An Extra Day

I hope you’ve realized that in 2008 we all get one extra day and that day is tomorrow, February 29.  It’s still a couple hours away here in Idaho. I hope you plan to spend it well. I’m going to rummage around getting tax stuff together, and then I’m going to go to lunch with some old friends and do a little catching up. It’s a leap-year luncheon.

Leap year reflects the character of our good and gracious God: He messes with us.

Some months have thirty days, some have thirty-one, and February only has 28, except once every four years when He throws in an extra day to make up for the yearly time lost when the 365 1/4  days are reckoned as only 365 days. (And, in case you are interested, leap year is always a year that is exactly divisible by four or four hundred.)

So enjoy your extra day. Spring is coming to our house. The snow has melted (mostly) and the gravel is being swept from the roads. It’s looking clean and organized outside and making me want to get my own house in order. We had a real winter, and now my hopes are up that we will have a real spring, complete with sunshine and warm breezes.

But there’s something else in this extra day business. Isn’t each day really a bonus day? God preserves us and gives us each one, wrapped as a gift. This should be reason to pause and reflect a bit. How many days has God given us already? How many more are there?

This morning Bekah called to tell me that last night was quite remarkable at their house. Jemima came into her room in the night and woke her. “Mommy, my arm is hurt.” “Oh, honey, I’m sorry,” Bekah said half-asleep. “And there is smoke and sparks in my room.” With that, Bekah roused herself and got out of bed. The kids’ room is right next door. Bekah found smoke in the hall, and little Jemma’s comforter on the top bunk was actually on fire. Real flames and lots of smoke. Bekah grabbed the comforter off the bed and dashed it into the bathroom sink and turned on the water, putting out the flames. Then she hollered to Ben, and they opened windows and aired the place out. The little reading lamp that clamped onto Jemma’s headboard was melted. It hadn’t even been on when they put her to bed. That must have been what had burned her arm and caused her to wake up. The other four children quietly slept in their beds through all the hubbub. Jemma has a little blister and a bandaid on her arm.

Yes, I believe in guardian angels. Yes, I believe God numbers our days. Yes, I believe He hears us when we pray. And, yes, He has given each of us this day.  Every day is a bonus day. And I must tell you that I am mighty thankful.

Many blessings to you all on this extra day. Is it appropriate to say Merry Leap Year?

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11 thoughts on “An Extra Day

  1. Yipes. Scary stuff for Jemima & Co. Rejoicing in the wakeful mercies of the one who slumbers not!

    I’m fond of Leap Year Day because it’s exactly 6 months from my birthday, so I only get a half-birthday once every four years. Tomorrow (today, really) is my 10th such, which I indeed find to be quite a merry thing!

  2. My favorite Chesterton quote shows that he agreed with you, Nancy (as do I):

    Here dies another day
    During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
    And the great world around me;
    And with tomorrow begins another.
    Why am I allowed two?

    – G.K. Chesterton

    Many blessings to you in return ~ and Merry Leap Day! =)

  3. Thank you, Heavenly Father! He is indeed good and gracious!

    I don’t think I would say that ‘He messes with us.’ I’m not sure what you meant by that – but that statement brings very negative connotations to my mind. Someone who ‘messes with me’ is changeable and therefore not dependable. I equate that phrase with teasing and taunting.

    Feeling like I know you from your writing – I am confident that you meant to convey something entirely different. What does that phrase mean to you?

  4. Praise God for his protection of Jemma and company! (Is it Jemma, Jemima, or both?)

    Leap Day always makes me think of the paradox song from the comic operetta “The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert & Sullivan. I’ve got a YouTube clip of the song posted at my bloghere.

  5. Each day is a bonus day indeed. Little ones are very much proof that we live only because angels protect us through God’s will. Every day little things happen, the TV doesn’t fall, the child gets caught a moment before falling, the car stays safely on the road. Life in denial of God would be panic-inducing indeed.

  6. I was on my way out this weekend to get head-board mounted reading lights for my 3 sons newly painted and spiffed up bedroom . After reading your post, I’ve decided to get them all wall mounted lights. Thanks for that!
    I’m glad your babies are all safe!
    Now they have one of those big stories to tell of how well they were all protected.

  7. Ruth Ann,
    Glad you asked. What I was saying is that God seems to enjoy throwing us the curve ball, being unpredictable in a good way. He gives us twelve months, but they are different lengths; and every four years He throws in a another day for good measure. Sometimes we have a mild winter, sometimes a hard one; some years spring is early, and other years late. He does not confine Himself to the neat, tidy box. That’s all I meant. And when we try to be the super-organized, keep everything exactly “so,” we are not always imitating our perfect Heavenly Father who delights in the surprise.

  8. well, first of all,thanks for sharing the story of jemima’s happy escape, and yes i do believe in guardian angels!

    secondly, i have been mightily convicted of late in the matter of time stewardship. it seems God gives me so much, so many wonderful ideas about how to spend my time- things to invest my and my children’s lives in… but then i instead fritter that time away in pursuits that are sooo much less worthy. it makes me sad. and i wish i could be as productive and “complete” a i think He intended me to be. if you have a second and the Lord brings me to mind… would you mind shooting up a quick prayer for me in this regard?

    thanks so much… and give that chile with the band-aided-arm a ((hug)) from me:-)

  9. Thank you, Nancy- for taking the time to write. As I sat, wondering what I have been doing, and second-guessing the way I have spent my time, I have been convicted yet again. The Lord led me here today and has given my thoughts direction. I thank the Lord for you and using you for his glory.

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