Boats, Beans, and a Summer Hunt for Crazy Joy

It wasn’t at the fire pit that I felt him most. Glowing embers spelled out his name amidst laughing families, playful Family Camp counselors, and sticky fingers waving blackened marshmallows. The unmistakable scent of bug spray wafted off us all, and a spectacular red sun slipped into the lake. I felt him, and loved him, but there wasn’t time to talk much then.

Later in a room of women, I was honored to be able to speak twice, and we opened our Bibles across sun-kissed summer legs, scratched at mosquito bites, and unfolded our lives a bit. I felt him there, and grinned quietly to him, loving him. It, feeling like worship to be able to speak his words with others, and to spill wide my own life.

In the garden this afternoon, I kneel on warm straw, and lift verdant jungles of bush bean leaves and pea-pod vines, seeking produce. Delicious hot July sun soaks into my coral tee-shirt, and I burst into words with him there. Crunching velvety green beans still warm from the earth, the joy oozes from me, and I talk to my Creator God aloud, alone, in a yard. Dappled leaves applaud in trees overhead, winds swirl my hair so much that I can barely hunt for beans, and I laugh in crazy joy.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the one who takes refuge in you” (Psalm 34:8).

“…[Your] praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1b).

Some of us are heading to Europe on a missions trip this week. Join me in praying for this time, will you? Thank you. We are praying that His crazy love and joy will grow deep within us and spill out to everyone near us. And we go to learn, to work alongside a French-Algerian church there, our family in Christ.

How can I pray for you this week? What helps well up His joy in you?

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  1. Pam on July 10, 2013 at 3:45 am

    God surround you, go ahead of you and enfold you as you go out to minister his heart!

  2. Jayne on July 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I love that God is all around us all the time and we can worship Him whenever. I will be praying for you as you go to share Him others. Our church is also leaving next week on a mission trip. May more come to know Him and the joy He brings.

  3. Floyd on July 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Beautiful words. The love and grace of our Father found in the simple things of everyday. What a gift.

    Praying for strength and guidance.

  4. Dolly@Soulstops on July 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    Praying God goes with you and your team…we are also picking pole fun and tasty 🙂

  5. Southern Gal on July 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Ah, your post reminds me of our sweet friend,Joy. The verse from Psalm was one she clung to in the Philippines. She had visited 21 countries in her 26 short years when the Lord called her home while serving in an orphanage in Malaysia. Her sister wrote a book about her and was here this weekend to sign copies and speak about Joy. And knowing you are going on a mission trip soon? Chills.

  6. Dontmissyoursunsetlady on July 12, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Love summer! You are so talented! Thank you for your kind words about my dad

  7. Unknown on July 12, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Prayers for those of you going. I know that God will bless and keep you and allow His light to shine among you.

  8. AmyAlves on July 12, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Oh' Jennifer, your heart in this post…well, I could just eat it right up! I'm taking in the Spirit of God and my heart is pumping for joy along with you sweet sister! How He blesses us! I just love your descriptions of these Summer time moments… so, happy to be visiting with you again. 🙂 ~ Blessings out on you and yours tonight, Amy

  9. cabinart on July 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Wow, I'd be praising God for that garden too! It would be a miracle around here to win the war against the bugs, gophers, raccoons, disease and deer and actually grow something to eat.

    Praying for you as you travel.

  10. LOLITA on July 24, 2013 at 4:18 am

    I miss coming here, that's for sure.

    It is amazing to worship among the produce and declare His goodness and greatness.

    I pray you well and provided and able as you go on mission to Europe. Go and expand His Kingdom and spread your joy where you are led.

    Hugs to you, Jen. Thank you for always seeking me in my page even as I went silent for a while.

    I hope that we can move to a faster connection soon. That is in our office.

  11. Cheryl Barker on July 25, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I've been out of town myself, Jennifer, so am just now seeing this. I hope your mission trip went beautifully and that God blessed in abundant ways!

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