The Lord gave me a dream on my birthday...a reminder to not neglect celebrating...
In our busy lives, some of us may struggle to take a good time out to celebrate accomplishments - even our own - that deserve more than a short prayer of thanksgiving or a 30 second happy dance and a loud, "Whooo Hoo! Praise God!!" Do you find yourself (like me) quickly moving on to the next task?
I am guilty...but I didn't realize what I was 'not doing' until God gave me a dream on my birthday recently.
Ok. I'm being a bit vulnerable here. I want to share what He is teaching me in hopes this encourages and speaks to YOU today.
So on my birthday, I prayed, "God! Can you give me a birthday dream tonight?" And He did give me a dream, although not what I expected.
In my dream, I was a senior in high school and it was graduation day. I was on the graduation committee that helped to plan the event. I was being very responsible in working hard on getting programs ready and a myriad of projects done to ensure a successful graduation ceremonies for my senior class - of which I was a part of. In fact, I was so focused on my tasks in another room, that I lost track of time and completely missed attending own graduation ceremonies!
HORRORS! I literally missed walking on stage to get my diploma and being a part of my graduation class's celebration...all because I was plowing through my to do's. In my dream, when I realized this terrible fact, I was stressed out and so, so sad that I missed my own graduation celebration.
I woke up and blurted, "God, that wasn't a very happy birthday dream!"
I got up and shared my sad dream with my husband Rob. He is pretty good about interpreting dreams, so I asked him what he thought.
He asked, "Well. What do YOU think it means?"
I said, "Well, how sad that I was so driven and consumed with doing my important to do list, that I missed my graduation - a celebration of years of hard work in school. I am thinking that it kinda relates to how Explicit Movement accomplished huge things last year, but there wasn't much of any celebration I did after the publications were finally printed - it was onto the next important projects."
I started to cry.
Rob said, "God is encouraging you with this dream to celebrate more. Did you celebrate the completion of God's assignment in printing Brave & Beautiful (faith based) this past summer?"
"Well, I recall praising God for a few minutes, but then I went right away into focusing on getting the Classic non-faith based version done. Wham! Bam! Next!"
"Did you celebrate the completion of Brave & Beautiful Classic (non-faith based version) and it being sent to print last week?"
"Not really. I know I thanked God, bu then I started focusing on getting Brave & Bold for boys moving along, among many other Explicit Movement goals and events this year."
My kids had given me a beautiful bouquet of roses for my bithday that was on our dining table.
Rob added, "Look at these roses. God is telling you to stop and celebrate and smell the roses."
I cried again.
I realized that I don't know how to take time to celebrate accomplishments well - especially my own...do you celebrate your accomplishments? Do you know how to do that well in a healthy, God-pleasing way?
When I shared with Rob that God is teaching me to celebrate my own accomplishments in a meaningful way (especially the big ones), he replied, "Well that is very much anti-Japanese!" We chuckled. He and I are both Japanese, and we each grew up in a family that held to the belief of a Japaneses saying, "Hammer down the nail that sticks up." But that is not Kingdom culture!
So I end this with an encouragement to you - not from a place of perfection, but from a place of being in process myself! I believe God wants us to learn how to celebrate our accomplishments with Him in godly humility, yet with exuberant joy and gratefulness to Him! This involves celebrating others' accomplishments too, since our accomplishments often involve the support of people around us.
WHOO HOO! Please consider taking a moment now with me to shout out a holler of joy and thanksgiving to God for helping our Explicit Movement team, the Brave & Beautful team, and I to complete His assignment of publishing Brave and Beautiful (both versions) after 3 years of labor of love! God has been so generous in lavishing His grace, provision, and creativity upon us. This publication is already helping to protect, impact, and save lives all over our nation and beyond!
I still need to figure out ways to celebrate future milestones in meaningful ways. Maybe having at least a small celebration meal with a few people to even a full on party - our creative God can inspire us!
PAUSE. Will you take a pause with God to reflect on various achievements, goals met, and transformations that have taken place IN YOUR LIFE - and ask the Lord how YOU can celebrate YOU and others even more!
I believe with all my heart that our good, good Father celebrates you!
TAKE TIME! Ask the Lord for a creative and meaningful ways to celebrate and remember.
Celebrate who you are and are becoming!
Celebrate the ways you are changing to be more like Jesus!
Celebrate the good work you are doing!
Celebrate you accomplishments!
Take time today to smell the roses.
Love you all!