celebration

Celebration // A Speak Up Link-up Vlog

The first Friday of every month, Amber and Annie host another Speak Up! Link-Up-- this month's focusing on celebration. With today being Good Friday and Easter coming in just three days, the theme is appropriate. While where we are at in the Holy Week story doesn't look good today, we know Easter's coming. We know Christ conquers death. We know there is hope, there is victory. What better reason to celebrate?


I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.
— Shauna Niequist

Hi, July

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June, you were good to me. You brought challenges and goals and a little thing I called New June, you brought the start of a new project and brought new friends and faces into my world.

Hi, July, I'm ready for ya. I have a good feeling about what you'll bring. I don't have a list of resolutions and ambitions this month, but I have a renewed sense of focus and clarity. I'm finding that there are themes that are running through my days and weeks like little currents, and I want to give up my fight and let the Spirit work through them to carry me where He will.

"I wanna live with abandon, give You all that I am, every part of my heart, Jesus, I place in Your hands. I wanna live with abandon."

Who knew a Newsboys song on the radio this morning would put new words to the same things I was writing in my journal last night. I want to love recklessly, wholeheartedly, radically. I want to live boldly, intentionally, freely. I want to give selflessly, unashamedly, sacrificially. I want to celebrate joy and life and beauty.

Summer is all about soaking up-- the sun, water, memories. I want to soak up Jesus this summer. I want to spend time in His sun and I want to be changed inside and out by my time spent with Him. 

This summer feels full of promise. I don't think I've ever paid as much attention to the seasons changing as I have in this past year. I think it's because so much of my life has settled into a routine, with my days looking essentially the same just with different meetings. In college, every semester brought a new class schedule, a new structure for what life would look like for those few months. Now, my life structure looks pretty much the same every day, and I don't have a few months of summer vacation to relax and travel and take a break. The seasons changing reminds me that God is always at work, making new things out of old, bringing dead things to life, making beauty in the world and in my life. That's been meaningful to me in ways I didn't expect, and it's mattered more in the midst of what could have just become monotony. 

This is the first summer I've had as a real working adult, and that could have been a major downer for me, could have been something that made me feel stuck and trapped and depressed. Instead, I've been choosing to see this summer as full of promise. I chose to look at June and say that I wasn't satisfied with how I'd been living, I chose to do something about it and try to push myself in areas that needed some work. 

Now, I'm choosing to look at July and see possibility. I'm choosing to fill my evenings with coffee dates and six-hour conversations on a picnic bench until the middle of the night, because those things fill me up. I'm choosing to wake up early on a Saturday morning and go explore a new park and pick berries and wander through trails in the woods, because that brings me joy. I'm choosing to open myself up to new things, to keep marching on, to celebrate and soak up and enjoy.

Summer just feels light, free, fun. I might have to sit at a desk for eight hours of the day, but that doesn't change that this season is one to dive in to and make the most of. I want to live this summer full of abandon, full of celebration. 

I want to be wide-eyed, full of wonder, a whole-hearted worshiper in the wandering and in the seeking of wisdom.

May that be the anthem of this month. Here's to July: a new month full of new possibilities, hot days and breezy nights, wild adventures and honest conversations, shared meals and sun-kissed skin, open hearts and opportunities. 

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