Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and Comfort Food: Overcoming Food Addiction with the Word of God. Asheritah grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and then studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares vulnerably from her own life experiences on OneThingAlone.com. She is married to Flaviu, a web programmer and artist, and together they raise their spunky daughter in northeast Ohio.
I am SO SO excited to be partying with you today!
What? You didn’t know today is a special celebration? With cake? And lots of gifts?
Well, pull up a chair and grab a cupcake because today we’re celebrating One Thing Alone’s first birthday!!!
A year ago, I tremulously sat down to type out my first post, bewildered by everything the marketing gurus were telling me I had to do to be a blogger, and wondering what in the world I was getting myself into.
But the Spirit calmed my anxious heart and, in that quiet and gentle way He has with us, whispered, “Just write.”
So I did. Week after week. Month after month.
And God has blown me away with the community of women that have gathered on this virtual back porch to share life together. He has brought healing to my own heart and the hearts of so many others, and together we are finding more joy in Jesus, even on the days we feel overwhelmed.
Today is worth celebrating because God is faithful. Again.
The Discipline of Celebration
Wrapping up this 30-day series on Abiding in Christ, we’ve been talking about spiritual disciplines. And I purposefully left celebration last because we don’t typically think of celebrating as an intrinsically spiritual thing to do. I mean, prayer and fasting and memorizing? Yeah, those are all spiritual disciplines. …But partying?
For too long we’ve abdicated our rightful duty and pleasure of celebrating everyday miracles. We’ve let the secular world turn partying into something mangy, “worldly,” detestable.
But celebration is at the heart of the way of Christ. We’re repeatedly encouraged to rejoice always, be free of care, and allow the joy of the Spirit to pulse in us. The psalms are filled with songs of praise and celebration, which were accompanied by joyful dancing, clapping, and shouting.
And we have much to celebrate, dear sisters. We are hopeless sinners saved by God’s grace, called His daughters and loved beyond our wildest imaginations.
We witness rites of passage like birthdays, graduations, marriages, anniversaries. We can cheer on our friends and family members who have finished a major project, secured a job, or received a raise. And our cultures offer us festivals like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s when we can move beyond crass consumerism and truly celebrate God’s faithfulness.
With so much to celebrate, we cannot stand outside like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal, ignoring the party and fuming “bah-humbug.” Let us open wide our arms to the everyday miracles God blesses us with and allow His joy to flow through us into the lives of others.
Celebrating by Giving
I have a confession: I’m a terrible gift-buyer. I overthink every aspect of a purchase (too flashy? too little? too cheap? too personal?) and enter an infinite loop of choices. And I’m so un-artsy it’s not even funny, so handmade gifts are out of the question. I usually end up being the lame friend who buys a gift card.
So you can imagine my excitement when I got to browse Dayspring’s product line and found SO MANY fabulous (and affordable!) gift ideas. And a gift for YOU at the bottom of this post.
I absolutely love this Love Letterpress block set. It would make such a thoughtful wedding or baby shower gift, especially for the more urban-chic or rustic families you know.
I actually just ordered a letterpress block set for our home office. I can’t wait to share it with you once we have it hanging up on our wall. More on that in a few weeks…
For the little kiddos in your life, check out the God Made Light collection (especially the book and the nightlight, which my toddler would absolutely love). These would make perfect Christmas gifts for children.
A lesser-known but still-important “holiday” to celebrate is Ministry Appreciation month, in which we express our gratitude towards our pastors, children’s leaders, and everyone who ministers to our souls. How perfect is this God’s Purpose Gift Set?
When in doubt, a vase full of fresh flowers is the perfect gift for a friend who is going through a hard time (like my father-in-law who is recovering from open heart surgery). This Daily Grace vase makes me smile every time I look at it, reminding me to be grateful for all God gives. (Through 10/31, you can save 25% using the code GRACE25 at checkout.)
If you’re looking for a personal gift for a teenage girl or a close girlfriend, The Hope necklace or the Shield of Faith necklace would be perfect for a birthday gift. (I just got mine today and was excited to see it was on clearance. Check them out!)
And if you’re starting early on your Christmas shopping, the Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio would make a great housewarming or Christmas gift for a new couple.
As you can see, there are so many beautiful and thoughtful gifts to help us celebrate important people in our lives. Of course, you don’t have to buy a gift to celebrate. In fact, I wrote a post on 7 Free Ways to Celebrate Every Day and I stick by those convictions. But if you’re looking for gifts to celebrate, I hope these ideas gave you a head start on your list.
And because a party wouldn’t be a party without favors to give to the guests, I’d like to say thank you for a wonderful year with a 30% off coupon in our Scripture Art Etsy shop. Simply enter 30PARTY2014 when you checkout.
But wait… it gets better: the wonderful people at Dayspring are offering a $50 gift certificate to one of our readers. I recommend you check out the letterpress blocks, but you can spend it on whatever you want! Simply enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below.
Enter the giveaway here (just scroll to the bottom of the post)
The rabbits at the FTC want to make sure you know that Dayspring is offering you guys the chance to win the $50 gift certificate, these lovely pictures are provided by Aih, and I’m using affiliate links in this post, so any purchase you make will help keep my blog up for another year to come. Thanks for your gift and for celebrating with me!
Day 30 Challenge: Today, celebrate God’s faithfulness in your life, whatever that may look like. Sing a song, dance a jig, bite into a cupcake, or cut fresh flowers. Give someone a gift or wear a funky hat. Feel carefree and joy-filled in the presence of our God who provides and rejoices over us.
Oh Father, my heart is so full of joy and gratitude right now. Truly, you give good gifts to your children, and I’m so happy for all the ways you have blessed me and this little blog of mine over the last year. You are good. All the time. And thank you for permission and your blessing to celebrate and party. I need to lighten up a little. Teach me how to live a celebratory life and always be looking for reasons to bless You.
This is the 30th post in the series, “Abiding in Christ–when reading the Bible isn’t an option.” Check out all the posts here.