When Celebrating Feels Hard

When Celebrating Feels Hard

By Rachel D. Baker


“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

Worship the Lord with gladness.

Come before Him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us, and we are His.

We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving;

go into His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him and praise His name.

For the Lord is good.

His unfailing love continues forever,

and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

- Psalm 100

But What About the Smaller Moments?

There are quite a few moments or events in life that prompt us to celebrate someone or something. I can think back to all of my birthdays, anniversaries, and big accomplishments like graduating high school, college, and grad school.

We shower people with gifts when they are getting married or expecting a new baby. Holidays come with their own traditions and expectations, and celebration typically appears in one form or another.

This might look different in various cultures, but most people are familiar with the idea of celebrating certain events and people.

But what about the smaller moments in life?

The Biggest Hindrances To Experiencing Joy

For those of us who are drowning in the heavy load of daily tasks, it can be difficult to see the smaller wins or recognize an opportunity for celebration.

It could be that we are just completely overwhelmed by All The Things and no longer have the capacity or emotional energy to give when we see something has gone well.

One of the biggest hindrances to experiencing the joy that comes with celebration is fear.

I was completely caught off guard recently when I realized my past experiences and dread of what might come next were actually keeping me from enjoying moments in my life right now. Not only that, but I was unable to muster up much joy or hope for my potential future!

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe God could bring about life events worth celebrating… I just wasn’t sure that was what He had planned for me anymore.

If this is our constant state of existence, then taking a hot second to celebrate anything at all can actually feel distracting or frustrating!

How are we glorifying God if we are too busy to acknowledge His blessings in our lives?

Insanely Difficult & Overwhelming

It’s one thing to have hopes and dreams that are tucked down deep where no one else can see or hear about them. It's another thing to take that next brave step of actually bringing them to light by writing them down or sharing them with another person. It's a completely different thing to actually believe that they could happen.

Joy and celebration are good things… but here’s the wall that a lot of people don’t even realize they’re putting up: “If I celebrate something today, won’t I just be disappointed by something else tomorrow?”

While reading What If It’s Wonderful by Nicole Zasowski, I was pierced to my core by this line: 

“I don’t want to look back on my life - my beautiful, wonder-filled, God-given life - and realize that I’ve mostly missed it while I was busy preparing for the worst.” 

Ouch, girl - those were my toes that just got stepped on! Just in case you need to hear this, too, I’m going to share the revelation that has given me the permission I didn’t know I needed to start celebrating again:

Just because life has been insanely difficult or overwhelming does not mean you are excluded from a beautiful, wonderful life going forward.

Do you need to read that again? The truth we read over and over again in the Bible is that God’s love is unconditional, and we can always hope in Him! 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” 

Lamentations 3:22-23

If we hold firm to this, it provides us with confidence that going through the hard things doesn’t mean you’re automatically less favored. We haven’t been cast aside, and good things can and will still come. 

Celebrating the Small Stuff

In case you’re imagining a full-blown party each time you read the word “celebration,” here are a few moments I’ve celebrated recently:

  • A beautiful sunset at the end of a long day
  • Waking up on time without hitting the snooze button over and over
  • Recording episodes for a new podcast I plan to launch soon
  • My kids getting a good grade on a test
  • Making reservations for a short weekend away 
  • Remembering to text a friend after saying I would

Some of those feel big, and others might not look like they’re even worth mentioning, but all were moments of joy and gratitude.

Are you able to celebrate the “small wins” each day? Or has a hectic schedule or fear of the unknown clouded your view?

Even if your celebrations look like joy in a sunset or gratitude for waking up to a new day, it’s important to honor the good and beautiful things in life. 

Meet Rachel

Rachel D. Baker with The Colorfully Candid Paradigm

Rachel D. Baker is a lifelong teacher, author, and speaker. She is passionate about empowering women who are overwhelmed with All The Things to create some breathing room and live an intentional life.

She is a wife, special needs mom, coffee addict, and bookaholic. Her own life experiences have created a special place in her heart for fellow moms and chronic pain warriors.

Follow Rachel on her journey at www.racheldbaker.com and on Instagram @rachel.d.baker.

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