Time to Celebrate!

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]F[/mk_dropcaps]or the final part of Flying Solo to Dynamic duo, it seems fitting to talk about taking time to celebrate. The fact is being in a healthy relationship is cause for celebration, especially when it is something you have prayed for over and over again for years.  God deserves the glory and time must be taken to praise Him for how He has gotten us this far.  Being performance driven and having a coach’s heart makes this is a stretch for me to master.  My default is to keep pressing onward to the next goal rather than taking time to enjoy milestones or achievements.  I am not where I used to be, praise God, but there is so much work yet to be done.  The issue with not taking time is that we burn out.  This is why pausing to acknowledge how God’s grace and power has been with you is so vital.   The last few weeks for me have been a learning experience in celebrating both the small victories and the BIG ones, especially alongside someone else.

This shift was triggered when I listened to a message by Pastor Steven Furtick called “Staging Your Celebration” about a month ago.  I did not realize at the time how much this would play into the dynamic of my relationship with Alex but knew I was highly impacted. 

Pastor Steven talked about his strength in bringing correction to others which immediately struck a cord in me as a coach. As one can find in coaching, this easily becomes a default.  It’s only natural to be on the constant lookout for for ways to improve and better oneself.  However, it was this point that hit me to my core.

“If you always are correcting, over time you lose your credibility.”

The rhythm of our lives must include sacrifice, the stretch to improve and the willingness to correct areas of issue but also time set aside to simply celebrate.  Celebration and sacrifice, as a working duo, will ensure that you never grow complacent.  This is extra challenging for those of you, like me, that value achievements but it is important to welcome both the sacrifice along with celebration.  When only one or the other is our primary mode of operation, our initial passion will fade because of the strain of sacrifice, and the perspective that comes with celebrating.

Reflecting on this message made it clear that not only can I rest to refuel, but also celebrate!  Even in the small, seemingly unmeasurable, indistinctive, or unimpressive milestones there is joy to be found.  Pausing to see what God has done can be stretching for some of us, but is something He wants us delights in. You may not be where you want to be but you are NOT where you used to be.  That truth alone is worth celebrating.  We do not deserve all the blessings and favor God has for us but that is what makes faith so beautiful.  Faith is a relationship, not religion.  Christ came to connect us back with our Heavenly Father so we could live a life abundantly, not a life that is constantly striving or constantly falling short without a measure of grace.  Yes, we must keep pushing forward for more of God.  This increases our level of expectation and our actions rise along with it as we put our faith into action. When expectation and action coincide, faith comes alive.

Faith must always accompany works.  Works alone cannot get us to where we’re going.  This isn’t simply hoping for more.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for.  In other words, without hope for something more there is no faith.  Faith brings substance to our hopes when we couple it with action and it is then that we live out our lives taking full advantage of the blessings and position that Christ gained when He died on the cross.

Just to solidify my point, let me put it one other way.  Taking time to rejoice and celebrate is not important because you've accomplished x, y, or z, but rather its simply saying “here is the time we will stop and celebrate and see all God has done!”  It is then that we refuel our faith by raising our hopes.  We see that if God can get us this far, He can get us to the desired destination and ultimately to the fulfillment of our destiny.  Celebrating really is just a form of sharing your testimony with others.  How powerful is that?! Your testimony shows how God can work through imperfect people.  Even in our flaws, He is faithful!  That is all the reason we need to celebrate victories, big or small.  They are each worthy of developing a habit of celebration.  I get excited to stage my next celebration just thinking of that!

Pause now and think back to where you were this time last year.  How much has shifted?  Do you see all that is new that God is doing?  Even if you are not at your ultimate goal, your progress is worth celebrating!