.... And the best use of life is LOVE.
I want to LOVE and love HARD. That's my heart's desire. I truly believe the best way to use my life is to LOVE; to love GOD and to love OTHERS.
I just read Day 16 in The Purpose Driven life and it spoke exactly into my life today.
I realized a few days ago that meeting with the girls on Saturdays just isn't enough. Some of them really want to connect during the week. I opened our little centre on Wednesday and was pretty amazed at how many people just dropped in to see me once they realized I was inside. I had a group of young girls from the local primary school walk by and ask if I would play some games with them. I had some other young women ask how my day was. I had a couple girls show up early for our weekly bible study. Then I had one of my young ladies come just wanting to chat. Since it was late, we didn't have a ton of time but, by the way she sounded, I knew we needed to meet again this week just to chat.
So today I went to Kongowea early with Kelvin. It was pretty boring. Kelvin and I bickered over who plays sudoku better and then went on to a mean game of UNO. I was just about to give up and go home when my lady walked in.
I opened our centre next door and got right to asking her what is going on. Well, two hours later we were still chatting. I listened mostly actually. I listened to the crazy things that have happened to her this week. I listened to her as she explained to me how hurt she was when both her parents passed away. I listened as talked about the things she is learning about God (Allah, to her). I listened to her as she tried to explain to me how to make samosas. I did very little talking which, if you ask my husband, is abnormal for me. As we closed up and we went our separate ways, she said, "Thanks Nikole. At least I feel more relaxed now."
I got home and opened my book and read all about LOVE and how the BEST expression of love is giving up some of my time - time that I could be making more money for myself or indulging in self pleasures - and focusing my attention on someone else, forgetting for a little while about myself, my needs, my problems, my wants, my desires, me.
Like I said above, I was about to give up and go home. I thought I would rather be sitting at home on my computer than wasting time in Kongowea. But I waited until she showed up and I am so glad I did.
I really LOVE my girls. I so do. I need to give them more of my time.
Just want to tell you a funny story.
The other week, our topic with the girls was dating. It had come up in one of our conversations a few weeks back and I thought we should explore it better. I asked the girls, "What does dating look like in your community? As in, what are some things you and your boyfriend do?"
One girl piped up, "We exchanged phones."
A little confused, I correct her, "You exchange phone numbers?" thinking she had a problem with english.
"No, we trade phones. I give him my phone and he gives me his."
I started to giggle. "Ok, so why do you do that?"
"You know, so we can admire each others photos and songs on the phones."
I guess its a big thing here like going out for dinner and a movie with your boyfriend back home. Well, that's how my girls do it!!!