Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bula!

Bula! Wishing you all health and happiness as I lift my kava cup to you on the eve before the eve of the  new year.  For those of you who have never experienced a Kava Bar or been to the Fiji  Islands where you were welcomed with the traditional ceremonial greeting, bula means Life - a blessing of health and happiness.

Kava. Life. They have a lot in common.

 Kava tastes nasty until you acquire the taste. Life can be nasty until you learn how to cope, be grateful and enjoy.

Kava makes your mouth and tongue numb for a bit. Life can sting for a bit.

Kava is a natural relaxer, made from the root of a plant related to the pepper plant. It is used for anxiety and stress. Life or shit happens. Difficult times only make us strong in character.

Kava is an alternative to alcohol. Life. It's an alternative to death.

Bula! To Life! To good health and happiness!

Cheers,
Nina

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Christmas Story


I hoped to get into the Christmas spirit by seeing "The Magi," a holiday production. I'm not much of a holiday person. 

I placed my filled out entry form into the bucket and passed it over to my friend sitting next to me in the theatre. "I never win anything," And if I do, it's never for me! Years ago I was at a Christmas party where everyone was winning grand prizes like TV's, sound systems, large baskets of scrumptious delicacies and what do I win? Two gallons of paint!" But that is a Christmas story past where I gave the paint to a friend  of a friend who had just lost his job and was in the middle of painting his home when he ran out of paint. Guess what colors he needed. You got it - the same colors as I had won! It was one of my first experiences being a link within God's little miracles.

The prizes today were several books, the Action Bible (I really wanted that) and the grand prize, a voucher worth $300 for Word of Life Summer Camp, a popular camp and retreat known all over the nation. I've heard amazing testimonies from high school and college students how this place positively impacted and changed their lives.

It seemed an odd time to draw names of winners during intermission because you had to be present to win.  My luck, I'd be in the restroom when my name was called. But I wasn't!  I stood as my name was drawn for the grand prize!  I tried to act excited but in truth, I thought, "Crap, now I have to find time to figure out who to give this to. I just moved here, I don't know anyone." 

My friends congratulated me and asked who I was going to give this to. I said I guess I could ask around at church, but I would have to pray about it. After contemplating what I thought was an imposition, I suddenly felt the need to turn around. Behind me sat a mom who was pointing at me and a daughter staring.  The mom seemed embarrassed because she was caught pointing and all I could say was, "What?".   She explained to me, she was just speaking with her daughter about the camp prize.  She told her not to give up. "Look how close you've come to winning," which is when she pointed at me. 

 It seems her daughter has been trying to go to this camp for a few years. They had hoped and prayed this year would be it, but there wasn't a way to fit it in the budget. "Hmm," I mumbled as I eyed them each suspiciously. "Let me pray about this," which I did in my head as I talked with them some more.  

I interrupted them at some point and announced, "I would like to give you the camp voucher.  I believe God wants you to go. Merry Christmas!" Well, mama had tears and the daughter was ecstatic, thanking me over and over. " Really?" she repeated several times. Everyone around me claimed they had goose-bumps. (probably from the spirit of Christmas!)


"You know," I told them.  "This is a double whammy of God's greatness. I too, was praying. You see, for months people have been giving to me while I recoup from cancer and I want to be able to be the giver again." 

Thanks Crystal and Aurora.  This is one of the best gifts I've ever received and have given.  That night, I went home and put up some Christmas lights while the spirit of Christmas shone bright.