Confessions of a Rebel Grandmother
I was never really rebellious. I wanted to be the good girl and I was for the most part. Now that I’m marching through my fifties, I'm way over it. As my hair under my chemical color turns gray, I’m feeling like I might try the color pink.
I try to read from different points of view and listen to what others are saying in the world. Everywhere I read, there is agreement that the culture is coming apart at the seams. I won’t argue their points. In the midst of all the groaning, you and I will choose how we will live in the shadows that threaten darkness.
I’ve decided to rebel. Some might disagree with my stance, but in times that could call for grief, one of my acts of rebellion is going to be practicing celebration, engaging in joy.
I’m not saying there aren’t grieve-worthy things that must be acknowledged. There are times when we enter seasons of lament. The grieve-worthy events around us are many—so many they can threaten to overwhelm our ability to process them. When I am overwhelmed I don’t grieve, I watch tv. I lose my motivation. The laundry can wait. I opt out of going to the grocery store. I eat a bag of chips for lunch.
There are also justice issues that demand our involvement. There's no denying this truth, but even as the darkness falls we need to give ourselves permission to live and that includes making room for celebration.
On Saturday morning, I hosted a gender reveal party for the newest addition to our family due in June. We decorated the table and tied a golden balloon in the shape of a question mark from the centerpiece above the table. We ate donuts, cake, and sausage biscuits. There was coffee and punch and laughter. Jessica's friend colored eleven boiled eggs and one raw egg to surprise us all with the gender. Family members drew numbers from a bowl and we cracked an egg in turn on our foreheads until the pink or blue raw egg revealed the identity of the new little one. I had drawn the last number and I thought my odds were good to get out of cracking an egg at all, but incredibly the raw egg did not break until the end when the parents-to-be took the final two eggs! This was not planned which made the finale even more exciting! Jared had egg on his face when the pink egg broke on his forehead. We laughed and clapped and celebrated! It was a win-win. The truth is we would’ve celebrated had it been the blue egg busting instead.
The party wasn’t my idea, but I was all in when I was asked to host. And, it wasn’t because I get to be the grandmother!! I had already set an intention for celebrating intentionally in 2018 because celebrating is hard. I'm not always good at it. Being cynical and hard-hearted and over-it are easy. Those things become second nature with practice. That’s why the older we get the less we may to be inclined to celebrate. In my golden years, I’m bucking the system. See, I am a rebel.
Celebrating is a practice in thanksgiving. Celebrating the blessings of God is important, especially when we acknowledge He is the giver of all good things. It shouldn't be a means of distraction to shield us from the pain that is going on in the world. Nor should it be a way of holding our hands over our ears and singing “la, la, la, la, la” as loud as possible in order to drown out the pain and trouble all around. Instead, it is a way of living in the Kingdom of God. When we choose to celebrate, we acknowledge God as the one who has given us joy because of his life in us. We practice for Eternity. We enter into life when sin is no longer infecting the world with evil, disease, and loss—when all things are redeemed and made new.
Intending to celebrate takes planning. It helps for others to be up for it as well. It might seem like another thing to put on the to-do list, but if you pencil in the word “joy” beside a celebration on the calendar, you'll be reminded why you’re setting aside time to celebrate big things and little. I know, you might not get your laundry done if you join in…what a shame...
There are people who can’t celebrate right now. It’s not right for the circumstances they are enduring. These don’t need a party. They need a friend or rest. They need a job or a miracle of healing. They need a home or a hand up. This blog post isn’t for them. If you have been reading here for the past couple of weeks, you might have picked up on my theme of intentional living. Celebrating is one of my intentions for this year. I had planned a dinner with my peeps a few weeks back to acknowledge some milestones they were experiencing. That fell through, but I’m not giving up just yet. I hosted a Star Wars birthday celebration for Naomi’s seventh birthday a couple of weeks ago, and we’ll don party hats for Jeff’s birthday tonight.
My prayer is that when I am not suffering in situations where celebrating wouldn't be appropriate, I won’t be callous to the blessings that God gives me in my life. When I look into the faces of those celebrating with me, I acknowledge before God his goodness to me with a humble and grateful heart.
Those of us in the Kingdom of God have reason to celebrate. The Light has come into the world. We live with hope. Hope anchors our souls steadying us for days that can rock our confidence in goodness. Celebration is a grace we need to extend to ourselves and to others.
Today as I worshiped in church, I remembered when our fellowship once called our worship time “Celebration.” I probably won't throw a party every week, but every Sunday I will to celebrate with my people our God who is worthy of praise, for surely He is.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
What are your intentions this year? What do you anticipate celebrating?