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It was the first fire in our new apartment. We enjoyed hot cider and music as the flames danced over the logs, warming the small living room. As it died out, my husband, then boyfriend, discussed whether or not to close the flue on the fireplace. Having no idea on what the flue was, I had little to say on the matter and headed to bed after it was decided to close it.

Hours later, we woke startled to smoke alarms blaring. Jumping out of bed, my husband opened the door to our room, where nothing could be seen but clouds of smoke filling the hall way. Immediately he disappeared in to it, while I lay in bed trying to process the whole matter wondering if our apartment was up in flames and whether or not he was okay and what I should do.

Returning moments later, he let me know there was no fire, just smoke. Everywhere. Hard to breath, eye stinging, thick smoke covering everything. Windows and doors were opened and a sweet neighbor ran over letting us know he was a paramedic and asking if we were okay. We were in shock but okay we responded, as we turned on fans and stood on our patio in the wee hours of the night, smoke pouring out, with thankful hearts for the lack of flames and filled with new knowledge: always keep the flue open, even if the fire is out, for the smoke cannot be seen immediately or contained and comes before a fire.

And fires burn. They move in unpredictable ways, consuming anything in its path, only to acquire more.

Following Jesus is similar in its unpredictability and drawing others as the faith develops. There is something so contagious and exciting seeing someone passionate about Jesus and the life that he has redeemed. The way that it draws you nearer to him and you want the desires of his heart become those of yours.

Set a fire by Will Reagan is such a beautiful prayer for this passion and fire in our souls. Have a listen.

Set a fire down in my soul
That I can't contain that I can't control
I want more of You, God

It is not about comparing our walks with each other or what has God has done for this person or that person but thanking him for those blessings and testimonies and taking them as stones of remembrance of what he has been faithful to complete. 

Fires  shines out of the freedom that comes with truly accepting yourself as God has made you and moving towards the person you are to become through him. It is the hours and days turning in to a lifetime full of following the Spirit. 

Praying you would long for more of God, for more of the desires of his heart. Praying that as you navigate the waters as a follower of Christ that you would see the passions that God has placed within you and that you would seek God in those areas. That you God would reveal to you how to use your giftedness to further his kingdom, instead of using them to tear it down.

Praying that you would be set ablaze in hope and live in the freedom of the Spirit.

Here's to fires starting. 

Some of my favorite summer memories are those spent under the stars in the back of my dad's truck bed, nestled in between blankets, next to my little sister. Conversations of boys and life leaving our lips with our backs to ground and our eyes fixed on the sky. Searching for shooting stars and satellites and constellations in our little part of the world, with the sound of my fourth grade teacher echoing the billions and billions of stars our galaxy is made up from.

Stars that have since burst, though we can still see their illumination from our position. And the planets lining up amongst them. Planets with different measurements for days and numerous moons and extreme temperatures and unlivable landscapes.

It is no wonder the ancients worshipped the sky and stars and all things grandiose; but heart wrenching to think they lacked the worship of the One who created the marvelous.

As my husband and I stood outside among others a few months back, singing along as Phil Wickham belted out worship to the God of the earth and everything encompassing it, it was hard to not stand in awe of God, especially as At Your Name played out. Have a listen

Lord of all the earth
We shout Your Name, shout Your Name
Filling up the skies
With endless praise, endless praise

Seeing the sky filled with God's creation, as the sun had set and the moon rose to its given space, and remembering how small we are, yet how important we are to God. Each person in the audience. Each person watching the scene from a distance.

The God who has a vision. The God who has a plan set in motion since he spoke it in to motion before we ever stepped foot on this soil. The God who pursues. The God who sees life in the highest regard. Who sees you as the most important thing.

That is the God we worship. Lest we forget. Lest we forget.

And when the speakers turned off and the lights went out in the middle of a song, there was still a song to be sung. As voices continued and the song kept going, it was a beautiful reminder that nothing can stop us from worshipping but ourselves.  God will always be there to worship and we can sing along, should we choose, even when the stage goes dark.

Praying your light would shine so brightly that though your body fails and your last breath exhales, your memory still illuminates the minds of those around you, guiding them towards Jesus. Praying that worship would come off your lips as your mouth opens as you go about your day. Praying you would know how much you are treasured and loved by the God of the universe. You are important to him, even if others have told you otherwise. Even if you cannot wrap it around your head. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who makes things for his good and perfect purpose

Here's to stars and night skies and worship. 
As we launch the 2015/ 2016 year for Pocket Blessings, I am super excited to introduce you to the newest crafting members coming alongside us with their inspiration and talents. They are super sweet and super crafty and it is a blessing to have on the team.

We have been busy meeting and planning and praying about what God has in store for this year and we are excited to be apart of his plan. And of course, to get our crafting on and meet new friends along the way. 

This month we are decorating glass baby food jars with fall paraphernalia. They are cute and small and just the perfect size to add a tea light to. We layered: fabric cut to fit, pretty metallic fake leaves, twine, ribbon, buttons and lots of hot glue to jazz up the jars.

They are also a great reminder of the simple truth: to be the light + to shine.

Shine because our light has come. Because Jesus came in to the world to show us the way in to his. And now we are called to reflect him. To stand for what he stood for. To live and love as he did.

Reflecting Jesus is different for everyone but looks the same in essence. Everyone has a different skill set and different influence but are called to do the same thing: be like him. 

Whether it is caring for patients at a hospital or teaching children in school or taking care of your own littles, love looks the same. To come along side and listen and serve and teach the truth.

Praying you would reflect Jesus as you go about your days and that you would be a constant source of encouragement and love to others, pointing them to Jesus. Praying you would truly shine. 

For more info about Pocket Blessings and how you can start your own, click here.