Monday, April 10, 2017

how high-fives & parties could help us all

Hearts that are hurting and big disappointment for the way life is turning out and confusion and boredom and other hard stuff. Life is a bummer sometimes. I get it. 

But I also know there are trees who's branches bloom flowers. There are ladies who are leaving the sex industry and getting to know Jesus as their closest friend. The sun is shining today. The clouds are moving like they know what they're doing and they feel peace about it. The Maker of life is good and He loves us.  

There's plenty of hope to go around, enough for all of us to get handfuls and heartfuls, and hope likes hanging balloons up above doorways. So that's what I've been doing. 

Celebration seems to sort of step on the pain and disappointment and squish it down a little so it doesn't seem so big and have so much say-so as to how you feel. So I've been celebrating. 

God likes celebrating. He likes celebrating visitors and little changes happening in our hearts and friendship and thoughtfulness and you and me. I don't think He hesitates before handing out high-fives or inviting a friend out to her favorite restaurant or buying a present for someone who's sad. He's eager to love us big and loving big sometimes involves celebration. 

The more thankful my heart becomes, the more I want to celebrate. I'm thinking life should be full of celebration. Daily parties. Celebrating doesn't mean we have to pretend like the hurt and bad and dark isn't there, it means we face it and just decide to cheer anyway. When we know there's a Being stronger and bigger than all of the hurt and bad and dark, we get to celebrate. 

Sadness isn't a stranger to me. I cry sad cries several times a week. I'm still homesick. I still sometimes sit around wishing I was better than what I am. During my time with God today, I got distracted and started googling brownie recipes. Last night, I was laying in the floor crying because I miss my family so bad and continuing life 8,000 miles away from them seemed like more than I could chew. 

But tonight, with my new Hong Kong family, we made a banner out of newspaper and marker that said, "CELEBRATE." We blew up a couple balloons, made an awesome dinner, baked brownies, and celebrated that God is our dad and provides for us. It was like a birthday party minus the birthday and it was fun. And it felt like He was proud of us.  

 I can find about 85,696,879 reasons to celebrate as I look around my life. I have a new washing machine because people on the other side of the planet believe in what God's doing with my life in Hong Kong and give me money (thank you, everybody). I'm living the life I dreamed about living for 10 years. I have more than enough of everything I need. My boss is also my black sister and BFF. I live in a wonderful home that I got to decorate with funny cool stuff. I'm watching God do what He wants to do inside of people's hearts and it's beautiful. God is my dad. I could keep going for a super long time. But I'll stop. 

Celebrating helps my perspective be more like God's and less like a sad little crumple crying on the floor because she's homesick.

I don't know what sort of things happen in your life to make you crumple in the floor, or maybe you don't crumple, but just live every day in a fairly boring routine and don't feel much joy about it. If you're in any kind of place that feels ugh and stuck, I bet if you looked around, you could find some reasons to celebrate. 

Let's do it. 
Let's hang up some just-because celebration banners, blow up some balloons, high-five the thoughtfully-designed person next to us, 
invite our friends over and bake their favorite dessert for them, cheer when we see how pretty the moon looks tonight, and then thank God we're alive.

"It's one of the big things. People don't stop and celebrate enough. 
I bet Heaven is full of balloons."

-Cindy Torres, 
missionary serving rescued kids in Thailand & 
one of my closest friends