Last Tuesday night was a BIG NIGHT in the Connors house!!
The fireflies started showing up here in Chicago!!!
I honestly wait for this night with joyous anticipation each summer! You see, my birthday is July 3rd and as far as the annual crop of lightening bugs goes, my birthday coincides with peak firefly season here! So I always equate the abundance of these “fairy lanterns of night lights” with celebrating my birthday with family and friends that I love!
(Let me clearly state for the record that we have a STRICT “firefly catch and release program” in my house! No keeping them overnight in jars in your bedroom for a nightlight, only to find them belly up at the bottom of the container in the morning! Just a quick catch in the hand, watch them blink a time or two, and off they go back to brighten the night sky for everyone else to see!)
They don’t stick around for long, mind you. They have about a 2-3 week period of time around here to show off their magic before they go off to who knows where! (Please don’t tell me they simply die. You’ll ruin my birthday and, regretfully, I’ll have to call you a party pooper.) But, I’m telling you, those two weeks can seriously readjust my mindset to focus on God’s provision of simple pleasures for the soul!
For those of us in whom Christ dwells, there is no limit to gifts He provides – large or small. He shows His majesty and greatness in every single thing He creates and gives us. And we have His promise, that as long as we follow Him, we will have an abundance in this life!
Abundance means to have more than you need. To have more than you need creates an inherent responsibility to use what we have been given for the greater good, don’t you think? What good is a backyard full of fireflies ifyou don’t invite anyone out to share them with you? What good does $1,000,000 (or $10, for that matter) do if it simply sits in a box under the bed? What good is a spirit of joy if it isn’t being released into the world for others to experience? What good is a soul filled with gratitude if it remains inside you instead of returned to the One who gave you reason to rejoice in the first place?!
God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. Hebrews 1:9, NLT.
Our Father literally poured out an abundance of JOY onto Jesus. Jesus, in turn, steadily and readily pours it onto us.
If you are blessed with the eyesight to read this, the soul to feel it, the mind to process it, the spirit to use it, and the means with which to pass it on, why don’t you?
Go and light up someone’s backyard today! Take a meal to someone in need. Write a card to a person who could use a pick-me-up. Call your grandma, if you are blessed enough to have one living. Send a smiley, emoticon text to your parents. Hug your kids when they wake up. Kiss your spouse before bed. Be the reason someone can celebrate the day TODAY.
He didn’t just give you an eyedropper of joy, you know! You got the whole bottle poured on you. You have plenty to share and the more you share it, the more He will continue to fill you up!
Yep, I know what you are going to say. You’re going to say you don’t always feel the joy, feel the love, feel the abundance. You aren’t feeling full enough to share anything sometimes. Living in an imperfect world will do that to a person. But if you’ve been living the lesson of this post, there will be others who can – and WILL – stand in the gap for you during those drought seasons to pour back onto you what you’ve showered on them.
Sometimes you are the fireflies. Sometimes you are the one who gets to enjoy them. Either way, it’s a gift.
Praying for fairy lantern-filled nights for each of you this week, whatever that looks like in your neck of the woods!
And for a special gift of JOY for you this week, we have a wonderful guest post writer for FRIDAY! My new and amazing friend Kirsten Stokes, (who writes a completely cool blog called God’s Chick – click here to check it out: http://godschick.net/) is gracing us with a post about…what else…JOY! Be sure to check back here on Friday to read her insights and applications of God’s joy to everyday life! You’re going to love her as much as I do! (Did I mention she is a mom, a writer, AND a kale freak?! Maybe that is why we connect on SOOOOOOO many levels!!!)
What’s up for Week 6 of Pure Joy?!
1. Rewrite/memorize our verse for the week in your favorite version! This week, our scripture verse is Hebrews 1:9! It’s written just up there a few paragraphs! You are anointed more than others, sister friends!!! Let’s USE that abundance!
2. Listen to our song this week which is one of my favorites!!! Every Good Thing, by The Afters! You’ll LOVE it!
3. Are you ready to start another book yet?! We have plenty of great suggestions up there under the Pure Joy Summer Series 2013 tab!
4. Get ready for the Pure Joy Dinner #2, on July 16th! Our theme is “A Few of Our Favorite Things!” Mark your calendar and respond to the Evite! If you want to come and didn’t get the Evite, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Continue the Joy Dare! We’re giving that gratitude back to the One who gave it to us!
Up FRIDAY: Kirsten’s post! DON’T miss it!!!
Praying for you this week! Standing by you and believing God for your intentions, needs, and praises!
Peace, love, and JOY!