…and you’ve just done that by sharing your experience. Wonderful! God bless!

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Oh Susan~ it is a dream come true if sharing my experiences helps others. Isn’t that our purpose, really? to be God’s conduits. We all need re-kindling sometimes. To build each other up is how we demonstrate our faith and love. God bless you, too.

  5. misswhiplash says:

    I too have a Kindle but before my kindle..was to light a fire and to re kindle was to re light it after it had gone out..They do funny things with words nowadays

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Don’t they? And kindling was tiny pieces of sticks and wood to help get the fire going in the first place. I suppose some people say that they are in the act of kindling when they read their kindles!

  6. reneeboomer says:

    YOU said: ” A wise friend named Louise told me over 20 years ago that coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. I agree with her”……………
    I so believe this!! What a beautiful story!! It doesn’t matter what kind of day I am having I only have to come visit you and you put a smile on my face. You are an inspiration. Thank you and have a wonderful day. big hugz… 🙂 Renee.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Louise is amazingly inspirational. She now runs workshops and retreats in MN ~ and I am sure they are life-affirming and joyful. So glad my story put a smile on your face. I have had a LOT of life-affirming and inspirational times in my life. Those are the things I really remember….You have a wonderful day, too.

  7. Wow. I never knew you could actually buy a BOOK on a Kindle. Where do they ship from? Is the shipping high? It would make such a difference. And how ironic! Ha!

    Your experience with those kind ones lasted all your life. We need to remember this when we see the one who needs rekindling. I am sure you have met with unkind ones since that summer, but it carried you through, anyway. After that one summer, the smallest kindness was enough to see you through, I am sure of it.

  8. Kate Kresse says:

    Actually, I think you can only order the Kindle form of the book; you could use your kindle to log onto amazon, i guess and then order a book for home delivery that way.

    You are right on target. Those kind kids and adult mentors dovetailed in amongst my pain. They restored me. After that other ind ones came along and restored me. And most of the other moments since then, if there was bullying, rejecting, and cruelty, although it broke my heart, I knew for certain that I was worth acceptance and love. I knew that uncalled for cruelty and rejection was just that. Yes, the campers on the OATS camping trip retreat helped me profoundly and immeasurably.
    When I got home to my HS friends post-retreat, their whispers, taunts, and ignoring me no longer made me sob and cry. Rather, I found some other people to hang around wiith and some other lovely things to do with my time. I was no longer desperate for love and acceptance. I already had it. The same thing when I returned to campus. I figured if someone loved me and accepted me, and I shared ther faith and values ~ fabulous. If not, well, I just kept on moving. It was so wonderfully free-ing.

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