How Good are You at Celebrating, Truly Celebrating?

WARNING this blog post comes with some soul-searching questions, so keep reading if you are up for it.

It started the way all evenings do on the evening of a Christmas party:

  • We entered the address in the GPS
  • Grabbed our hors d’oeuvres
  • Donned our coats
  • Hopped in the car.

“Yep! That’s it right there,” I alerted him.

As we walkd to the front door I implored,  “Hey, honey stop! Let me take a picture.” I said.

“It’ll be kinda dark,” he warned.

“I know, I know, but the inside is so illuminated! It’s fabulous.” Snap!  I walked toward the entrance.

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As I stepped inside,  I was enveloped by the surrounding beauty and felt the welcome of God.  What a feast for the eyes, a kaleidoscope of colors and textures.  The home was a combination of bed and breakfast meets decked out department store, with a heavy dose of gift shop filled with shimmering nostalgia.

It was a display of the glory of God! Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Colossians 3:23 Well, my sweet friend Anne decorates her house for Christmas for the glory of God, that’s for sure!

The environment was simply stunning and my senses were on overload. The first thing to capture my attention and beckon me to draw near was the heavy laden Christmas tree in the corner of the room.

There were multiple trees in the house, but this one captivated me. I stared and gawked for quite a while. How in the world does she get this whole tree decorated? It’s filled with ornaments even deep into it! Gosh! This must be quite a lengthy process. This is incredibly stunning! 

“Hey, Anne you go girl! May I take some pictures?” I inquired as I stood frozen in awe.

 

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If I had tried to capture each vignette or stunning thing I came across, I would never have joined the party. I’d still be there taking photographs. Carefully hung lit garlands topped every window and railing along with winter scenes and Christmas touches everywhere.

The feeling of welcome hung in the air the way the swags hung above the fireplace. Mulled cider was on the stove and the dining table seemed ready to receive whatever was carried in by the arriving guests.

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All I could do was toot my friend’s horn and celebrate her amazing gift of creativity and artistry. I couldn’t stop tooting her horn because I knew NOT to celebrate would be simply wrong. “This is simply amazing! Truly beautiful, Anne. I celebrate you.” I repeated. “Wow!”

Now I realize someone maybe intimidated or jealous or overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy if they were to compare this stellar gifting to their own abilities to decorate and adorn their home. I have learned how much celebrating the significance of a person and the genius of God in them helps combat any comparison or competition.

My personal mantra is, “Don’t Compare, Don’t Compete, Celebrate!” This started the “Celebrate Movement” in my life and has gained traction.  I wrote about my mantra in one of the chapters in my book, Lily Pads – Stories of God on DisplayLily Pads

Celebration then is rooted in the goodness of God and the giver of all good gifts… Him!

Celebration was my only response to the talent and artistry I embraced at the moment and continued as my friend Anne cut cheeses and carefully placed items to create a delightfully appetizing and visually stunning charcuterie board. A little more cheese sliced, some fruit peeled, some raw honey was set amongst the items and…Voilà!

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Let me turn a corner and ask you a few questions relating to the above question: How good are you at celebrating, truly celebrating?

  • Are you able to celebrate the giftings you see in another person or close friend?
  • Do you want another person to really thrive and be blessed?
  • What if the celebration is a bridal shower for a beautiful young bride to be, but  you’re single and you long to have a special someone in your life?
  • Can you celebrate and rejoice with those who are experiencing what you hoped would be your own reality, but it hasn’t turned out that way, at least not yet?
  • What if it’s a baby shower to honor the couple and the joyous occasion of a soon to arrive bundle of squishy flesh that will rock their worlds forever and bless them exponentially, but you’ve had multiple miscarriages or can’t conceive or haven’t yet? Can you still truly celebrate?
  • Can you celebrate the good that you see?
  • Do you celebrate even when that “good thing” seems to fly in your face and illuminate what you’re missing at a given moment? Or does it create a “fake celebration” in your heart and produce jealousy within you, bitterness, even anger or apathy towards God?

Let it be a visual aide of God’s goodness. Allow it to bring hope to your heart for what may lie in your future as a picture of the good things God can do and is still doing and may have in store for you. He is the good gift and the blessing given to all of us, Emmanuel God with us. That’s the point of Christmas.

How good are you a celebrating, truly celebrating?

There is a scripture, Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 Be present in life with those around you and bring your honesty to God in the moment of grief and uncertainty, but don’t get stuck in the place where you can’t celebrate the good you see in someone else’s life. Rejoice!

Celebration is an antidote to me-focused downward spiral of self-pity or any negativity creeping in and sucking the life and joy right out of you. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength, we can be sincerely happy for those who are experiencing the beauty of a life lived in the goodness of God’s blessings even when it is hard for us personally at the time. God is the giver of all good gifts and he knows both our needs and our hearts’ desires. He doesn’t withhold any good gifts from us.

The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor, no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

Celebration then is rooted in the goodness of God and the giver of all good gifts, Him! When we celebrate people, events, and good times, we are celebrating people made in the image of God whose creativity reflects their maker. Parties and celebrations testify to the goodness of God because he is the giver of all good gifts.

How good are you at celebrating, truly celebrating?

