Book Report: Catching Fireflies

Catching Fireflies: Teaching Your Heart to See God’s Light Everywhere by Patsy Clairmont

“Let there be light” blazed forth as the first message from the Creator’s lips, and humanity has been captivated by it ever since. Perhaps the most captivated is Patsy Clairmont, herself a small, sassy ball of light. So who better to write on the topic of illumination? This sweet beauty has a charming way with words—you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll encounter God at every turn. From falling in love to the decay of disease, Catching Fireflies covers it all. If your world seems dark, the tiniest flicker in the pages of a book might spark hope. Starlight, candlelight, Christmas lights, even purse lights: with Patsy in the lead, you can rest assured that the path forward will be a bright one.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

We can miss God’s higher call when we’re busy trying to figure Him out, challenging His decisions, and being self-protective. We can’t reason with God. Try as we might, He is above reason. Reason is about us. Sovereignty is about Him.

I recognize wisdom because she’s a soft kind of strong, and I find that winsome. She’s not rude, but she’s clear. She’s not pushy, but she’s bold. She’s only off-putting to those who are opposed to her clear ring of truth.

We’re not yet who we will become, and until then, in our fragile earth suits, we can only bear so much of God’s fearsome, holy brilliance.

Those who are regular grace givers tend to be those who have changed and grown because they have tenaciously sought truth with a whole heart.

I believe that just as surely as God had a place assigned for the sun, moon, and stars, He has a place for us as His light holders. A place where we get to shine.

Too much change at once, and we grapple with security because we base so much of our safety on the known. But the known is flighty and keeps slipping into the hall for a wardrobe change.

The candelabra-truth that our God rises up mighty in our weakness blazes throughout Scripture, as God’s people repeatedly fell on their faces in fear and rose up in courage.

This might sound like a “duh” moment to you, but as I was reading along, I realized that God views our dark seasons differently than we do. Patsy writes in her typical gutsy and enlightening way,

The apostle Paul spent a lot of ministry time in jail. Doesn’t that seem like a detour of God’s plan for him? Or a waste of Paul’s zeal?

Of course the Lord had Paul exactly where He wanted him. We’ll never know this side of heaven all of the kingdom work that was accomplished because of those years the apostle spent “buried” alive, writing from prison and sharing with anyone who would listen. I knew all that, but it somehow hit me differently at this point in life. I’m not under house arrest, waiting to be put on trial before Caesar, but the last two years have been marked by extreme (though necessary) isolation, and I’ve frankly wondered about the Lord’s will in all of it. God put me here. Is this really the plan? Patsy’s bold words gave me a fresh way to think through what’s true even in the dark.

Ten journaling questions inspired by the text:

  • What important dreams have I had?
  • How have I been underestimating God?
  • What takes my breath away?
  • Where is my life fragmented?
  • How can I best use my energy?
  • Who am I making a steady investment in?
  • What about God is hard for me to believe?
  • Do I enter my days with purposed vigor?
  • What would cause me to glow with hope?
  • When have I been tempted to be more certain of my weaknesses than I was of God’s strength?

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