InPursuit

Days To Commemorate {Book Club Thursdays}

4We’re reading through Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s new book, The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming (affil. link).

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Chapter 9: Days to Commemorate (Sally)

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Heading into chapter nine I found myself thinking of the idea of ‘celebration’. For some this comes easy. For me, though, celebrating and commemorating events was oh-so-difficult, holidays being especially dreadful. Take a holiday like Father’s Day, for example. I was one of those girls with daddy-sized holes. Hearing others tell their ‘my-dad-is-the-most-awesome-dad‘ stories, was painful. It reminded me, over and over every June, how I didn’t have a father present to love, protect, cherish, and provide for me. Since grade school I was sorely aware of my lack.

Fast forward to my twenties, married and a mother to three (including my step-son), I still didn’t know how to celebrate this day. Sadly, I couldn’t separate ‘feeling robbed in life’ from the in-my-face-reality that God was a loving and perfect Father to me, and that He blessed me with a husband who is a loving father to my children. It took me a long time before I was able to see that I was making my husband ‘pay’ for my father’s absence. I talked to him about this and I made it a point to grieve the life I wish I had (where a father was present). The feelings I had were real, and there was an honest ache and hole in my heart. However, I had to choose to step into the life I have been given.

I had to learn to celebrate, something that didn’t come naturally to me. It began with a God-given change of perspective. Goodness, truth, beauty, and abounding grace and favor are mine to walk and delight in. I have reason to celebrate. I have reason to look at mile-markers in my life and rejoice. I have Jesus, and He alone is sufficient, bringing rejoicing into every moment in my life. I get to pour out of the generosity He’s so lavishly poured into my life. I get to share that with others, that they, too, might see the fingerprints of His goodness in their lives!

Perhaps, like Sally, you’re great at commemorating and celebrating. Or, maybe you’re a bit more like me, and you need to learn how to step outside of your pain and past in order to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the goodness of God all over you. I encourage you to simply take the next step. It doesn’t happen overnight. For me, it’s been a daily journey of opening my eyes to God’s goodness–one that began after our house fire in 2010. (For the record, I’m sure if you sat with Sally, she’d also have stories to share about how she’s had to press through the pain and disappointments in order to make celebration a way of life.)

What’s one person or event you can celebrate this month? What’s one grace-spilled-overmile-marker you can stop and recognize in your life? In the life of others? Go ahead, open your eyes and ‘see’ the goodness of God poured out over you. Count your blessings and watch gratitude swell up inside you. Pretty soon, you’ll have no alternative but to praise and celebrate. Go ahead, commemorate the good days the Lord, your God, has blessed you with. Celebrate the beauty of the people He’s placed in your life!

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I love hearing how Sally celebrates and commemorates her days, like her home commencement ceremonies which help to bring accountability, community, identity, and remembrance and responsibility to her children, or celebrating and cheering at recitals, events, and ceremonies. Whether we’re celebrating weddings, baby showers, holidays, picnics, or simply ‘life’, we’re reminded  to step outside of ourselves and delight in the things that delight others.

“Stopping our normal activities of life to commemorate a special day or person… brings honor to the person or event and highlights significant accomplishments. It also reminds us of the many ways God has guided and helped us and of our responsibility to both live for Him and uphold others as they try to do the same.”

Commemorating Your Days... what does that look like for you? Let’s talk about it (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately). Then meet me here next week when we’ll be talking about a time of delight and how we can create value for play.

*unless otherwise noted, all quotes are by Sally Clarkson.

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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