Celebration is a spiritual discipline. In the busyness and stress of life, it’s easy to overlook our small and big accomplishments if our attitude is always looking to do “what’s next.” Read how the ladies behind Delight Ministry work towards celebrating all moments of their life…
I could tell you at least five specific moments when the carrot cake from J Alexanders got Mac and I through a month. Two ice waters, and two full servings of cake. Yes, of course we don’t split one. We feed ourselves the whole dang thing. Some might call it gluttony, we call it celebrating!
Real quick, let me give you some back story. About three years ago Mac and I were invited to a dinner meeting with this sweet elderly couple at J Alexanders, an incredible restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. To be honest, we aren’t the best at dinner meetings. I don’t know if you can relate but it’s quite difficult to carry conversation and enjoy your food all at the same time, especially for Mac. We’ve practically made the agreement that I carry the conversation through the first few minutes of the meal, alleviating some time for her to enjoy the food, and as soon as she has made some progress she takes the lead, while I enjoy for the following few minutes. Some might call it gluttony, we call it strategy!
Back to the story, so we make it through the entree. Five minutes Mac, five minutes me, we are doing pretty good. Then the carrot cake comes. I’ve always been hesitant toward carrot cake, until I saw this one. Picture a big plate of melting cake, frosting dripping down the sides, forming pools for dipping. It’s warm, moist (in a good way), and everything you dream of in a desert. It’s worth the Google search if you’re curious!
Now we don’t have an agreement when it comes to dessert so both Mac and I grab our forks and go in together. Whatever we were talking about before was forgotten, the cake stole our attention. As true foodies do, we talked about the cake the whole drive home. So that we didn’t find ourselves back at J’s the next day, we made the decision that it will be our way of celebrating. Since then carrot cake has marked a lot of special moments.
Mac and I have always loved to celebrate. It started our senior year of college when we made the exciting, yet challenging decision to launch Delight. Our dream was to bring thousands of college women closer to Jesus, to have a chapter on every college campus, and to be a leading spiritual resource for college women. Sounds amazing, right?! Well, as I’m sure you recognize that dreams come with a lot of hard work and discipline. Creating a website, a brand, writing material, lots of meetings, raising funds… It meant choosing to sit at a coffee shop over the weekend instead of hanging with friends. It meant saying no to invitations for outings in order to meet deadlines. It meant waking up at sunrise to squeeze in a workout to try and stay healthy instead of sleeping in. At first it was an adrenaline rush, but a few months in it became a lot less exciting.
Isn’t that how everything goes! You get an idea, you come back from a conference, you hear a good sermon, you have an empowering conversation, you receiving an exciting email.. you’re ready to go! Then, you make one mistake, you slip up, you forget, you fall and that mountain top moment slips miles behind you and sometimes you even feel stuck at the bottom of it.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
But what if I told you, you could create another mountain top moment?!
In the midst of stress and a lot of hard work, Mac and I learned the importance of celebrating. Of lifting ourselves back up again, reflecting on all that God has done, and gaining positive perspective of the journey ahead.
If you don’t take time to celebrating you’ll run yourself empty. I’ll be the first to say that my every day isn’t easy. It’s often super heavy— not only do I carry the pressure of Delight but also the pressure of a lot of other things in my early twenties. Nothing ever feels like enough, the to-do lists never end, and that is exactly why you have to decide to celebrate.
It’s a conscious decision in the middle of a tough season or at the end of small accomplishments to allow God to pour life back into you again.
One of Mac and I’s favorite parts about the carrot cake is that it gives us a moment to reflect on God’s faithfulness. I feel like my mom when I say this because she is queen of spending time with the family, reflecting on the last time we were together as a family. She never forgets a dinner conversation, a funny story, or pretty much anything.
But that’s exactly the posture I want to take in the journey with God’s vision for my life. Taking time to talk about the ways God showed up, the little miracles, and answered prayers. My faith has been built in those carrot cake conversations.
“And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
Then the craziest part of it all, celebrating makes you want to do it all over again. It instills a perseverance that’s indescribable. Some of Mac and I’s friends probably think we are absolutely crazy at this point. We’ve gone through some really hard things together, have had to work our tails off, give up a lot along the way, and are 100% still willing to do it all again. Taking a moment to celebrate has given us perspective on the journey ahead, courage to keep moving forward, and expectancy for God’s bigger plans ahead.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
So I encourage you, before you start to slip down the mountain, plan a mountain top moment for yourself. If not carrot cake, find the thing, a moment, a place, that can be your perfect way to celebrate. I know it might not feel like you have done enough. I know it’s hard to find time. I know you want to reach just one more goal. But I also know that those feelings will never end.
Don’t wait until you’re desperate, don’t wait until your empty, put it on the calendar now and prepare to celebrate!
- Have you been putting so much pressure on yourself that you’ve stopped acknowledging how far you have come? Why do you feel the pressure to keep running the race?
- What parts of you, or your story might be restored if you stopped to celebrate how far God has brought you? What makes you excited about taking time to celebrate?
- How are you going to celebrate? What is the place, an experience, or a moment you can regularly create to allow the Lord to fill your soul back up again?
WHO WE ARE
Delight is a nationwide ministry that invites college women into Christ-centered community that fosters vulnerability and transforms stories.
WHAT WE DO
With over 100 chapters across the country, Delight provides college women with the tools and resources to launch, grow and sustain Christ-centered communities on college campuses. We create curriculum and resources that tell the real stories of college women chasing the heart of God.