Friday, July 11, 2014

In Which I Muse on the Gift of Lightning Bugs

In the darkness of late evening, I am still and alone, standing out on the back porch, the gentle night breezes cooling my skin.  I process the day, the joys and delights, the sadness and loss.

'Whatcha doing?' he asked as he opened the screen door and poked his head out.

'Looking at the lightning bugs.'

 I am very quiet and he disappears back inside, knowing I need solitude for my worn and weary soul.

I lean against the railing, and watch the flashing, bright beams quickly come and go.  Memories of childhood flood back.  Old glass jars filled with grass and twigs and little glimmering bugs that lightened up the night sky.  Captured and breathing through air holes in dented lids, screwed tight by eager hands.

When these babies shine, they sparkle.  But only for a moment.  And if they're making their way through the darkness of night, free of the confines of an old container, you have no idea where they'll show up again.  Here one minute, there the next.  Headed off to unknown parts, their flight patterns seem random and unpredictable, with no consistency to be seen.

Suddenly it hits me. I don't want my life to look like that.  I want all that defines me to shine consistently and without a bit of hesitation.  With no surprises.  No coming or going.  No flash in the pan, here today, gone tomorrow.  I want my 'yes' to be 'yes.'  My 'no' to be 'no.'  I don't want to be thrown by uncertainty, disappointment, or rejection.  I want the beacon of Jesus' steady love to illuminate my own dark corners, so I can be cleansed and filled by all that is Him.

And I know once again, and confirm without a shred of doubt, that my deepest desire is to live out His call on my life as I walk with others, sharing the hope-filled direction He has so lavishly given, over and over again.

As I reflect, the gentle Spirit gives sweet grace and whispers that verse memorized oh so long ago.  I realize once again that 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' {Philippians 4:13}.  I sit peacefully with all that spins around and within.  And pray with the Psalmist of old, 'my soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word' {Psalm 119:28}.

And He does.
 
a 2012 repeat performance

* spending time with Kelli & Holley
 
*   image

22 comments:

  1. I love this, Linda! I will never look at lightning bugs the same way again! There is such truth in the flight of the lightning bug and you captured it beautifully. Happy weekend, my friend!

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    1. Those little guys have been out in full force this week, and I couldn't help but remember writing this post a couple of summers ago. I'm glad it hit home for you, Mary!

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  2. Yes I want that too! I want to keep shining and helping light the way. Although I do like the idea of being a lightning bug. They seem so peaceful. :)

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    1. And those babies sure sparkle like flashing diamonds, don't they?

      ;-}

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  3. Such a lovely post, picture and application, Linda. I've only witnessed fireflies twice in my life and won't forget it.
    For the record - I'd say "all that defines you shine consistently and without a bit of hesitation". I'm blessed to get to know you.

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    1. Thanks for the verbal hug, Pat ... you've blessed me with your affirmation today!

      I hope your weekend sparkles bright ...

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  4. What wonderful memories as I remember catching those little fire-flies eighty years ago!!!! Children will never, never tire of collecting them.

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    1. Yes, fireflies roamed the earth 80 years ago! And the pastimes children enjoyed then are still alive and well today.

      I love your reflections ...

      Hugs.

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  5. How refreshing. I'm gonna start following your blog. Love your writing and we all need the encouragement.

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    1. Cool! Welcome! I'm glad you're joining us here. I hope you'll feel at home right away.

      Weekend blessings ...

      ;-}

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  6. Oh, yes to be a beacon of Jesus' love!

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  7. I noticed several lightning bugs this past weekend. Such sparkles of grace. But you're right that they don't linger, and we DO want to be lingering lights to show that God is here and God is love. A beautiful analogy, Linda.

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    1. We've got millions of them around here this year! Against the backdrop of heat lightning and haze, they're putting on quite a show.

      Love it!

      And love that you're here, Lisa. I'm grateful that you're a part of this little community ...

      ;-}

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  8. I also have been watching the fireflies, noticing how they rise and wink. Their light is beautiful, but they're not less themselves when they aren't shining. I feel like the same is true for me, God uses my brightest days and my darkest and there's such grace for my inconsistencies. Thank you for sharing, and may you find peace and courage as you continues to watch and wait and listen. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

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    1. Oh your words hit home for me, Kelly - 'Their light is beautiful, but they're not less themselves when they aren't shining. I feel like the same is true for me, God uses my brightest days and my darkest and there's such grace for my inconsistencies.'

      Amen. Grace, grace ...

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  9. Beautiful! I haven't seen lightening bugs since I was a child - what memories. Love the idea that we don't want to be random flickers of light in this world, but shining beacons of light!

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    1. Every night their non-stop winks greet me as I stare out the window before bed. Who needs a nightlight when these little friends come to call in droves?

      ;-}

      And I'm glad you've come to call here this morning, Kathryn. I hope your day shines bright!

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  10. Love this, Linda...especially this..."As I reflect, the gentle Spirit gives sweet grace and whispers that verse memorized oh so long ago. I realize once again that 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' {Philippians 4:13}"...love the Scripture and the wonderful visual..."gentle Spirit gives sweet grace and whispers"...Yes, He does, amen <3

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    1. And don't you love how the Spirit resurrects those precious verses and songs learned so many years ago and brings them back full blast?

      Thanks for coming by today, Beth. I appreciate the wisdom you always bring to the table.

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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