The Simple Acts of Serving and Celebrating

It’s Monday morning and there are many things on my list today. We were out of town all weekend so there’s laundry to catch up, dishes to wash, and desk work piled up, too. But as I reflected on our family time together the last few days I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts about the simple acts of serving and celebrating.

serve, celebrations, 18th birthday, semi-homemade, simple homemaking, family

Caleb Turns 18

Our youngest, Caleb, turns 18 today so the weekend festivities were all about him. By the way, I can’t believe my baby is turning 18!

His birthday request was a trip to Nashville and a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame since we’d never been. We lived in Nashville for years but living and working in a city is different than visiting one as a tourist. What a fun place to visit! I’m not a huge country music fan but I really, really enjoyed our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In another post, I’ll share a few of the pics I took, tell you which part of the tour was my favorite and why, and maybe give a few suggestions if you’re thinking about going. But today, I want to focus on how we celebrated Caleb’s birthday at home last night.

I love Pinterest! It’s one of my favorite places on the web to find inspiration for celebrations, cooking, homemaking, organization—you name it, you can find it on Pinterest. When Maddie graduated from high school she wanted a big party. Pinterest was my go-to source for ideas and inspiration. (You can click here to see the post and pictures of that celebration.)

But not every celebration has to be elaborate or Pinterest perfect.

The point of a celebration is the person being celebrated and what their wishes and preferences are for the event. I have to be careful not to see the celebration as a reflection of my abilities to cook/plan/decorate or my dedication as a mother and homemaker. And in a day when we share everything on social media, it’s easy to feel the pressure and compare ourselves to what others are doing. Everyone’s quick to say they don’t compare, but as humans in a social media focused world, it’s hard not to.

When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Philippains 2:3

The Simple Act of Serving and Celebrating

serve, celebrations, 18th birthday, semi-homemade, simple homemaking, family

When I asked Caleb what he wanted to do about his actual birthday party (celebrate in Nashville or at home) he opted for cake and ice cream at home with just family. He prefers a simple, semi-homemade strawberry cake with vanilla icing (semi-homemade = box mix made at home). On the way home from Nashville, we stopped at Walmart and bought the ingredients and then ordered takeout wings and fries from our favorite local place.

 

We all enjoyed the meal in front of the TV with some Netflix and then a poor rendition of “Happy Birthday” (we even Facetimed Maddie to help us sing!) before cutting the cake. And we totally forgot the ice cream in the freezer. I guess we can have that tonight!

There were no candles, streamers, or decorations. No special plates or extra presents.  The cake was a little lopsided but warm and delicious! This was his birthday, just the way he wanted it.

A Few Do’s and Don’ts of Serving and Celebrating:

  • Do ask the guest of honor what they want and honor it (if possible).
  • Do ask the guest of honor who’d they like to include in the celebration.
  • Don’t “overserve”. Sometimes with good intentions, we can do more than the guest of honor is expecting or comfortable with receiving. (I have a tendency to do this!)
  • Don’t throw a surprise party for a person who hates surprises.
  • Don’t go overboard with food, decorations, gifts, or your budget just to impress others and make yourself feel better.
  • Mothers/wives: don’t post pictures without your child’s/spouse’s permission. (If your child isn’t old enough to say, think about how they’ll feel years from now.) A laugh at a loved one’s or friend’s expense is just too costly.
  • Don’t expect or demand gratitude. Serve from the heart with the right motive and that will be reward enough. Of course, it’s always nice to hear “thank you” but we’ve all forgotten to say it and it doesn’t mean we aren’t grateful.

Christlikeness begins at home where we serve

and celebrate those closest to us. 

P.S. If you need more encouragement and inspiration to see the beauty and blessing of serving and celebrating where you are with what you have, please, please click here and read this post.  Here’s an excerpt:

Maybe it was the sinus meds I’d been taking for a week, but I declare that old grout in the kitchen was talking to me. He said things like, “Your house is old and ugly and not worthy of a celebration. You should be ashamed of your kitchen, your house, and your life.” Sinus meds also make me a tad dramatic or maybe it was the Netflix marathon of The Blacklist while I was in bed for 2 days.

Either way, I was almost convinced that cracked old caulk would be the star of the party and no one would want to touch the food and they’d all leave early and meet up at Dairy Queen where they’d plan an intervention for my DIY failures. And then I remembered:

It’s not the house I love, but the life that’s lived in it.

A pin to share or save for later:
I have to be careful not to see the celebration as a reflection of my abilities to cook/plan/decorate or my dedication as a mother and homemaker. And in a day when we share everything on social media, it’s easy to feel the pressure and compare ourselves to what others are doing.

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One Response to The Simple Acts of Serving and Celebrating

  1. Charles Jones February 27, 2018 at 6:29 am #

    Exactly!