Posts Tagged ‘celebrations’


It is delightful to be able to celebrate with someone for whom celebration is deserved or due.

To share in the pouring out of blessing into the life of another is contagious and the warmth of the blessed person’s joy radiates to all near them.

I remember years ago, our neighbors daughter and her hubby winning a very large amount of lottery money. When she came over to tell us, I was out hanging Christmas lights (or was us taking them down?), and her face was brighter than anything I was hanging. I also remember feeling a visit from the green-eyed monster.

That green-eyed monster raises it’s head in the ugliest ways, at the most beautiful, celebratory times.

As the blessings pour into the lives and hands of those around us, they can sometimes be reminders of the blessings we have missed, lost, or are out of our reach. When this happens it can feel as though we need to plaster onto our face a plastic smile, when you may just want to shout out:

“it’s my turn …”
“I have needs too …”
“I want to celebrate with you, but … my heart is breaking.”

For the woman desiring to meet and marry her prince, news of another’s engagement …
For the couple secretly mourning a miscarriage, the announcement of the pregnancy of another …
For the woman whose husband is in palliative care, news of another in remission …
For the student denied acceptance into their desired university, news of a peer getting into theirs …

can all have mixed effects on the hearts of those who are not living in the land of milk and honey.

But people, Romans 12:15 reminds us to :

“Rejoice with those who are rejoicing.
Cry with those who are crying”

It is good to rejoice for those who are ready to celebrate! It is also good to cry with those who are crying … but, to cry with those who are crying means that we need to share our sorrows with others, we need to share our sorrows, as we share our rejoicing.

God wants us to have community, to share our lives with others.

I love to share good news … but, oh, how I hate to bleed emotionally, in public.

Yet, when I have been strong enough to show my weakness to others, I am always amazed at how faithful God is to bless that sharing, and how blessed I feel by the supportive shoulders others provide. Actually, the freedom to share my sorrow almost makes me want to … celebrate!

God’s people, loving each other through rejoicing or tears, is the fulfillment of our purpose in living in community with each other, and “he turns our wailing into dancing” (Psalm 30:11).

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Back when hubby and I were first married (in the stone ages), there was so much to adjust to in coming together into a new life.

Trying to blend two unique lives, experiences and upbringings is no small thing, and not at all easy. When this blending is in the initial stages the others family, habits and rituals seem nothing short of strange, because we humanly always think that our own existence is the ‘normal’ one (thus the others is abnormal).

Recently, when hubby and I were celebrating our anniversary, we were discussing the different things we each had to adjust to when our separate families were joined through our marriage.

One thing that stuck out, as contrasting was how our separate families would celebrate events, occasions and events.

My family celebrates EVERYTHING! Christmas, Easter, birthdays, graduations, moving away, etc., etc., etc. The celebrations would include not just our immediate family, but extended as well. Frequently including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There was always food in abundance, always a cake.

My exposure to my hubby’s family, in terms of celebrations was different (remember these are just my interpretations, not necessarily those of my hubby’s experience growing up). Celebrations also included food. For birthdays the celebrations would take place at a restaurant, including the immediate family. At Christmas a meal was prepared, and shared by a few more family members. Celebrations were smaller and quieter.

From my perspective (due to my ‘other end of the spectrum’ experience) there was no celebration. I remember our first married Christmas, when the gifts under the tree were still unopened when we went to bed on December 25, only to be eventually opened the following day.

From the perspective of my hubby (due to his ‘other end of the spectrum’ experience) there was always an over-the-top celebration, with food and gifts substituting the reason for the celebration. He still does not grasp the need, on Christmas morning, to be up at an “ungodly hour” (a tradition in the home of my childhood) to open gifts, when they will still be there hours later.

Ah, and after the recognition of these differences, and others, comes the hard work of what to keep from our childhood traditions and what to throw away.

And that is what leaving and cleaving is about. When we marry, we leave our childhood, and it’s rituals behind, and we start something new. We look at the heritage we have come from and we, together as husband and wife, decide what to keep, and what to let go of, in an effort to cleave, to become a new ‘one’.

Mark 10:7-8 says, “for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh.” Our goal should be that over time, the two become one, understanding that together they have created a ‘new normal’, unique to only them.

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It all started with a picture …

The picture to the right of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I saw it, and then read the caption at the bottom, “married 50 years.” I found myself wondering, how can that happen to a Hollywood couple?

Since hubby is a pastor, we get to attend MANY 50th Anniversary parties, and they are truly the highlight of the effects of his job for me.

To participate in celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary is a unique and special thing.

When I hear of couples divorcing, I wonder how many of these celebrations will be happening in the future. Oh, but what celebrations they will be, as they will be a truly rare and special event!

Although Mr. Newman died later in the year of their 50th anniversary, the legacy of their long lasting, committed love in a world that sees that as impossible can continue to encourage those of us who are still in process.

When asked the secret to their long & happy marriage, Paul attributed it to the “correct amounts of lust and respect.” And “. . . because of great impatience tempered by patience. When you have been together this long, sometimes you drive each other nuts, but underneath that is some core of affection and respect.”

It is a great read, accompanied by beautiful pictures.

Paul and Joanne

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