Saturday, December 19, 2009

Take Time to Celebrate

I stumbled across this story several years ago. I love its reminder to celebrate the Christmas season -- the birth of Jesus our Savior!

As the holiday season approaches, I am reminded of December a few years ago when I did my best to wash away the happiness from the Christmas season. The tide started building by Thanksgiving. I became increasingly busy, convincing myself that all the effort was the best thing I could do for my family. I was crafting and sewing, cleaning and cooking on top of all the other obligations I had in teaching and volunteering. I found myself dreading the lovely invitations that we received to celebrate during this blessed holiday season. Instead of the good cheer these invitations were meant to provide, I saw them as representing wave upon wave of guilt. These celebrations seemed frivolous in light of what I had to do, and I felt like I was drowning.

I didn't have time to celebrate with others.

I felt like every slot of time I carved out of my schedule should have a specific point and purpose. What I was blind to was the fact that celebrating with others has a point and a purpose.

Celebration is actually a spiritual discipline. It is the logical extension of worship. Once we understand how amazing God is in worshipful awe, we can then celebrate how amazing He is to us, together, as a community. Celebrating together accentuates our gratefulness and delight in life, love, family and friends. We need to celebrate as an antidote to the suffering, selfishness, senseless busyness and sanitized emotions around us that would steal our joy.

Dallas Willard says that the spiritual discipline celebration is the "...most overlooked and misunderstood." Of all times of the year, Christmas and Easter are times to celebrate, to pull out all the stops and remember the incredible love God has for us in giving us his Son and his unconditional grace.

"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." 1 Timothy 4:4

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Philippians 4:4-5

Enjoy this season as moms and families. We are called to celebrate!