Special days, days off, holidays and religious days hold no appeal for me. Especially in the summer. Maybe because I have flashbacks of my dad mowing the lawn wearing only shorts, knee high black dress socks and wingtips on his days off. Wintery or rainy days seemed a little more special, but not very much. All in all, those ´days´ that everyone is so anxious for are anticlimactic . For me at least.
One day that I do like however is the Day of the Child here in Nicaragua (Dia del Niño). I think I like them because they are more spontaneous. No one expects a celebration. No one expects anything. When you do have an event, everyone is kind of surprised and excited We used this Dia del Niño to open the Jim Winner Home for the first time to the impoverished people living only a few hundred yards from where we live. Lord willing we will begin school here in January. Also, we are praying about putting a huge feeding center here. (Maternity to Kindergarten). We invited about 100 kids into our home for the celebration. We still had toys and gifts left over from Dawn Piardi and River Of Life. Plus we had monetary donations to buy the rest. Also David ´make a deal´ Cadia Lewites ( of www.think26.com fame ) joined us and contributed as did Amanda Sterk from the American School and her two little angels. We had two piñatas and rented a trampoline that looked like a crocodile. I would close the mouth of the crocodile when kids went in and made noises as if he were eating them. MOST (not all) kids appreciated that. Also we cooked a huge meal for everyone including the parents, and served them Glu Glus.. (my particular favorite).
That day left us broke, tired, sick (we all got colds) and happy. God is good. Kids in the barrio are still happily talking about it, and we made a lot of new friends in the neighborhood. Although the poverty here in the woods is greater than in the chureca, the people take better care of their kids. There is something overall more healthy about living in the boonies than living in the city anyway. All the kids go to school. All eat (although sometimes only low hanging fruit, crawdads and squirrels). They walk their children miles for medical attention. Most of all , whenever you walk past their house, you hear laughter. They see you, you´re invited in. Literally sometimes I have to tip toe past people to keep from getting invited for a glass of water and a conversation (sometimes I just don´t have the time). It seems like every day is an event for the squatters and people that live in the country. They accept me walking through their yards and fields because they know that the only reason I am here is because of Jesus. The only reason we do what we do is because the Love of Jesus is shed abroad in our hearts. So, not a lot of preaching, just a lot of ´showing up´ to their special days, on a daily basis. IF it´s special to them, it´s special to me. So I get invited and everyone is happy.
I think the key to enjoying life, and living a life pleasing to the Lord is to make EVERYDAY a special day. That´s what we try to instill into the children we feed and teach. When three year olds have no desire to get up and to face the day, there is definitely something wrong. That is more common with the city´s impoverished than in the country. We try to teach the kids how to make every day special in three steps. The first part of the formula in making every day a special day is to give it to the Lord. He made you, He made the day. It´s not your life. It´s not your day, so why try to horde it to yourself? The second part is just ´showing up´- 99% of the good things that happen to you in life are because you showed up. The third part is to remember that every day IS a special day. It is memorial day every day to a combat vet, because every day he remembers.. Everyday is Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving to a true believer. Every day is Friday to someone who loves his job. Everyday is Sunday to the Christian that rests in the finished work of Lord. We live in the day, not for the day. Days are marked units of Time that God created for us, to be used by us. The Bible teaches us to count our days, and I think that goes hand in hand with the old Sunday school hymn ´Count our Blessings´. Every day is a blessing, an opportunity. Many times we are so eagerly expecting a day or event in the future that we miss things that are happening in the here and now. ´Life is what happens while you are making plans´ said the late John Lennon.
Personally, the best day of my life was when I first believed in Jesus.
Here´s a picture of our Day of the Child party… with the Jim Winner Home in the background
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