Spiritual Formation

A Season of Celebration

"It’s about nurturing our souls with the joys God has given us so that every day can be a season of celebration." by Captain Stephanie Pavlakis

February is one of my favorite months. Mainly because it’s my birthday month. You read that correctly: birthday month. Not day, not week, but month. February also holds Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and George Washington’s birthday. And don’t forget Random Acts of Kindness Day! Other month-long celebrations and recognitions include Black History Month and American Heart Month. Though February seems to often be one of the coldest, darkest months of winter, it is at its core a celebration of the everyday.

Coming on the tail end of other major holidays and more popular seasons of celebration, February is a good reminder to not jump from one celebration to the next, but to find the joy and goodness in the moments in between. My husband and I are good about taking our vacations. It can be hard to get away, but we know it is important for our own well-being, our marriage and our family health. More recently though, we have become aware of our tendency to place all our hope in those vacations and to hold out for joy until we can get away. This can leave us feeling burdened, parched and exhausted in the weeks and months in between vacations. We’ve had to learn that the best way to live is not by only finding joy in the special times, but by celebrating goodness in between times as well.

God does not want us to live stretched thin the majority of our days, only to live fully a few weeks out of the year. Even Jesus found time to withdraw to a “solitary place” to be alone with the Father (Luke 4:42 NIV). We are meant to carry God’s joy with us every day. We are meant to practice self-care every day. We are meant to prioritize Him, our family, rest and the good things He has blessed us with every day. We do this by noticing the small celebrations and carving out the times to fully acknowledge them. This can look like taking the time on a sunny day to take the kids to the park, even though you’re tired and would rather crash in front of the television. It might mean pausing to do something for yourself, like reading a book, going for a walk or playing a sport you haven’t done since you were a teenager. It can be planning movie nights at home, or dinner with friends, or meaningful conversations with co-workers, or rediscovering hobbies. At the root of it all, it’s about nurturing our souls with the joys God has given us so that every day can be a season of celebration. So, celebrate the big holidays, but celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, too.

Experiencing GOD:

  • What are some of your hobbies? If you can’t answer that question, consider picking up a new hobby.
  • Where can you carve out time for celebration today?

Supporting Scripture:

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

Psalm 126:3 (NIV)

Christians ought to be celebrating constantly. We ought to be preoccupied with parties, banquets, feasts, and merriment … because we have been liberated from the fear of life and the fear of death. We ought to attract people to the church quite literally by the fun there is in being a Christian. 

– Robert Hotchkins
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