Saturday, 1 November 2014

31 Days :: {28} :: wrap-up/conclusion

Hey there friends! thanks for stopping by! This is the final post of my 31 Days series on Celebrating Life. If you'd like to see all the other posts so far, you'll find the introduction here or the posts all here :)

So I made it. I wrote every day in October {except Sundays}, on the topic of Celebrating Life. And I learned. so. much. 

Please please please go and read the Chapter entitled 'Cold Tangerines' from Shauna Niequist's book Cold Tangerines, you can do that here {scroll down a little bit and it will show up in blue printing}. Because I tried to find a couple of paragraphs from this chapter to highlight and share here but I have to admit that the whole chapter is underlined in my copy. Actually, I highly recommend reading the entire book ;)

I've tried to figure out what exactly I want to accomplish with this official wrap-up conclusion. And it's been hard. 

But I think I finally landed on something. I just want to encourage you {& me}. Encourage you to celebrate. Because it is so worth it. Even when it's hard.

Believe me, I know. When you get to the end of the day and you find yourself all snappy, and achy and tired, it's hard to celebrate. 

When you're bored crazy, it's hard to celebrate. When you're sad, mad, disappointed, hurt, frustrated, it's hard to celebrate.

A lot of times, it's even hard to celebrate when life is going good and it's a great day. 

Ouch. And that's the one I struggle with oh so often. Because I just let myself onto cruise control and it no longer matters if anything is worth celebrating, and nothing in my day has a real point, and I'm just breathing and moving but not really living. 

And so when Shauna write this in her book, it resonates with me. It calls to deep within me and says, celebrate. Make that effort. Because tomorrow will soon be today and when you look back on what will be yesterday, will you wish you had lived more alive?

"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 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, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater." ~Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines)
 And it's not about waiting to celebrate the big moments in life. It's not about waiting to become whoever or whatever it is you think you are becoming. It's about celebrating this very life that you have today.

"But this is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidwalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets - this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.
I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.

I don't want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That's the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don't even see it, because I'm too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting." ~Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines
 And so today, I am encouraging you, calling you, appealing to you, pleading with you to please, open your eyes and intentionally look at all the beauty around you to celebrate.

"The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that's been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to listen for it." ~Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

Shall we?

complete post list:
{1} :: October Goals and Pre-Intro
{2} :: introduction 
{3} :: beautiful 
{4} :: tangible beauty 
{5} :: today... 
{6} :: Tunes Tuesday :: 10,000 Reasons 
{7} :: we need it 
{8} :: hidden beauty 
{9} :: don't wait
{10} :: sleeping in 
{11} :: laughter 
{12} :: Tunes Tuesday :: Carrie Underwood
{13} :: 31 Days love
{14} :: in which I sort of tell you a story
{15} :: intention 
{16} :: intention, part 2
{17} :: Today...

{18} :: Tunes Tuesday :: Something Beautiful 
{19} :: intention, part 3 
{20} :: the root of celebration
{21} :: believing it 
{22} :: link love 
{23} :: family {beautiful people}
{24} :: Tunes Tuesday 
{25} :: celebrating when it's hard
{26} :: Today... 
{27} :: quotes 

linking up with Elizabeth :) 


  1. Emma - you made Grams and me cry with your beautiful words of finding
    the beauty around us even in the challenges that we all face. Thank you
    for helping us celebrate today! Love Dad and Grams

  2. aww thank you for the lovely comment :) love you both and glad God used me

  3. I have been meaning to read Cold Tangerines for months!

  4. you should totally do it!! you will not regret it!
    side note, it is sort of like little short stories/essays, so it's one of those books that are super easy to read for a very short amount of time, and then pick it up days later and you won't need to reread what you already did to keep following. (if that made sense. lol)