Firefly Joy

Image courtesy of Denae at http://arippleonthewater.blogspot.com/2012/05/bugs.html

Image courtesy of Denae

So I started this joy dare thing, 31 days of joy for the month of October, and I’m on day three which is to think of “a gift caught, let go, mid-way.”

That got me thinking about fireflies.

Do you remember those warm mid-summer nights when your back yard was full of little blinking electric lights?  Remember how you’d catch them and put them in a mason jar, poke air holes in the lid, and spend the rest of the evening marveling at the super-natural glow emitting from the tail end of those little bugs?  And then, at the end of the night, mom or dad would say, “OK, time to let them go.”   That was always a bit disappointing, mostly because it meant it was time for bed, but also because it meant letting the source of that evening’s enjoyment go.  Of course, we knew it was best that we did let those fireflies go, otherwise they would die.  But it was still sad to take of the lid and dump the jar out.

There’re things in life like that, joys that we aren’t quite ready to be done with, even if we know it’s best.  I’ve had friendships like that, and recently had that experience with my Etsy shop…right smack dab in the middle of the enjoying, for one reason or another, I had to let it go.  I know the Lord had my best interest in mind, but it was a little sad.  Sometimes I understood the blessing in the letting go, sometimes not; guess that’s where faith comes in.  The point is, I need to remember to count the time I did have in the enjoyment as a gift, without letting the loss steal new joy.

It’s also a good reminder to not hold our blessing too tightly.  Some gifts are meant to be enjoyed for a season, so dive in and soak up the joy, but never hold them so close that we can’t let them go when it’s time.  Hold them like fireflies…those memories last a lifetime, and always bring a smile to my heart!

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Counting My Blessings

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been away on a mission trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands (if you’re interested, I blogged all about it while we were there).  We got back late Sunday evening, and I have to say, as beautiful as the island was, and wonderful as the people were, it’s good to be home!

I went outside Monday morning to see how the garden had fared while we were away.  Plenty of weeds, to be expected, and TONS of green beans, ready to be picked.  The bowlful in the picture above is from only one of the four rows we have planted!  Then I headed to the chicken coop to say hello to my feathered friends and collect the lovely treasures they leave for me each day.

As I came inside and washed the bounty that I had just gathered from my own backyard, I couldn’t help but think of my friends back on the island.  Providenciales, the island we stayed on, is pretty small.  They have no natural resources, there is no manufacturing, no farmland, no way to raise livestock…everything has to be shipped in.  And everything is expensive.  That bowl full of beans and handful of eggs fresh from my own yard is truly a gift.

Let me tell you, I looked at my dinner plate with a whole new appreciation that night!

Lemonade, Anyone?

Courtesy of UUPP

Some days Etsy-world makes me grumpy.  Yesterday was one of those days.

I don’t like being grumpy, so I’m going to fall back on an age-old adage…

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

And the best way I know to make ‘lemonade’ is to count my blessings, so here are the first 10 things that popped into my head that I’m thankful for right now:

  1. A blog community to share my day with! 🙂
  2. A sweet, furry, purr-y friend, sunning himself on the windowsill.
  3. A family who will enjoy the spaghetti and meatballs I’m making for dinner.
  4. An Etsy team family who I can grumble to and laugh with, all at the same time!
  5. A functioning washer and dryer that are responsible for the pile of clothes waiting to be folded.
  6. A pile of clean clothing, even if it still needs to be folded!
  7. A strong, hard-working, faithful man I call my husband.
  8. A good cup of coffee.
  9. A sky full of sunshine.
  10. An awesome God Who provided it all, and so much more!

Ah, that’s better!  Fresh squeezed lemonade tastes SO good!

I’d love to know some of the blessings YOU’re counting today.  Hope you’ll share them with us!

Stop and Smell the Roses

Courtesy of Rebel Rose Design

It’s been a GORGEOUS weekend here in Northern New England!  I even went outside and walked in the yard barefoot!  In the middle of March!  Definitely counting my blessings. 🙂

It’s also been a weekend of some soul-searching and decision-making as far as my little Etsy business is concerned.

Have you ever been in a spot where you just sort of stop, look around, and ask yourself #1…How did I get here? and #2…Where do I want to go from here?  That’s where I’ve been this weekend.

I don’t really have an answer yet to question #2, and I started off today still mulling it over in my head when I came across something in the Good Book that helped me get a better perspective.  Firstly, all this business stuff, though definitely a good and worthwhile pursuit, is really very temporary in the whole big picture of time, so stressing myself out about it is most certainly a waste of time.  And secondly, I need to remember to breathe…just step back, refocus, and breathe.

So, today’s lesson…work diligently, work hard, work smart, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.