Happy Summer Everyone! Can you believe we are in July already?!
May and June came and went with many celebrations for Moms and Dads, graduates, newly weds, and new babies who entered the world. These last two months for me have even included a Luau with dear friends in my backyard (JCC!), along with lots of friends and family who came to visit us. Ceremonies were held, gifts were given, pigs were roasted (and tasty thanks to Michael V!), and people near and far gathered to celebrate. It was a beautiful sight to see balloons of every shade and color lining gazebos in parks and backyards as families welcomed guests to their celebrations.
The bright McDonald’s marquee near my neighborhood that congratulated all of their employees who graduated this year blew me away; others may not have noticed, but my heart was happy for those who graduated. I saw managers who were proud of their staff’s accomplishments and weren’t afraid to let them know in a big way. My new small town definitely has a BIG heart.
But celebrating isn’t just about the decorations, or big signs of congrats. Celebrating in community is about people.
The ones with the cap and gown,
the ones off to bootcamp,
the ones with shiny rings on their fingers,
the ones with sweet babies in their arms,
the ones who we dedicate special days to,
the ones who overcame obstacles and still lived to tell the story,
it’s about those who’ve faced adversity and persevered through it,
it’s about those who cheered from the bleachers and sidelines and church pews,
it’s about those who traveled far and wide to blast air horns and throw confetti and decorate,
it’s about those who load up in cars to spend the days ahead prepping and the days after cleaning up.
Celebrating is about you and me. Celebrating is about us.
Friends, too often we ( I really mean, me), get sidetracked and think celebrating life and events are just things on the To-Do List. Fact: Celebrating others isn’t about packing out a calendar to keep ourselves busy. We GET to celebrate the little victories and huge accomplishments because we have been given opportunities to love and encourage each other. Plain & Simple. It’s a way to mark the moments of time we’ve been given with the beautiful people we know and love. Be it days, months, or years, we have reason to cheer and reason to demonstrate love. If you’ve read up to this point, I guarantee that you are feeling the same as me friend. I want us to live lives that remembers this often; this life is more than just about the events listed on the calendar or the stuff around us-it’s about the people who surround us and those that we get to surround. This life is about how we can utilize the gifts we’ve been given to bless and uplift those within our community, so that we can make lasting change in this world that is motivated by love.
As we head into more celebrations this week, let’s remember those who we get to share life with. Let’s remember those who have walked in deep waters with us and who show up every time to celebrate with us. Let’s remember those who we can count on for those late night phone calls, and those who pour so much wisdom into our lives and into the lives of our loved ones. Let’s offer thanks for those who chose to serve and protect us-without even knowing us- and for those who sacrifice so we can live in peace. Yes, the celebrations are wonderful, but the people we share them with are remarkable, and we can’t forget to be grateful for their presence in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, You are so good. You are so kind to us by giving us a new day to live out and amazing people to share it with. Lord, we are so thankful today for Your great love and for Your presence in our lives. God, You commanded us to love others as You have loved us (John 15:12 NIV). Unconditionally, wholeheartedly, compassionately. This is the goal we choose to strive for today. We desire to live lives that demonstrate your love to others whether it be in simple daily life or in times of great celebration. Lord, help us to make the most of every opportunity that you give us-to love others and serve others, and to share our gratitude with them when we have the chance. We don’t want to squander the time You’ve given us and the opportunities You provide for us to show true love. Help us Lord, to remember that this life is about more than the daily grind and busy schedules- this life is about loving others as You dreamed us to – in the times of celebration, in the times that are tough, and all the times inbetween. Thank You Lord for reminding us of this truth in Your Word:
Go The Extra Mile:
Check out this song from Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. It’s one of my favorites! If you ever get the chance to see them live, do it! You won’t be disappointed!