CELEBRATE the days: Bringing Home to Life series

Updated: 7 days ago

Early in my married life, my husband, Chris and I could only afford broken down and barley running vehicles. I remember living in Alaska in the dead of winter, no heater, and running errands with all of the kids (including a newborn infant) bundled up in their car seats to stay warm. One day the car died in the intersection. I was humiliated and found myself dependent on the compassion of others to push me safely off of the icy road and out of the way into the snow embankment. I did not have a cell phone…so was reduced to asking those who helped me if they could “get a message to my husband” that I was stranded and in need of help.

In that moment, we got serious about getting a reliable Alaskan vehicle. None of us will ever forget our first “real” car. It was a black Chevy Suburban with tinted windows and an interior of wall-to-wall red velvet. We were elated. This was an elevation in status I was unprepared for. Knowing this could not go unrecognized, I found a small disco ball and hung in from the rear-view mirror. We named the Suburban the “Party Bus”. From that moment on, the disco ball bouncing along from the front, made every errand a celebration. It inspired us to turn the music on and dance from our seats. Every drive to church, every drop-off and pick up, every painful trip, scary trip, happy trip, and mundane trip, the small disco ball lent highlights to the red velvet; reminding us we had blessings we were building from. We never tired of celebrating in the “Party Bus”. She became a safe place for all of us.

While Chris and I were raising the kids, much of our life was working through and around tragedy. Adding celebrations, large and small, brought levity from heaviness and brightness into our dark days. Celebrating doesn’t cost anything but time and attention. No matter how impoverished we were, we always looked forward to the holidays because if nothing else, at Christmas, we were going to cut some paper snowflakes and watch some Christmas specials. Easter always brought new clothes…even if I had to make them from scraps of material from the second hand store. Dinner was a celebration because there was a candle in the middle of the table and sometimes fresh flowers. Bedtime was a routine that celebrated the day. There were, on occasion, rounds of applause for random recognitions, group hugs, and a celebration bulletin board with earned awards, star charts, and art.

There are certain things money and status and achievement can buy you. This will always be true. But there are also things you can do that bring goodness into your life that isn't dependent on outside resources and is guaranteed to bring benefit and blessing to your life no matter what. The idea of a healthy home can only bring us value if we can manifest it into reality. Celebrating can help do that.

Celebrating provides a pause for reflection and re-sets the stage for the next chapter or scene in your life. It’s a time to contemplate the successes and re-asses for changes that need to be made for the future. Celebrating is one of the most accessible things we can do to create a home of expectancy and belonging by acknowledging and honoring the cultures, traditions, and shared values that happen through the natural passage of time and seasons.

Every religious and cultural tradition since the beginning of time includes celebration. Innately, we know it’s important for our soul to remember who we are, where we came from, and the core values we share to keep us moving forward.

Helping Ruby celebrate her marriage to Koda. Puppies were on the way!

Using the "pretty" plates and outside finds help elevate this celebration!

My co-workers helped me celebrate my 50th!

How have you incorporated celebration at home, or work, or in your personal life?

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