This week, Kori kicks off our month of Flourishing in Celebration by sharing four ways we can master the art of simple celebration.

women celebrating

Flourishing in Simple Celebration

by Kori Yates

Giving gifts is not one of my strengths, and remembering special dates is also a bit challenging. I have friends and family who are good at both.  

They know just the right gift for just the right occasion. They call or text on the exact day, without the facebook reminder. They are good. Thinking about my lack of skill in these areas could frustrate or disappoint me, but it doesn’t. I’ve learned that it’s simply important to celebrate, whether it’s the perfect gift, a needed reminder from facebook, or just showing up.

Celebration is good. 

We have opportunities in military life to celebrate a lot. From promotions to job changes and babies to weddings, ceremonies abound as does the cake. In military life though I have found it important to celebrate the smaller moments just as much as the big ones. 

The pomp and circumstance of ceremonies and the joy of new lives and new lives joined together are occasions definitely worth celebrating, but so are the completions of challenging schools whether for you or your children or even the new house in a new place. At our house we’ve even celebrated finding our way around in our new location without the GPS, going a bit further in our run down the trail, or having friends. 

These celebrations don’t require balloons and gifts, but they are still moments to celebrate. 

There is always something to celebrate.

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Neither of us are gift-givers, so we had simply planned to go out to dinner together. It was a lovely evening of time together with some yummy food, but one of my favorite parts of our evening was when we arrived home.

Our children had been hard at work. Standing in the living room, we watched them set up a picture from our wedding on one of the moving boxes and then lower two hearts on strings from the landing at the top of the stairs. They followed this with a cardstock sign lowered from the landing that wished us a happy anniversary, with confetti (torn up construction paper) immediately thereafter. It was quite the celebration, to say the least. 

It’s these celebrations I love, though, the spontaneous joy and heart-felt sentiments that make it special. God has truly given us reasons to celebrate as blessings abound in all of our lives. I have found that celebration begins with thankfulness. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)

What God Says About Celebration

Celebrations are truly gratefulness for things others have done or even more so for the blessings of God. It’s amazing in Scripture how much celebration goes on, from Nehemiah and the wall to David and the Ark of the Covenant. Reading through the Old Testament it becomes obvious that celebration is important to God as well. He commands the Israelites to celebrate many feasts. I think he has two purposes in the commands to celebrate – 

  1. Thankfulness – having a heart of gratitude toward the Lord. 
  2. Remembering – it is important that we remember what the Lord has done so we can have courage and faith in the next thing.

Celebration is important for us because it’s important to God. We have gotten better at celebrating over the years, but it takes practice. 

4 Keys to the Art of Simple Celebration

  1. Start with thanksgiving – A heart of thankfulness can’t help but celebrate what the Lord has done.
  2. Join with others – Sharing the blessings of the Lord benefits us and those with whom we share. It spurs us all on. (Hebrews 10:25)
  3. Simple is good – Celebrations don’t always have to be gifts and food. A high five or a verbal telling of the story are celebrations as well.
  4. Take it home – Sometimes we celebrate more with the people outside our house than we do the people inside. God has done great works in the four walls of our house. Celebrate with those folks, too.

Celebration is an important part of the life of all believers. It makes a difference in us, but it also makes a significant difference in those around us. How will you celebrate today?


Lord, help me to celebrate all you have done today, to share with others the blessing of you, because truly the “joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10).” Amen.

Verses to Ponder:

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 ESV).

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21 ESV).

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets (2 Samuel 6:14-15 ESV).

Watch our resource page for celebration tips coming soon.