Yesterday was just another Wednesday: clothesline hanging, gas bottle delivering, teatime singing, multi-lingual praying, water fetching, baby snuggling, spinach scooping, juice holding, GoGo kissing, and plate passing. In the middle of all of those exciting verbs was yet another exchange of hello’s and goodbyes.
People are always passing through Ten Thousand Homes. They come; they give; they join with their whole hearts in the work and in the lives we are all investing in together. And then many of them have to go. We hug; we become facebook friends; they say goodbye to us and to part of their hearts – completely lost for His Kingdom and those beautiful brown faces they’ve gazed into during their stay.
It was Brittany’s first day out yesterday – fresh out of Texas, she got her first look at the people who will change her life forever.
It was Connie’s last week, and she began her encouraging goodbye speeches.
Avelina’s got another month and is just beginning to let her roots go deep.
Cruiser, Ruth and Sarah had to say their hello’s and goodbye’s at the same time – here for only a week, they came armed with lollipops, zeal and Truth.
I get to tell them the stories of who the children were two years ago and who they are now. I get to FINALLY prove to Connie that Kevin and Given DO laugh. But even more significantly to me, I get to see the seeds planted by each visitor, each new extension of the TTH family. I get to be a part of the cultivating, watering and weeding. I get to send pictures, post blogs and beg them to come back to see the harvest.
I’m blown away this week by those seeds. By those hands and those hearts that come, in their perfect seasons for planting. The Body of Christ is rising up, and today I feel like celebrating that.
Today I’m remembering the 2+ years of celebrations, always with a TTH visitor contributing to the moment and the memory. It matters and it makes a difference.
I think it’s time to enter a season to celebrate THAT.
Is it too much to celebrate celebrating?
I see the seeds of celebrating you’ve planted rising up.
Some of you who are reading this have been here and celebrated these beautiful people alongside us.
Others of you have been part of my life and invited me into yours to celebrate with you – weddings, birthdays, babies, graduations, jobs, or maybe a really good sno-cone.
Some of you I might not even know. But that makes me celebrate BIGTIME that you’d read and join along with me without having ever met me face to face. Thank you!
Celebration seeds, scattered by your unique hands and from the fruits of your unique roots, are being harvested.
Celebrating calls out the good. Celebrating demands joy – even when life is hard.
We know where joy comes from.
I’m becoming a serial celebrator. I bake a ridiculous amount of cakes weekly. Droves of children come up to me to report birthdays and accomplishments, counting on a high-five, a hug, a kiss, a victory dance… and hoping for a cake or maybe a balloon. In this culture, celebrating is a luxury that usually falls to the very bottom of the priority list. Cake is out of the question. Shoot, toilet paper is usually out of the question.
But I love birthdays. I can’t resist them. I carry around candles and matches in my backpack… just in case. Birthdays are a just-because-you’re-here celebration. Celebrating the very existence of someone. They didn’t have to do anything to have a birthday. But it’s a celebration. It’s a celebrating of a part of God’s creation He poured His best craftsmanship into.
Blow out your candles and make a wish… You have something to hope for.
Some kids have never blown out candles. (I’m working on that.)
Some kids have never had to make a wish. They’ve never even known how.
I’m believing in a whole culture of those formally-known-as-orphans being celebrated in Family, around a big chocolate cake with sprinkles.
I’m believing in inflated, smiling cheeks breathing hope over those heavenly candles as His Kingdom Comes.
…on earth as it is in Heaven…
So let’s make this Birthday Week! I want to share a few hope-breathed stories with you – with a little bit of icing on top.