As this blog's description states, I am I strong believer in "celebrating real lives". The key word there is to celebrate - to honor, applaud, and glorify. While often in association with a holiday or special event, celebrating brings joy. So, I often wonder: Is it possible to have that joy without a life-changing event? And, if so, can we still celebrate each moment with that same joy?
These frequently rhetorical questions are easy to pass by with a simple head nod and sigh, yet when answered open the door to growth. For most, when we think about moments when we are happiest, it is often the days that are counted down to - the birthdays, holidays, concerts, "firsts" and "lasts". Yet, here is the thing: life is more than just that. It is the in between moments that consume the majority of our time, and still they should be celebrated just the same as a large ceremony or grand gesture. One of the best ways I am learning how to do this (and do it often) is to make the most out of a meal. Having food on the table is a gift, and one we often take for granted. Gifts deserve to be celebrated, and how fortunate that many of us get to have three of them each day? So, here are a few simple ways to make the most out of a meal.
01 | Sit Down.
How simple, right? Yet not done as often as we should. I cannot count how many times that I eat breakfast in the car or shove a bag of chips in my mouth as I do laundry. However, these quick fixes - though needed every once in a while - do not equate to the true meaning of a meal. A meal is something that should be spent in good company. (Even just you is good company!) It is something that is prepared and enjoyed. A meal is an event, and should there for be celebrated no matter if it is ramen noodles in your dorm room or a meal out with family or friends.
02 | Be Intentional, and Take Initiative.
I recently heard a sermon on how Jesus' pulpit was a table. I loved this point because it was, in fact, around a table with close friends that He taught. He was sharing a meal with them, and therefore sharing in life with these fellow men. I think that example that is taught so well by many influential leaders of the past and present is one that we should all hold close to heart -- to invest and love others we must share in life with them. And, when sharing in life with them we must choose to be intentional with it, and take initiative. Likewise, with meals, when we are intentional about who we surrounding ourselves with and what we are consuming, we are celebrating. Celebrating life, and celebrating today.
03 | Treat Yo' Self!
As the common Parks and Recreation phrase states, it is good (and fun!) to treat yourself every once in a while. Maybe not cake every night, but on Friday night. Maybe not a more expensive out-to-eat dinner each weekend, but every few weeks. Moderation, folks. It the little extra that goes a long way. One thing that I have been doing more often when eating a meal is eating on a real plate, with a cute napkin, and drinking out of a colorful straw (see above photo). For most, these details seem silly, but to me they bring joy. It may not be yellow napkins or pretty dishes that makes you smile, yet find your own bit of joy amidst an ordinary meal.
Let's celebrate a meal this week - intentionally surrounding ourselves with people we love and food that nourishes. (This can be cake or a kale salad. Whatever fills you up, and brings you joy.) How do you celebrate a meal?