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Make Life Better – Have a Child Day

November 30, 2012

Those who have children tend to participate in their lives, but with the busy schedule many have still miss much. As the holidays approach, it’s an even busier whirlwind of activities. Take some time – even if you’re single – to be a child. Grow up? Never! Mature yes, learn yes. But don’t ever lose the sense of wonder that the world is, overall, a remarkable place both in good and bad.

Learn the wisdom of play — not just with kids. Playing brings perspective – it’s not just about work. Take time to marvel at the leaves on the trees (or all over the ground!). Try a new recipe, make something with wood. Be daring – break out finger paints and crayons! Play learning games, go to a museum, play catch or find a creative endeavor to try. Get a paint by number kit or model car kit – you can embrace your interests *and* play!

Listen to your body. Nurture that gut feeling in decisions. Pay attention to that sign of uneasiness – is it just fear or is it a warning? Weight the pros and cons of a situation. Nurture your body physically with good food, exercise and plenty of rest.

Create goals with the heart. You are unique and can often do more than you realize. Follow your heart and find a way to serve others. Evaluate your goals and nurture your dreams. Whether we believe we can do something or that we can’t, we find a way to make that right. Several years ago a young man came up and asked for some change for food. He was maybe 9 or 10, and I gave him a little change. Someone said it was foolish. I said it was foolish to deny someone food when I could make a difference because of preconceived ideas of what they might do with it. If he was dishonest it doesn’t change the honesty in helping someone with food. (And in that case, he did go in and buy food!)

Enjoy frugal extravagances, and discover it doesn’t take large amounts of money to feel rich. Perhaps a couple of pairs of warm socks, or some fresh food for a meal or a little luxury. Sometimes it’s just the time to do something you want to do, or to do nothing at all. Rest in God’s presence. or spend time with loved ones. If money is too tight to do this, make your wishes known to those at church. Give someone else an opportunity to do something for someone else. Recently I decided to take action and find a chipper shredder – I found one that was a bit of a distance away and said something on Facebook. A member of our church family had one in the garage they wanted rid of! They’d take payments and we got an item we can use but they didn’t need.

Enjoy a childhood pleasure. While many things aren’t available, perhaps you used to spend hours with friends jumping rope, or creating pictures or paper mache or a walk outside. Perhaps it’s an afternoon of reading or a trip to the zoo or fair. Indulge in a favorite childhood food – forget diets for just one day.

Be generous in life situations. This doesn’t just mean giving things away. It gives people the benefit of a doubt even when you disagree. It mirrors God’s love for us. Sharing resources of not only money but time and other resources – give an outgrown shirt to someone who would like it. Express generosity through simple acts of kindness. Pay for a friend’s meal or pay the meal for a soldier or a single mother. Leave $5 or $10 when you leave the parking garage to pay for the car or two behind you.

Hold things lightly. Especially this time of year we tend to hold *things* in high regard. We say we don’t, but the scramble for the perfect gift says otherwise. It’s not about things it’s about sharing. When we hold an object tightly, it is harder to share it. A clenched fist gets tired of holding on, but an open hand not only holds but receives. It’s give and take, and allows grace to happen. The harder you try to hold a fistful of sand the more it slips from your fingers. Value people, not things. Although many *things* have been lost in this life, it’s not missed nearly as much as the people who are no longer here.

Do what makes your heart sing – it lets the energy and joy into life. Frustrations happen but investing energy in what you love it brings perspective to those things that you don’t. For some, simply putting together a beautiful puzzle brings the pieces of life into focus too. Give yourself permission to enjoy life and embrace something you love.

Life is fleeting. Don’t waste it. Inspire others by embracing it fully. At least once a week have a “child time” to revert back and do something just for the enjoyment of doing it. You might be surprised at the results.

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