The Sparkler Effect: Go Forth And Shine

The Sparkler Effect: Go Forth And Shine

It’s the strangest thing.

As I ride the extended parking shuttle in search of Shelter 12, where I left my van three days ago, I feel it.

I am throwing off sparks.

I feel like a barely contained column of light, simultaneously calm and elated.

All weekend, I am at a conference, surrounded by 700-plus like-minded women. We worship, learn, laugh, cry, pray.

Our book proposals are squelched. Our 5-minute speech for the critique group comes out shaky and nervous. We realized we don’t have a platform and need one, stat. We miss our publisher appointment due to a misunderstanding and end up securing 5 minutes that turns into 25 and a lunch and a possible book deal.

We have Mandisa show up to our speaker group. We marinate in a hot tub and share dreams. We rock our presentation. We meet Lysa TerKeurst, and she asks us about the favorite thing we learned, and we manage to find the words. We set aside some old plans and embrace new. We hug virtual friends, make them in-real-life friends, and promise to meet here, again, next year.

sparkler 2

We all arrive at a point in our lives, stripped clean and bare, ready for God to layer on light.

We feel thin and insubstantial. Our cores naked and exposed. Unadorned and utterly plain.

We learn to lay down pride and take up service. We don’t ask why? when we’re asked to do things that make us deeply vulnerable and wholly uncomfortable. We just obey.

And, that’s when God layers on the good stuff. It may not look pretty. In fact, it can look downright ugly, much like the chemical slurry bonded to a sparkler’s stick.

A sparkler consists of a chemical mixture that is molded onto a rigid stick or wire. These chemicals often are mixed with water to form a mixture that can be coated on a wire (by dipping) or poured into a tube. Once the mixture dries, you have a sparkler. Aluminum, iron, steel, zinc or magnesium dust or flakes may be used to create the bright, shimmering sparks. The metal flakes heat up until they are incandescent and shine brightly or, at a high enough temperature, actually burn. A variety of chemicals can be added to create colors. The fuel and oxidizer are proportioned, along with the other chemicals, so that the sparkler burns slowly rather than exploding like a firecracker. Once one end of the sparkler is ignited, it burns progressively to the other end.

“How Do Sparklers Work?”

sparkler 3

But, we must arrive bare before God, so he can prepare us for the fireworks to come. <—–Tweet This!

Whether we’re in the process of being stripped clean, repeatedly layered, or simply waiting for the match to strike, He knows the shine to come.

This past weekend, I entered She Speaks 2013 with hopes and plans that didn’t turn out quite as expected, but God’s thoughts are not my thoughts, nor are His ways my ways {Isaiah 55:8}. I didn’t count on the stripping bare and the layering — or the resulting shine.

You see, He didn’t plan on a firecracker explosion for me, but a long, controlled burn and a shower of sparkles to take home.

And these sparks? They illuminate the small, humble ways I am called to serve, right here, right now.


This post was gladly shared with Laura’s Playdates with God at The Wellspring.

This post also contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will get a small percentage of the sale. It’s clicks like this that help keep this blog up and running, so thanks!

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  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!! So glad to hear! 🙂
    Kristin Smith recently posted..Five Minute Friday – BelongMy Profile

  2. What an awesome post to wake up to on this rainy day in Tennessee. You just poured it all out and it is good my dreaming sister. Sparkle on!

  3. It sounds like you had a great time! I can’t wait to go to a conference and learn and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to go to SheSpeaks next year (with a book proposal in hand).
    Laura Pratt recently posted..Reading List Update for JulyMy Profile

  4. Yes!!! And you know what? Haven’t had a chance to msg you back yet from yesterday…but I can HEAR the sparkles in your voice! Truly! It is beautiful. Keep shining for God!!
    Christine Wright recently posted..Be Faithful at Your Part of the Wall – Rebuilding SeriesMy Profile

  5. Oh, friend. I’m so glad you had such a special time. And, yes! You shine! Mandisa? Cool beans. My speaker group never had such a cool visitor. Sounds like a wonderful, inspiring weekend. I can’t wait to see the fruit that comes from it!
    Laura recently posted..The Garden Gives BackMy Profile

  6. Beautiful, and so clearly visible to those of us who weren’t in attendance. What a great metaphor. I pray that the sparks will fall off of you and onto us all.
    Peace and good to you, sweet sister, in Jesus’ name.
    Chelle recently posted..Grounded…(feet)My Profile

  7. I am so proud of you and the work you put into preparation … but even more, I am thankful for your heart that sees God at work even when it looks different than you had planned or expected. And I’m extremely thankful your sparkler is in my life!!
    Teri Lynne Underwood recently posted..What I Learned in JulyMy Profile

  8. Robin Meyers :

    I’m so glad you had the opportunity to go this event! Your enthusiasm was so obvious when I saw you today! And I love your idea for “serving”. 🙂 Yay You!!

  9. Beautiful! I loved reading this.

  10. SheSpeaks sounds like an amazing experience. I’m so jealous that you got to meet some GSD sisters inrl! How cool is that?! Maybe one year I will make it.


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