The Fourth of July Scintilla

Scintilla (n) A Spark, or very small thing.

With the Fourth of July coming up, I’ve been scrambling to make plans, to find something wildly entertaining, adventurous, or unique to do. The thought of sitting outside and watching some secondhand fireworks doesn’t really fire me up to celebrate our nation’s freedom.

Then today the word scintilla came into my life (or vocabulary). And it’s already got me thinking. I was reminded of  a conversation I had with a good friend, recently. Of course, I was chattering away about what we could do to make the fourth fun, when she quietly added, “I’d be happy with just a sparkler.”

At the moment I thought nothing of it. But, apartantly I needed to hear that, because here I am blogging about it. The simplicity and contentment of that statement is what gets me. It’s a scintilla. Something so small and often overlooked by anyone above the age of five. But that’s all she needed.

Yes, there are big things to think about. Much bigger than sparklers and it’s the fourth and what if I don’t have fun! A teetering economy, possible MN government shutdown, our troops at home and overseas, and, of course, the bloody & beautiful beginnings of this nation.

But should we forget the small things?
I don’t want to.

Contentment, enjoyment–it shouldn’t take so much.

A spark, a sparkler, a scintilla.

Thanks to my friend Amanda and stumbleupon for some inspiration


The Patience of a Father

The other day I was warming up a bottle for Bax, the massive 3-month-old I care for three days a week. As I scrambled to get the water warm, apply the nipple and screw on the cap, all that I heard was Bax’s half-cries, half-screams.

“Don’t you realize I need to warm this up for you?” I thought. “Of course he doesn’t, but oh how I wish I could just explain that he can’t have the bottle until it’s warm. I wish he could understand.”  All of this ran through my mind as the baby continued to wail.

That is you. You are that child to me.

I heard the words clearly in my mind, spoken, I believe, from God the Father. I was taken aback. C’mon, I’m not this foolish, this helpless. But the impression only grew stronger. As much as Bax relies on me, so I rely on God. Whether I know it or not. I cry out in complaint; I’m worried or anxious about some perceived need; I’m angry or impatient.  I cannot see all the ways He’s preparing what’s best for me. Warming up the milk.

Even though I pray for love and patience every day, I suddenly realize that the reason I can ask the Father for it is because He is filled with it in perfect measure. I am nowhere near the expertise of a parent when it comes to caring for children, and yet what little I’ve seen has shown me with what great care my heavenly Papa loves me.


I'm committed to this little man right here. He's pooped on me, screamed at me, driven me mad. But I've resolved to always show him love and patience

I’ll start tomorrow.

Sounds like the procrastinator’s prayer, right? Ya, it disgusts me too.

And so I’ve resolved, (truly only a minute ago) that I must, MUST,  post every Monday. Or this will be another project started and left to dust on the shelf.

My soapbox today: stay committed.

It’s so easy, so common in our Facebook generation (click yes, no, or maybe) to simply wait for the next best thing to come along.  For myself that means I often start something–books, letters, chores, relationships– but never carry through to the end. What is it holding me back? Is it fear? Fear that we’ll only fail eventually? Or is it apathy? That little worm that whispers, what does it matter anyways?

I don’t know what it is for you, but for me it’s a bit of both.  But not all is lost. There are ways to fight it.  Persevere. Say you’ll do something, then do it. Care about your words, let them mean something. After all, there’s only one real way to fail: giving up.

Is there a dream, a goal, a person, even a good habit you’ve given up on? I encourage you, be committed.


What are ways you practice commitment?