Are you stuck in the comparison trap? Do you think you have to compete with those around you for God’s attention. He is delighted with you. There is no need to have the best tree, food, clothes, possessions, gifts or blessing. Do you realize when God gives a good gift to someone else he still has a plentiful supply for you? Their portion is freely given and God does not run out! There is always more!

God lives in abundance and He will supply our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

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As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus, let’s ask him to make us true celebrants of what he has done and what he has ahead for us too!

 

 

 

 

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Should I Answer a Call From an Unknown Number?

My cell phone rang. I pulled it out of my purse but I didn’t recognize the number.
My mind had, within a split second, all these random thoughts:
  • mm? Who is this I wonder?  
  • HWhat? 407 area code?
  • Should I take it?
  • It’s a Florida number.
  • It could be from Uth Stuph? YOUTH STUFF- the Company that my Celebrate T- Shirts.
  • The latest order was shipped and has already arrived.
  • Could there be a question about the order?
  • I’m driving, ahhhhh and have no laptop or order information with me.
  • Should I answer?
  • Yeah, I should take it.
I’m sure glad I did.
“Hello, this is Rachel” I said.
“Hi, Rachel, This is ____________,  we’d like to do a client spotlight on you and your ministry along with the Celebrate T-Shirts…It’s for our blog.” She informed.
I don’t know about you but I giggle at how God works sometimes. I love getting the word out about the message behind the “Celebrate Movement” and my Mantra: “Don’t Compare, Don’t Compete, Celebrate!” He’s been cracking me up lately.
Is God working in your life in odd and fun ways? He is in mine. I often ask Him to surprise me. It’s funny how I am still surprised by his surprises.
I’m tickled about the traction the “CELEBRATE MOVEMENT” is getting. It’s a God thing. I am truly amazed by people. I help people celebrate their significance and the genius of God in them. By the way: I celebrate (Honor, Commend, Applaud) You.
I’m delighted to report that the call was quick and a great way to spread the message. HERE is the interview from their blog.

Uth Stuph Blog

Client Spotlight: Rachel Inouye

Uth Stuph Client Spotlight: Rachel Inouye

Our client Spotlight this week is on Rachel Inouye and her ministry of celebrating God’s love for us! Read our blog to find out more about her inspirational career of changing lives through storytelling.

Uth Stuph: Rachel, thank you so much for being our client spotlight this week! Tell us a bit about your ministry.

Rachel: I help people celebrate their significance in the genius of God in them. God is given me the ability to take tangible things in this life and see a connection to a spiritual truth. I have a fresh perspective for everyday life. This perspective comes out when I’m speaking and in my book, Lily Pads: Stories of God on Displayand in my weekly blog posts.
God is a God of all hope, not just some hope. So no matter what the circumstance or situation, there is hope in the midst of it. God is for us not against us and that no weapon formed against us will prosper. God is good even in the midst of hard times or difficult circumstances.
I thoroughly enjoy story telling, with a love for Scripture, and believe in the power of prayer. God answers the cries of His kids and loves us so much. Those things sum up my ministry.

Uth Stuph: What made you want to become a speaker?

Rachel: I have been speaking since the moment I learned how to talk, NO JOKE!

“Rachel is always talking in class!” is something my parents heard during elementary school parent-teacher conferences. Funny turn of events; I was the class speaker at my high school Commencement Ceremony and some class reunions.

Not only am I a verbal processor, but I’m on the planet to encourage others.
I’m called to exhort the congregations. I began speaking as part of a worship team and traveling on cross-cultural mission trips to Colombia, Peru, Spain, Kenya, India, Guatemala Israel and soon Oman, Lord willing!
I primarily speak and encourage women at small group gatherings, women’s weekend retreats, mother-daughter teas, and Christmas programs. I’ve met so many fabulous people and I’m honored to minister to and with them. God has grown this ministry. It’s amazing to watch and exciting to be on this ride.

Uth Stuph: Tell us about your “Celebrate” T-shirt.

Rachel: This T-shirt is my life’s mantra: “Don’t Compare, Don’t Complete, Celebrate!”
Now it’s become the “CELEBRATE MOVEMENT” as many people have joined. The message of the mantra is for people (not just in the church or corporations), but for people’s lives in general.
Comparison is “killing” people- it’s exacerbated by social media’s view in to people lives. Whether staged or real, it can be a breeding ground for discontentment. Comparison can be absolutely debilitating and even competition can turn ugly.
The antidote I’ve found is simple: Celebrate! Yes, Celebrate who you are as an individual and celebrate other people too.
There is no one alike on this planet. We are each uniquely made and God’s masterpiece, so don’t compare. There is no reason to compete for God’s love or attention. He willingly gives it to each of his kids. Don’t Compete. God never makes junk and you are God’s MASTERPIECE!
I heard a pastor say regarding other people: “Call out their gold rather than tripping over their dirt.”
The CELEBRATE is gold and the T-shirt is black.
Call out the GOLD rather that tripping over the dirt (black)

Uth Stuph: Rachel, Thank you so much for sharing with us about your ministry and the custom shirts that help you celebrate! How can people find you?

Rachel:
Instagram: @RachelInouye
Twitter: 4thgirlrach
JOIN the movement order your own t-shirt! http://rachelinouye.org/Store.cfm
Watch for other ways Rachel spreads encouragement through her online classes and podcasts.