There is just something about the fall. September through November consistently brings massive shifts. Fun fact- September is the start of the Jewish new year! As a foster care family, most of our foster placements have happened this time of year and that always brings change.
The Fall appears like a bonus pre-new years on my calendar each year. I am one of those who asks God for a “word of the year” each January. In 2023, my word of the year was “celebrate”.
Sounds lively doesn’t it? I'm instantly in this place in my mind... Confetti. Glitter. All the things.
If we hung out you would quickly discover that I love celebrations. I love holidays and birthday parties, and making a big deal out of small things.
Celebration requires us to slow down and recognize the good and make an announcement of gratitude. When we celebrate, we are not only grateful on the inside, but our lives look like it too.
God likes to party...
I'm a fan of a theme, and a party- but let's not limit the party to when our child turns a year older, or a scheduled holiday on the calendar.
Celebration is not only fun, but it's also something that helps us (as well as our kids) grow to be more like their creator God. He is a God who loves to celebrate! In Genesis(the first book in the Bible) even God rested to reflect on how "good" His creation was.
Choices and disciplines that make us more like God are called spiritual disciplines. Celebration is actually a spiritual discipline! Maybe you're familiar with having a routine of thinking of what you are thankful for this time of year. Well, celebration takes gratitude one step further - it is gratitude in action. An action that we can enjoy passing on to our children.
Perhaps you celebrate your morning by kissing your children. Maybe you celebrate being alive by showering and honoring the body God gave you. Maybe you take the time to write a note to your hubby and sneak it in his car before he leaves for work to celebrate your love.
What value would be added to your simple everyday activities and obligations if we view them as celebrations?
Ideas to put this into action:
1. At the dinner table share your highs (best part of your day) and lows (challenges you faced)
To model this, parents will say theirs first. Find something worth celebrating (your high) then a challenging low. It doesn't have to be a "BIG" deal, just anything that is a sunny spot in the day. Personally, our foster kiddos have always enjoyed doing this. It's a consistent way for your children to feel known, seen, and heard and they love the daily sharing.
2. Choose a wall or place on your fridge as a “Celebration Board” (the one pictured above lives in my office at the church)
Keep sticky notes nearby and write down the “simple celebrations” that happen on them and place them on the wall/fridge. At the end of each month, read off all the things as a family that happened that may have been forgotten. You can marry this with the Highs and Lows and track your highs on the celebration board. I love to make a big deal out of reading them and pause and dance between each one as we remember the “GOODNESS” of life.
3. Make a playlist of songs that remind you to have a heart of gratitude
I have especially used this for my mornings. It's like as soon as I wake up, I have to already catch the negative thoughts that want me to complain. I turn on my playlist and remind my heart that today is a day that God has made, and I will live it with celebration and gratitude for my God.
What if you lived each day like a celebration? This last year, we had many lows in our family- but the sunshine can outweigh the dark. Lets make this life a party. It's too short not to enjoy it!
And don't forget the confetti and sprinkles 😉😉