Let me set the scene. I am tucked away in the corner of the cutest coffee shop you ever did see. There is a large, iced white chocolate mocha sitting next to me. I have my favorite pink pen in hand, and I am writing away in my spiral notebook. On the table around me are no less than seven wadded up balls of paper, because I am too lazy to get up each time I have to start over and the trashcan is too far away for me to pretend to be Michael Jordan.
When Annie presented me with the opportunity to write something for the blog, I knew it was going to be about celebrating - I just didn’t know which direction it was going to go. I could talk about confidence and insecurities. For a long time, I worried that I would be too much for people or be seen as the obnoxious loud girl that came in like a wrecking ball (your homegirl here is loud!). I could talk about my passion for celebrating and give you ten reasons why you should also be obsessed with celebrating. Shoot, I could even teach you how to celebrate. However, none of these seemed right.
So what if we do this instead? Grab your favorite coffee - or tea as some of my friends believe is the better choice - and take a seat with me here in this coffee shop, because I would love to share how I became completely obsessed with celebrating.
I used to believe that celebrating translated to a party or an event. I thought if I was celebrating something then it needed to be planned and executed perfectly. When my firstborn turned one, it obviously needed to be celebrated; so, I did what every overwhelmed, busy mom would do. I had a carnival in my backyard on the exact day that the sun decided to move so close to the earth that you could hear the sweat sizzle, as it boiled on your skin. I’ve pulled almost all nighters with my sister trying to get details together for parties. I’ve spent countless hours trying to pull off an elaborate event so that people would feel truly celebrated. I forced myself to believe that all of the work and stress was worth it. I even had myself convinced I was enjoying every second of it.
That was until Jesus rocked my world and took me on a journey that changed the way I view celebrating forever.
It all started when, one day when I was reading my Bible, I came across Zephaniah 3:17. I read it once. Then, I read through it again, and then I had to read it a third time. Let’s read it together, because it makes me giddy every single time.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Anyone want to guess what another word for rejoice might be? Yep, “celebrate”. I didn’t make that up. It’s even in the thesaurus.
Let’s switch that word up and read it again.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will celebrate over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Listen, I have loved the Lord my entire life. I have never doubted his love and sacrifice for me or you. But to read that he celebrates me - that shook me. The King of the entire universe - the one that died on the cross so that every other human could live - the one that spoke the universe into existence. He doesn’t just love me, but he celebrates me.
This realization sent me down a rabbit hole of figuring out what this meant, because honestly I was a little confused. The Lord doesn’t throw elaborate parties for me (Although, I'm pretty pumped about the marriage supper of the Lamb, even though that party isn't about me). Also, if you want to celebrate someone, you need to throw an event, right? Well, let me tell ya, I've never been more excited about being wrong in my entire life!
John 10:10 in The Message tells us that God came so that we might have life more and better than we ever imagined.
More and better than we ever imagined. A life like that seems as if it would be full of reasons to celebrate. Sure there will be big events worthy of big celebrations, but I believe that there is just as much joy in the little moments of celebration. That belief has provided me more freedom than I realized I needed.
While there is a time and a place for big elaborate celebrations full of fun I am learning that most of the time celebrating looks a lot like everyday life if we allow it.
Dance parties over Marco Polo when your friend finally pays off another chunk of debt she’s been working so hard to do.
Grabbing a blanket and a few root beers and heading outside to look up at the stars because your kiddo aced their spelling test.
Complimenting strangers in an effort to celebrate the beauty that God designed in them.
Driving around town with the windows down and worship music cranked up in celebration of the long awaited sunshine.
Maybe even taking a deep breath after that first sip of coffee in the morning as you celebrate the fact that God’s grace is more than enough to get you through the tough day ahead.
Celebrations can look like big elaborate events, ice cream dates at the park, kitchen dance parties, Taco Tuesday with the girls, and even a prayer of thanks to the Creator of all things worthy of celebration.
Not only did God let me know that he chooses to celebrate me, he also taught me that there are moments sprinkled throughout the mundane that are worthy of celebration. Friend, I think he wants you to learn the same.
He didn’t come to earth for us to walk through life bored. He came so that we could have a life more and better than we ever imagined. That doesn’t mean you have to celebrate the same way I do. You might not be one that enjoys a good dance party in the kitchen and that’s okay. Maybe your celebration looks more like a hike as you take in the beauty of His creation. Maybe it is a one on one coffee date with a close friend as you share all the incredible things God is doing in your life.
If you don’t have a clue what to celebrate or where to start, I suggest doing exactly what Philipians 4:4 says: “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!” Make Joel 2:21 your life mission: “Be glad and celebrate! God has done great things.” Grab your people and let Psalms 32:11 become your new favorite activity: Celebrate God. Sing together—everyone! All you honest hearts, raise the roof!”
Friend, once you start celebrating God, you might just realize how much he truly celebrates you. Then maybe...just maybe...you might have new eyes to see all the opportunities to celebrate on a random Thursday afternoon. At least that is my prayer.
Let the celebrating begin!