Recently, a friend of mine encouraged me to join Pinterest. I was hesitant and had put it off assuming it would take more of my time away from writing and parenting and laundry and all the details of my daily life. But, even it the shadow of this threat, curiosity got the best of me and I gave in.
What I found was a right-brained-wonderland of images that caused me to dream and plan and covet a whole bunch. I found recipes and ideas and floor plans and crafts that could easily consume my waking hours. I loved the newness… the ability to see things I had not even thought about before… the creativity that so many people showed in how they used the things they no longer needed. It helped me to look around my own house and wonder what we could re-purpose to make our home more family-friendly.
Dreaming is one thing, reality is another. Using Pinterest to dream my day away seemed like an awful waste of time. Was there some way to use what I was seeing? As I wondered about it all, I came across this picture:
How cool is THAT? I looked it up and thought it would be easy enough to make. Mason jars are inexpensive and accessible and my kids love anything that glows in the dark. As I began to think it through, I realized that the jars looked like they were full of lightning bugs. Our backyard fills with their glittering every summer. In my head, I was lost in memories of my babies running barefoot in our backyard in the dark catching fire flies on their hands and arms. I remembered them falling onto dew-damp grass and looking up at the stars, pointing out constellations and…
What if the jars could be more than an interesting thing to gaze upon? What if I could use this simple craft item to draw my children back to those memories… and teach them something, too?
As I picked up glow-in-the-dark paint, I dreamed a bit. What would I offer my babies in this gift of glass and paint? I went home and began the task of painting tiny dots on the inside of our Mason jars. Struck by how like stars they looked, the lesson I would offer came together.
As the jars dried, I sat down to write my children a letter. That night, as each child prepared for bed, I sat with them and read them what I had written earlier. Then I prayed with them and presented them with the jar as I turned out the light. The sight of their sweet faces gently lit by the gift’s glow is something I will keep for years to come. It is my prayer that as they fall asleep looking at the lights each night, they will remember my words…. God’s promise… to their young lives.
Dear Noah, Benjamin, Josiah, Elizabeth,
Remember when it was summer? Remember when we could run around outside, barefoot, warm, late into the night? Remember when the lightning bugs would come out and fill the backyard? A million lights around us, with a million more shining down from space. How beautiful the stars are in the middle of the summer!
Those stars that we see so clearly on those nights, they are a promise. They were a promise to Abraham so long ago. They are a promise to you today. God told Abraham that He would give him as many children as there are stars, as many descendants as there is sand on the beach. You were on His mind that day. You were part of His promise. The Kingdom God was building with Abraham and all of his many babies is the Kingdom we live in today. It is a tiny glimpse into the Kingdom that is to come. You are a child of the King.
Tonight, as you go to sleep, look at this simple jar and remember…. remember the lightning bugs and remember the stars, remember Abraham and remember that the promise God gave included you. How important you are to Him! He is continuing to build his Kingdom through you.
I love you.
Blessings on your day.