Usually, this time of year, I practice 30 days of gratitude. Each day throughout November, I post on social media something I am grateful for that day. However, this year feels different. This year my thoughts keep turning toward how many days there are until our 40th wedding anniversary! As I write this, we have 40 days until December 13th. Forty years ago, on a rainy winter day in Kansas, two 18-year-olds exchanged marriage vows. We plan to celebrate for four days in seclusion—a private retreat for two. Forty days feels like a long time to wait. But the past 40 years seem to have flown by.
Right now, I can only think of one reason to celebrate. Life is a gift. Each day that we open our eyes, there is something to celebrate. Is there something that you’re looking forward to? A birthday, a night out, or a visit with loved ones you haven’t seen since before the pandemic? Celebrations are an essential part of life. Celebrate. Give thanks. Rejoice. Be glad. Celebrate that run you went on this weekend. Rejoice with those who are excited about a milestone they’ve reached.
Most nights before I go to sleep. I take out my journal and write a gratitude list. What makes you grateful? Celebrate that! A celebration doesn’t need an event. It can be as simple as a fist pump in the air or a high five given to your child. Many verses in the Bible speak of God calling the Israelites into a time of celebration. As we enter the holiday season, take time to celebrate the small joys of life. The small things add up to big things. Forty years ago, we had a small wedding, followed by an even smaller reception. Yet, forty years later, we can celebrate the tremendous blessing that God has given us, time with one another. Look on those you love with eyes of celebration. Life is truly a gift to treasure!
Make a gratitude list. Choose several items to list each day and write your gratitude for the next 40 days. Please take note of how it transforms your attitude as you focus on reasons to celebrate life.
Lord, You have given us two blessings to open each morning, our eyes. May we use this gift to take in our surroundings, family, and friends and give thanks. And as we give thanks, may we rejoice and celebrate the gift of life. Life in You is reason to pump our fists in the air and exclaim, Yes! Yes, Lord, yes! We celebrate life, love, and every breath You give us. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.