When You Need a Leap Day!

When You Need a Leap Day!

Turns out, we all need a “Leap Day” …a “Leap Year” to realign.  NASA explains it this way…

“The reason for adding leap days to the calendar is to align the calendar year with the actual year – which is defined by the time it takes Earth to circle the sun. It is equal to 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds, or 365.24219 days.

If all calendar years contained exactly 365 days, they would drift from the actual year by about 1 day every 4 years. Eventually, July would occur during the northern hemisphere winter! Wouldn’t that be weird?

To correct (approximately), we add 1 day every 4 years…resulting in a leap year.”

(Article from NASA :  NASA — Leap Day…Why Does it exist? )

I’ve just spent some time again in South Carolina with my Mama.  Something about being with her realigns my calendar …my compass …what really matters.  She’s lived and loved for 92 years!  At least 50 of those years were spent as a pastor’s wife and before that a farmer’s daughter and even more importantly, a Shepherd’s daughter in the family of God.

Being with her is like being suspended between heaven and earth…a sense of holy ground.  She lives here while longing for there.  She’s had to let go of her home place, most of her possessions and much of her independence.   After working so hard all of her life to nurture and help others, she’s finding herself dependent on the hands and feet of others for daily living.

My Mom and I with my niece, Marla Abbott, my “grand” niece, Lexi, and my brother, David Waters.

She’s given her seven children wings to fly wherever God was directing and has never regretted that — knowing that holding them too closely would most surely suffocate real living.

Her favorite lines in all the world are “The best is yet to come,” “God is gracious,” and “may the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and give you peace,” …along with “Mama loves you bunches and bunches.”

Mom embracing more Joy into the family!

Her conversation is not wasted in complaining or bitterness or regret.  She just enjoys the moment with you and looks to Jesus in the middle of it all.  Her conversations breathe blessings and prayers, Scriptures and songs.  Every day is a gift…a day to encourage others …a day to smile and sing, pray and lean into Jesus a little more.

She may not be aware of the calendar but she is very aware of the faces and voices of the people around her.

From that place of reference, this Leap Year reminds me even more  that we’ve been given an extra day — a day of grace …a day for  course-correction so we don’t drift too far away …a day to realign and reflect on the days ahead and press “restart” from the stuff of yesterday.  No waste. No want. Everything has purpose to accomplish the work it came to do.

Lean into today.  Enjoy the moment you’re given right now.  Love deeply.  Linger in God’s presence and with others.  Don’t rush through life.  Isn’t it true that we all get to the same stop sign eventually?  Why rush!?

Give freely.  Our stuff will be sorted and sold when our time on earth is finished.  Share it now.  Others will be blessed and your family will thank you later!

We all get a day of grace.  Breathe in this grace and breathe out blessings on others.  God has given today.  We don’t know about tomorrow.  Live in the moment we’ve been given.  Make the most of it.

And may this Leap Year be a year to leap into the path and purpose God has placed in your heart.  If you’re a writer …write!  If you’re a decorator …decorate.  If you’re an engineer …engineer!  If you’re a mom or dad …parent!  If you’re a speaker …speak.  If you’re a swimmer …swim!  If you’re a dancer …dance!  If you’re a teacher …teach! If you’re a builder …build!  If you fix things …fix things!  If you’re a gardener …garden!  If you’re creative …create!  If you’re a nurturer …nurture!  If you’re a cook …by all means cook!

Let your dreams be known today.  May the bush you’re hiding behind become a burning bush setting aflame the gift within you — for all to see the glory of God –igniting the gifts in all who stand near.

“…fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

II Timothy 1:6-7 (NLT)

May it be a Leap of faith from where you’ve been sitting on the edge in fear.  Lean in.  Leap forward.  Don’t let fear weigh you down another day.  This is a day to release that fear and fly.  Consider it a “free pass” day.  The old has passed — the new has come.

Happy Leap Day!  Happy Leap Year 2016!

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. flt

    … Received… 😉

  2. mariegriffith

    I love hearing about your beautiful Mom. So glad you were able to spend time with her and other family recently!

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      I know you understand well, Marie! Thank you for listening 😉

  3. Bernice du Plessis

    Good morning Joy,
    What a precious time in your life. Thank you so very much for being such an encouragement to me. Loved this article on ” leap year”. Feeling really inspired and challenged. Have a great week dear friend. Hugs

    1. Bernice, you cheer all of us along the way. Thank you for your encouragement to me! Love you friend!

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