Life is hard. Life is challenging, demanding and exhausting.
However, life can be joyful, carefree, and spontaneous. It’s no wonder, though, that with all the difficulties and pressures of life we often overlook the little moments in life that we can celebrate.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to reserve celebrations for big things like birthdays, weddings, new babies, and holidays. I’ve come to the conclusion lately that if those big events are the only times we are celebrating, we are missing out on a lot of good times and blessings.
I’ve come across three situations in the last month that have led me to this conclusion.
1. My good friend and pastor’s wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. While her prognosis is positive, it is still a serious situation that she must walk through. As is to be expected, her family and friends have rallied support around her pledging to pray and encourage her throughout this journey.
2. I had someone share that her parents have been savers all of their married years. They were saving up to be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle when they retired. They had plans to travel and to enjoy life while they were still young enough and able to be on the go. Now that her father has retired, he has become content to stay home and basically do nothing but watch tv or tend to chores around the house. He is in great health but due to his inactivity is finding it hard to get around. All those years of saving up for an active retirement seem to be wasted.
3. I love Facebook birthdays. Really I do. You get to hear from people from all over wish you a happy birthday. One friend remarked after receiving hundreds of birthday greetings that she wished words of encouragement and memories of happy times would not be left just to birthdays. She said she would love it if people would encourage each other daily without any special occasion involved.
What do these three situations have in common?
They all involve waiting for an occasion to celebrate. While my friend who has breast cancer has great support, where was the support the day before she found out she had cancer? Why do we wait until someone has a serious illness to offer support and encouragement? Isn’t life hard enough to warrant encouragement every day?
For my friend’s parents who are not taking advantage of their retirement, they put off doing things and sacrificed time and money only to see it go to waste because of their choices. Why not take advantage of your retirement years? What better time to celebrate?
The same could be said for my friend and her wish for encouragement on a daily basis. Wouldn’t life be so much more joyful if we celebrated the small things and encouraged others along the way?
It’s like reserving the “good dishes” for company. Why can’t we pull them out on a Tuesday night and eat tacos on them? What’s wrong with celebrating your family “just because”?
I propose we take a step back from our busy lives and see how we can celebrate the small things in our lives. I would guess that if we were more intentional about celebrating and becoming an encourager, our life would be filled with so much joy. Our perspectives could change and what used to seem impossible could become possible.
Are you with me?
Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with that I want to implement in my own life. Maybe you’ll find a few here that will interest you.
- Get out the “good dishes”. Don’t wait for a special occasion. Celebrate your family just because.
- Make that phone call to a loved one you’ve not spoken with in a long time.
- Text a friend an encouraging message.
- If you’re really adventurous you could send a hand written note of encouragement to someone.
- Call up a friend to see how her day is going. Then listen. Don’t be in a hurry to share your thoughts and opinions.
- Surprise your husband with something he likes. A special meal, time alone, or a simple token of your affection will show him you care.
- If you don’t normally have dessert at home, make a special treat to surprise your family.
- Spend time one-on-one with your kids. Listen. Don’t lecture or give advice. Sometimes they just want to be heard.
- Create a journal to communicate with your kids.
- Practice random acts of kindness. Pay for the next person’s order in line behind you.
How do you celebrate life?