November 19th is Tiffany’s birthday. So. We had a day of celebration in Brookings, Oregon. Celebration is one of my life values, which is key to enjoying the journey. As a pastor, I encounter many individuals who struggle with the idea of celebrating because of the challenges and battles of life. I agree that life is not easy; however, I’ve learned how the circumstances of life are managed determines how life is lived.
The thing is . . . celebration reveals trusting God . . . in the midst of the messiness of life. In the end, celebration is an expression of gratitude.
I’m leaving Brookings today and plan on using some of the hours on the road to think about Psalm 28:7, thanking God, singing loudly, and celebrating the gifts of life. I’m grateful for Tiffany, Ellie, and Drew and for the opportunity to celebrate with them. It’s been a gift to be with them. And, I’m grateful to be going home to be with my family and friends in the Willamette Valley and to get back to working on the things God has called me to do.
There’s such a difference in my soul when I celebrate. Celebration is a world apart from a critical and negative mindset. By the way, I tell individuals to take small steps of celebrating–start by saying a simple thank you to God out loud. Most people tell me they tend to be more grateful when they hear themselves say it. The more I say it, the more I feel grateful.
Life celebration words:
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:7, New Living Translation (NLT))
After all, the journey is worth celebrating.
The best part of the celebration began in the morning. This is Tiffany’s first birthday with Ellie.
Family traditions are a part of our story. One year I made Tiffany clam dip from my Aunt Lorraine’s special recipe for her birthday dinner. It’s now a tradition. I’m not the biggest fan of clams; however, the dip is incredible. I may have been carried away this year–look at the size of that bowl of dip. I will be posting some family traditions, including the dip recipe next week on our family page.
I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to give Tiffany a class party every year since she was in kindergarten. Her elementary students always thought it was fun that their teacher’s mom came to throw a party. I was not sure how high school students would respond. Her third period child development class was awesome–incredible teens. I had so much fun with them.
Tiff’s neighbor, Tessa brought over amazing cupcakes–she’s a professional pastry chef. It’s a gift when new friends celebrate each other.
Tiff chose one of her favorite Brookings’ place to eat her birthday dinner: The Vista Pub. We had fun telling why we were grateful for Tiffany and then we made her tell us what’s she is grateful for in her life. There was quite a bit of laugher. If, you know Tiffany, you know it was a lot of fun.
At Tiffany’s request we played cards. Yep. Not my normal fun. But. We had fun. She won. Of course.
The day ended with cupcakes. Carmel nuggets included.
THANK YOU GOD for the gift of life. YOU ARE THE REASON for celebration!
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)