Special Occasions

Once a year, we get together in the middle of the woods with all our kids for a special week-end of just hanging out together, drinking of sweet fellowship and acceptance. I make my kids’ favorite dessert from when they were growing up, and we don’t count calories and don’t welcome televisions nor alarm clocks off: it’s as special an occasion as they come, and we all set our everyday lives on hold for it. We truly raise to the occasion. It’s worth all the planning, money, time and whatever else is involved.

And when it’s Christmas or Easter or time to get together with precious friends we rarely see, I pull out all the fancy plates and glasses, napkins and favorite recipes, because it’s a special occasion. Out of the ordinary. To be handled with a bit of extravagance. Or a lot. Mainly a lot.

Because they are really special, these special occasions. And we love them.

We wait for them, shop for them, dress for them, cook for them, plan for them, dream about them, celebrate them. They are a very big deal.

Today, as I drove home from running my errands, I stopped at a red light and looked around me while waiting for the traffic to move again. I mindlessly watched a lady leaving her house, carrying a huge gift bag in her left hand. Was she going to a birthday party? Or a wedding? The bag was purple with white lettering, and I tried to make out the words on the front. When I made them out, my heart skipped a beat right there in the middle of the intersection:

I tried to catch the lady’s eye, but she was looking the other way, and traffic started to move again. But my heart, it remained wrapped around the bag, eating it up in my mind like it was the best cheesecake on earth. And each bite made me happier. Lighter. More thrilled on the inside. Wanting to get out of my car and do a little dance.


Oh my goodness, yes it is.

And the saying on the bag, it probably is just a slogan from a greeting card company, but it did its magic in me right there. And the magic continues. The skip in my heart turned into a somersault or three. It turned me around. Refocused me. Energized me.


Because even though I know down to my toes that special occasions aren’t limited to week-ends away and company coming and yearly holidays, I still act like they are, saving my favorite candles for them, and the delicacies, and the setting aside of quality time, and the permission to just revel in the moment.

But what if it’s really true? What if life itself was THE special occasion? Then today would be a special occasion too, right? And come to think of it, today will never give itself to me again. it is a gift from its Creator, fleeting and  precious.

But until this morning at the intersection with the lady and the bag, I treated it as plain, ordinary, unimportant–a simple stepping stone for the special occasions coming up.

I went home, put my groceries away, pulled my favorite mug out, and made a very good cup of expensive coffee. After all, this is not a dress rehearsal.  nd then, I went into the bathroom and looked at the lady in the mirror, and I spoke to her. And I told her the truth about today. And she smiled. She got it too. So we did a little dance together, her and I.

And then, I went and enjoyed my expensive cup of coffee in my really, really special mug.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann:

one-thousand7783 A great evening of wine pairing with good friends

784 Great news about our grand baby

785 Seeing the work of God in a friend

786 Hearing His voice

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,



  1. Thinking that this would be a great theme for my Project Life scrapbook for 2014! Thanks for sharing. It also goes so well with cultivating thankfulness w/ Ann.


  2. Oh this is just so true and reminds me of the guidance I once read about….use your good dishes every day, wear your nicest lingerie every night, put out the silver and crystal, etc. Lovely story and thanks for sharing with all of us.


  3. You know…sometimes we forgot to take advantage of the little things. We recently began celebrating Family Movie Night. We all sit down, watch a movie, and eat popcorn. The kids actually call it a holiday! Its so sweet to see that single gestures or actions can be viewed to others as amazing gifts. I was just trying to have cheap family fun! I truly believe that sometimes I need to think more like a child. I am blessed to be able to go to the grocery, to attend church, to do everything I do. I don’t stop an appreciate it nor the people involved enough! Thanks for the reminder! and P.S. that is the best slogan Hallmark has come up with…EVER!


  4. Love this post, Barb!! Life is a special occasion but it’s so easy to forget that in all the day to day drama. Thanks for the reminder. And thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday. Love to hear stories of what God has taught or done in your life.


  5. Oh, how I lovey our mug and your heart! Yes – we need to put more celebration into the daily! LOL – we must be surfing on the same thought wave – I think when we live like that there is so much more joy in EVERY Day!


  6. I love this post. Life is the celebration. We should appreciate it every day!

    Found you via Turn It Up Tuesday! blog hop that I’m co-hosting! Thanks for linking up with us again! 🙂


  7. Oh, I LOVE this reminder. Life IS such a special occasion- I pull out our “pretty dishes” many times a week- I want my kids to know that just a “plain old family dinner’ is a special gift. Glad to find you through SDG tonight.


  8. I was drawn to the photo of the little colored boys that appeared to be dancing to hip hop music. They were certainly enjoying life and were happy with what they had. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”


I would love to hear your reaction to this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s