So I guess I need to ask myself a few questions. . .
How can I celebrate life more? How can I celebrate and enjoy life that will show the goodness and greatness of God to others? How can I teach my children to have a heart that celebrates?
I thought of a couple ways to do more celebrating and less. . . glooming. . .
Five Ways to Incorporate Celebration into Life
1. Don't be afraid or feel guilty for doing things you enjoy!
For me, I enjoy taking trips with my loves. Day trips, weekend trips, vacations. I love it! It doesn't even have to be a super special or unique place. Just going somewhere is enjoyable. I ruin the enjoyment when I let guilt creep in. . .guilt of spending money (even if we saved for the trip), guilt of leaving behind the needs of others at our church, guilt for being "frivolous" with our time. I must stop this! It takes the enjoyment out of time with my family exploring God's amazing creation.
2. Incorporate celebration into family traditions and holidays.
My mother-in-law delighted in celebrating her children as they grew. When birthdays came around (and the calendar is quite full in May), she would decorate a chair of honor for the birthday boy or girl and make the meal of their choice for dinner. It might seem little, but it's sometimes the little things that make a big impact.
3. Practice hospitality . . . with food.
There's not much that is more delicious and wonderful than food, except maybe food with friends. Invite people over and dine with them. Celebrate life by enjoying food, Jesus, conversation, and laughter. Ask questions. Be delighted by what God is doing in the lives of others. Make the night about enjoyment and fellowship rather than stressing out on dust bunnies lurking in corners or whether it's a meal worthy to be on Iron Chef.
4. Discover what you enjoy about each season.
I do not like winter or spring. Least favorite. I could let a mild depression sink in. I live in Colorado, so these seasons are "mild" snowy season, but they are still cold and unpredictable for this Florida born and raised girl. It's hard on my heart to go from a 60 degree sunshine day to 30's and snowing the next. But instead on dwelling on what I don't like about a particular season, I decided to discover what is enjoyable.
For your reading pleasure, my enjoyable lists about winter and spring:
Winter: skiing, Christmas, the mountains in snow, wool socks and scarves, hot chocolate, quiet slow evenings because it gets dark so quick
Spring: crocus that come up early, planning and prepping the garden, baby season a the local farm, Easter
5. Be thankful and teach your children to be thankful.
When I worked at Eagle Lake Summer Camps, Mondays were the worst-even at summer camp! Sundays were high energy,preparing and welcoming new campers for the week. Mondays were days for strong coffee, lots of pancakes with peanut butter, and dark dark sunglasses. My friend Renae instituted "Monday Morning Thankfulness" and encouraged the counselors to make a list, even a small one, of things they were thankful for on Monday. Sometimes my list included showers, a heated dining hall (summers in Colorado mountains are still cold), and forks, but hey-it helped my attitude; it helped me remember to enjoy the things I'm thankful for, even when the day feels like a drag.
What about you? How do you celebrate and enjoy life? Any suggestions on how you incorporate enjoyment and celebration?