“Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.”
One of my friends posted something on her Facebook around the end of the year that stopped my mindless scrolling and stunned me a little. It was a simple but profound question: “What is one thing from the last year that you are proud of?”
I really had to sit and stew on that. What had I done that I could be proud of? Was it appropriate to be proud of myself without crossing over into sinful pride? I slowly started to think of a few things. I’ll list a few of them here in case you need to borrow them while coming up with your own “Celebration List”.
- I ate an obscene amount of salad (and I liked it!). My kids were not as thrilled with my new love for greens, but they’ll thank me later.
- I was (pretty) consistent to get myself to the gym to workout (sometimes :).
- I stretched myself to grow spiritually and emotionally.
- Every Saturday morning for the past year, I have posted something on this blog. It is Choosing Trust’s first birthday! I’ve learned quite a bit in the last 52 weeks.
Here are some of the things that I have learned from the first year of blogging:
- The most important take away is that I am capable of studying scripture for myself. Me and the Word of God have become good friends through this process. I have loved coming up with studies for you to use to have time with Jesus.
- I have a voice. I may not always say the right thing or say things in the right way, but I have a voice and what I choose to do with it is important and powerful.
- Commitment is key. I never wanted to start a blog and fought God on it for four years. (I just never wanted people to think that I thought what I had to say was spectacularly important!) When I finally obeyed, I wrote two times and then waited another 2 years before I committed to writing every week. It was six years before I got it together. That’s a little embarrassing! I just decided that if He was asking me to do it, then it wasn’t an option anymore – I had to commit. Some weeks have been easy, the words flew naturally, and I couldn’t wait for you to see what God was showing me. Other times have been stressful and not fun. The words didn’t come until 3 am on Saturday morning, right before it was time to post. I was grumpy and was striving to make it come together.
I have made several mistakes this first year. I am terrible at the social media side of things and not great at creating graphics. I haven’t done a good job of sharing this blog because I get embarrassed and don’t want to be rejected. I spend a few hours writing and there was a week when only two people in the whole world read this thing. I have wanted to quit and give up more times than I can count.
I don’t know what is going on in your life, but I’ll bet this is true: you (like me) spend A LOT of time focusing on your failures. We replay them over and over and torture ourselves like it’s holy to be super mean to ourselves. We know exactly how many pounds we’ve put on and can tell you in great detail all the reasons why we aren’t qualified. We watch other people live their picture perfect lives and wonder why we can’t just be more like them.
I decided that I am going to intentionally celebrate the fact that Choosing Trust made it a whole year, failures and all. I didn’t always know why I was spending so much time blogging in the middle of this busy season of ministry with two little ladies, but I kept my commitment. And hopefully some people were encouraged and challenged along the way too.
The coolest part of the blog is that I get to watch the stats and see where y’all live. People from 34 countries have read my posts. I got to spread the gospel and proclaim the good news of Jesus to people in very closed countries all around the world. I did it from my 10-year-old very ghetto laptop in Arkansas. If one person was helped, it’s been worth it.
What about you, dear friend? If we were sitting on your couch, and I asked you what we can celebrate together- what would you say? I bet there’s more than you realize. The enemy is a lying punk but I have great news… your victory over him comes through telling your story. If you are suffering, this is not meant to be painful or trite. I don’t mean to cheapen what you are facing. My heart is only for you to see that you are further along than you think.
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,” (Revelation 12:11 NIV).
Jesus + You = Victory.
Imagine me grinning from ear to ear as you list off your victories dancing and cheering you on, armed with confetti cannons. You are amazing! You are showing up. You are forgiving those people who hurt you. You are working hard to change your spending habits. You are listening to your kids talk about their day when you’re super tired and want to check out. You’re getting up early to have time with the Lord. You’re managing your emotions and taking responsibility for your life. You’re working hard and resting intentionally. You are eating the greens and drinking the water. You are brave and strong.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 NLT).
“This is God’s work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! This is the very day God acted – let’s celebrate and be festive! Salvation now, God. Salvation now! Oh yes, God—a free and full life,” (Psalm 118:23-25 MSG).
“ Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One!” (Philippians 4:4 TPT).
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore,” (Psalm 16:11 ESV).
“Jesus told them, ‘When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast. Later you may need to pull in your belt, but not now. No one throws cold water on a friendly bonfire. This is Kingdom Come!’” (Matthew 9:15 MSG).
Celebrating is biblical. Here’s your homework for the week:
- Write down your “Celebration List.” What are you are proud of yourself for?
- Celebrate your victories!
You are amazing and worth celebrating!