Making Room for Celebration

The sluggishness of life can creep in on us, sometimes overtaking us without even being aware of its consuming presence. We have to take deliberate steps to push it back and make room for celebration in our lives.

Recently at a winter retreat, I shared 5 simple things we can do to make room for more celebration in our lives. Here are a few things for you to consider:

1] Be aware of creeping despair and interrupt it.  If you see that despair is overtaking you and your family, you have to make the choice to cut it off. If we don't do anything to change course, the despair will continue marching triumphantly over our lives. Disrupt the despair by breaking your routines and making room for some sort of celebration.

2] Be intentional about celebration and plan for it. Make room for that personal retreat or family day out that invites laughter and happiness to return. Cease your busy activity -- even if for only a few hours -- because busyness detracts from joy; it doesn't bring it.

3] Celebrate the surprises. Life is full of accidental joy if you have the eyes to see it. Celebrate the little things that happen that bring a smile to your face, and give thanks to God for those moments which call you out of the routine of life.

4] Nurture your faith.  The root of our joy is Jesus! When we learn to trust God and commit to the Way of Christ, an inner joy will be cultivated in our lives -- a joy that persists even in life's crushing and bruising moments.

5] Plug into community. Make a habit of being part of a larger community, especially your community of faith. None of us are intended to go through life alone, and there is a lot of joy and celebration found within our faith community as we worship together and celebrate what God is doing in each other's lives.

There's a little phrase in Psalm 121 that resonates with me: "I lift my eyes up..." Why up? Because lifting our eyes up changes our perspective and gets our eyes off of whatever is tripping us up. When we make room for celebration in our lives, we are looking up to the Giver of Life and gaining a new perspective on life.

As the cold, dreary days of winter continue, be sure to make room for celebration!