Saturday, June 20, 2015

Celebrate the Mess

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for the opportunity to focus on celebrations every week! 

Life is messy. There is pain. There is joy. It's all messy and confusing. It's hard. I struggle to write a post of celebration because of the world today. I hesitate because of the suffering. I hesitate because of the hurt. I don't know what to do. Everywhere you look, people insist that everyone MUST...change, talk about it, protest, speak up, be quiet...and on and on. I don't know what to do. I sit here frozen. I know that there are nine families and a church family dealing with unimaginable pain today. I don't understand. I don't pretend to understand. The only thing I know to do is to listen and learn and work to be better. Today, I will push on and celebrate as best as I can.

I celebrate talking on the phone this morning with my family.
I celebrate the quiet Saturday morning with no grading or planning hanging over my head.
I celebrate ending the school year on a high note and feeling grateful for the school where I work.
I celebrate opportunity to recharge, to visit with friends, and to write.
Highlights Foundation
I celebrate the unconditional love of my loyal dog Bella.
I celebrate showing up when things are hard.  
I celebrate laughter that serves as a signal to me that there's hope.
I celebrate hope...that things can get better.
I celebrate this community...readers who love and support me. I'm so grateful! I celebrate love.

President Obama just released a statement that I wanted to share. Today is Juneteenth. I didn't know what that was until today. It's the day when the slaves in Galveston, TX were finally freed...two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. In addressing this celebration he says, "So no matter our color or our creed, no matter where we come from or who we love, today is a day to find joy in the face of sorrow, to count our blessings and hold the ones we love a little closer. And tomorrow is a day to keep marching." President Obama


  1. I read that habits- like posting a celebrate this week post every week- helps combat a negative occurrence in someone's life because they give us security. And with posts like these it reminds us there is good and there is love when the bad and hateful things happen in the world.

  2. I love Earl's words above!
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos!

  3. The situations where world makes no sense and words aren't enough make us hold on tighter to what we care about. I am glad you celebrated today.

  4. It takes so little to destroy and so much create. I'm so glad you celebrated today. It takes courage to offer words of hope and celebration, to help create some joy to counter the negative.

  5. Enjoyed reading your list of God's blessings.

  6. Your line "I'm frozen" is so strong. I felt the same way. We are in our own worlds, and my goal just like after
    9-11 and Newtown was to enhance and help my world. Thank you for your post today and your celebrations.

  7. Even in difficult times, I think we still need to celebrate. Because through celebration, we find hope. I had forgotten you were going to the Highlights "retreat" (is that what it is called?) Anyway, have a wonderful time, tweet, write, celebrate, and hope!

  8. I learned about Juneteenth last year from the picture book All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis. It's incredibly moving.

  9. Your post is a powerful reminder that we need to keep celebrating and finding joy in the world even when things are difficult. I've already seen that goodness, love, and grace is emerging from even this terrible tragedy.

    How exciting that you're attending the Highlights retreat!

  10. Thank you for the quote from President Obama. It always seems that things have changed, but then we see that we still have such a long way to go. We must keep marching. I shared Juneteenth for Mazie with students before school dismissed this year. I told them because that holiday is during the summer and celebrated more in the south I didn't want them to miss out on knowing about it. I lived in Texas so it was something I knew, but none of my students had ever heard of it. I'm glad there are more picture books about it to share now.


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!