Have you attended a party lately? Maybe a wedding or a bridal shower? An anniversary party or birthday fete? I appreciate very much people who understand how to celebrate and do it well.
I have a friend who’s family parties are awesome. I have gladly attended a few of them. The food is scrumptious and generous. The atmosphere is fun and festive. They sing. They really do – they are very talented. They talk. They laugh. They enjoy each other’s company. You leave their festivities wanting more.
Although we don’t have parties to attend every day, shouldn’t we be practicing the art of celebration in our every day lives? I saw a quote yesterday on social media that I’ve seen floating around before. I can’t remember it word for word, but the gist of it was that it’s not the big decisions that count, it is what is done in the everyday. Or something like that.
I’m also seeing people listing three things to be thankful for everyday for a five day challenge or something. A couple of years ago, I did a Year of Thankfulness on social media for two years. (If you are my friend you can see the albums). Anyway I learned a lot from practicing gratitude. I slowed down. I particpated in the moments of my day.
Like forgetting the party the day after, we forget gratitude. We forget to be intentional in our lives. We forget to celebrate the everyday!
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster week here in the Willcock household. Today is a new day. We survived a couple of hiccups in the week. I felt grateful. His mercies are new every morning. I wanted to celebrate those moments by being thankful for them and intentional in remembering them. Taking them off the shelf to really explore them.
These are the three moments I’m celebrating:
1. I suddenly have Tweens in my house! It’s come about slowly but it knocked Mark and I off our feet these last couple of weeks. It crept up in the form of music. We do let our boys listen to some secular music. Don’t judge. We carefully screen it. The last few weeks they have wanted to download some questionable music. We said no. They got upset with us. Why am I celebrating this? Because it gave us the opportunity to have some great conversations with them! As in: You are our treasure. It’s our job to keep you safe and that means not just physically but spiritually, and mentally too. AND: just because the label says Christian doesn’t mean it is. Just saying. The answer is still no.
2. My son went to dive camp this week. He loves to dive and is fearless. It didn’t turn out like we hoped. Some conflict. I handed the baton to my husband to handle this. He’s a master at it (because he’s a pastor. Just kidding…no I’m really not. But I digress.) Mark is superb handling conflict and he was dealing with another who is also very good at it. As a result, all parties concerned were able to tell their stories. It was a win for everyone when it could have been the very opposite. My son had a grown up decision to make and we had to let him make it. Why am I celebrating this awkward moment in our lives? Because conflict when it’s handled with integrity and honesty can be a beautiful moment of learning for all of us. My son learned this in a tiny way this week. I witnessed him put aside his ego and make a decision that was hard and required humility. Not easy for an eleven year old.
3. While the oldest was at camp, today it was just me and his little brother. We had groceries to buy. I was enjoying him but my irritation was also growing by the time we hit the check out. I’m not the most patient person. He was trying to fill the bag while hanging onto it and dropped it. My left eye started to twitch and there may have been a bit of sharpness to my comment. Why celebrate this mommy fail moment? In steps the cashier. An older woman. I stepped up to pay and she says to me, “He’s a great help to you isn’t he?” I looked at her. Had she not seen him drop the bag? I looked at her smile. It reached out and slapped me on the forehead. The irritation drained from me.
“Yes, he is.” I smiled back. Then I turned to my youngest and taught him how to fill the bag by putting it on the conveyor belt. A few well timed words deserve some celebration.
What about you? What moments are you savouring today? What has you excited that it’s a new day? How do you practice celebration? I’d love to hear your celebration stories!