Do You Celebrate Your "Firsts" {...a few fun thoughts on Biblical "first fruits"...}

I tossed on one of my new $3 infinity scarves to harvest from my garden this morning.  It was perfect - just enough to hold the cilantro flowers, basil clippings, a few pickling cucumbers, and some banana peppers.

In just a few weeks, that scarf will not cut it.  I will need my giant jute tote with the leather handles.

But this is a season of "first fruits" in my life...those first, tiny, tip-of-the-iceberg pickings and clippings of a mighty blessed harvest yet to come.  So many sweet firsts...and the Lord has had plenty to say to me about them.

I picked the first (and only) ripe blueberry from our garden a few days ago.  Sweetly, that's when He began to speak to me about how the first fruits of anything are always a prelude to what is to come.  He asked me if that berry I just so ceremoniously popped into my mouth was at all bitter.  No.  It was completely sweet.

He said, "If the first fruits are sweet, the crop will be sweeter.  It's time, now, to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I really am calling you all the way out of your time of mourning...

(and it was an important, designated time - I needed you to fill up several of my bottles as stored-up intercession against the season of "outpouring"...when I open those bottles and pour out the blessing on your prodigals) is time to come all the way into a season of sweetness, with no bitter in it."

My daughter, her husband and their baby girls are getting settled in across the street.  This morning was a "sweet first", as The Preacher and I leisurely walked across the cul-de-sac to say good morning...and it was the first time in almost a week where he didn't stay to work his backside off.  It was the first morning I have felt human, after a several-days-long bout with menopausal hot flashes.

(Just keeping it real, homies...)

We snuggled babies, and chatted rugs and floors and happy plans, and after about ten minutes we walked home - he to make some important calls and do some Bible study, me to work in the garden.

More first fruits of what is in store.

In the original Hebrew, the words "first fruits" is bikkurim - literally meaning "Promise to Come".

Many preachers will try to use the concept of "first fruits" as a way to get you to tithe or to give.  As someone who has loved and served the church most all my life, you almost cannot overstate the importance and privilege and responsibility every single saint has to be giving regularly into his or her "storehouse - also known as their local church.

But nowhere in the New Covenant do we find those words "first fruits" having anything to do with tithes or offerings.  In the New Testament, first fruits always act as a metaphor to illustrate those who experience God's favor through "first things".

Try not to miss the blessing of "first fruits".  They are sprinkled throughout our days.

That first kiss.  (Oh, that first kiss...)
That first blueberry.
That first rain, after a prolonged season of drought.
That first sunny day, after a prolonged season of rain.
That first child getting their first driver's license.
That first cucumber.
That first tomato of the year.

That first phone call, after days or weeks (or years) of strained silence.

That first painting you sold, for $20
The first full night of sleep, after months of round-the-clock nursing or bottle feeding

Almost every day has, tucked within it, the first fruits of more precious promises yet to come.  If your heart's eyes have been half-closed, how much you miss!

First fruits are sweet.

First fruits are special.  They are kind of holy.

And here's the thing:  They don't have to be "sown" or "sacrificed" in order to get more.

I mean, feel free to share the joy...but let that be the real reason you share.  Because sharing is so dang fun.

Because first things are not for sowing or sacrificing...they are for savoring and celebrating.

Here is how I savored my first fruits today:

($3 infinity scarf from Target - no link available, you just have to check the "dollar bins" at the front of your local store..."Mimi's Nest" ring from Melody Joy necklace and fabric cuff (it has the one word "summer" embroidered on it - which in my world is the synonym for "happy") are my own design - available for purchase)

(cilantro blossoms in a thrifted pitcher - unknown source.  Soy candle from Target.  Original art by my new next door neighbor and son-in-love Jonathan Howe...)

(when you clip the blossom-heads from your basil, and the stems aren't long enough for anything else, but you really want to be able to enjoy those tiny "first fruits" them in either an old Coke Life bottle {that's how I roll, usually} OR a vintage bulb-forcing-vase like this one here...which if you get there, and it is sold, I apologize in advance...because it's pulling on me like you. can't. believe.)

I want to gently prompt you to have a plan for celebrating this summer's little "firsts".  Every person reading this will experience them.

Please notice it, when you do.  Please come back and share with me how you savored them.
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