Do you take time to celebrate? Or has celebration gone by the wayside in your home? Are you barking orders, feeling frazzled and hurried more than you are at peace? Does this happen in the one place where you should be more inclined to celebrate?
Am I right? Have you been there?
It’s funny how we celebrate everything that a new baby does: the first rolling over, first food, and first time taking a step. But somewhere along the way we stop celebrating.
At what point do we make that switch? Is it when our kids stop doing firsts’? Or is it when life gets so busy and we’re running from around from activity to activity? Or what about when our kids become teenagers? It’s a sad fact that we stop celebrating life.
We need to make time for celebrating the big events in our home. But we need to make time for celebrating the small everyday moments just as much, if not more.
Life can be so much fun if we let it.
In the Lifegiving Home Experience, Sarah shares a letter that she wrote to her mother on a memory that shaped the way she viewed her mother. There are many examples but this one in particular hit home with me. Sarah replays a rainy, gloomy day from her childhood. A rainy day that would have normally been spent indoors completing the schooling for the day with rain echoing in the background, just as the previous four rainy days had been. But the four Clarkson kids had a different idea. They simply asked to go outside in the rain and explore for the day. What gets to me is that without hesitation their mother said yes. It doesn’t just stop there either. She goes outside and explores right along with them. She gets just as soaked and just as muddy as the kids did. She didn’t sit inside enjoying the silence, she entered their world. She laughed, squealed, held hands, encouraged them to be brave all while climbing hills, walking in newly formed rivers and splashing in puddles. She celebrated exploring nature that day. And that day etched its way into their memories.
I want to be that kind of mom. But all too often I hesitate and find 101 reasons why we can’t, why the timing isn’t perfect, why it’ll be too messy, and on and on I could go.
Let’s stop talking ourselves out of having fun. Our kids want us to be fun parents, we can only create a lasting relationship with them if we are actively involved in their lives – yes, even as teenagers.
There is always going to be reasons not to make cookies, not to invite friends over to celebrate, or not to stay up late finishing a good read-aloud book..
If your kids play in a recital, participate in a sports tournament or achieve one of their goals then use that time as a reason to celebrate the accomplishment!
One of our family’s favorite ways of celebrating life right now is by throwing a small family party when we reach a prescription goal in our pharmacy. Being a start up, surrounded by big chains, it hasn’t been easy to grow our own business. But through hard work and lots of prayer we are using this time as a time to impact our children. They see and hear our prayers for more business so daddy can be home more, they pray right alongside us, which means that they get to celebrate with us in the big moments. The first time we hit 100 prescriptions in one day we invited our business partners over and celebrated the achievement. Our kids had so much fun planning the party and picking out balloons, decorations, and food. They still remember that party almost 2 years later.
I love to use a celebration as a reward incentive. We celebrate together whenever our kids overcome a habit of theirs, we all rally around cheering them on and celebrate their accomplishment. When our kids finally kicked thumb sucking to the curb, or began waking up dry consistently, and even eating dinner without a fuss (hey that’s big in a 3 year old’s life! Ha!) that was an event worth celebrating. While I may be in the little years still, I know I can find reasons not to make cupcakes and plan a celebration. But I’ve come to realize that celebration is important, we all love to do it and it creates great memories. I don’t want to give that up as my children age.
Practical Ideas for Celebrating Life
- Birthdays – Birthday’s are a great time to celebrate the birthday child, to shower him with love and gifts. Even if you don’t have a big party with friends and family, make sure to make it a special day within your family.
- Habits/Goals – Do you have a habit you want to see gone or formed? Does your teenager have a goal of getting an A in a tough class? Give your child reason to a push hard towards those goals with a celebration when it’s achieved.
- Good grades – Good grades should always be celebrated! After each test may be too much, but what about each quarter or semester? Show your child you’re proud of them!
- Holidays – There are so many holidays on the calendar that are often neglected. Why not use them as a reason to celebrate life because God is so good to us! Find a reason to throw a small party! Have fun with your kids!
- Baby Showers
The way we touch a child’s life matters both in the long term and the short term. And this very important life work takes place primarily inside the walls of home. LGH p. 128
- Read the May chapter.
- Plan a celebration or invite over a new family for teaching your children about hospitality
So how do you start celebrating life? Just start! Tell the voice in your head trying to talk you out of it to hush up and jump in with both feet and say YES! Yes to fun, yes to memories, yes to having a celebration for any reason you can think of!
Your turn! What are you going to celebrate this week? I can’t wait to hear! Let’s share some ideas in the comments below!
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