The Secret I Kept

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from my daughter’s (Hannah) middle school.  Apparently, she was going to be given an award on May 22nd, and I was invited to attend the ceremony.  Since it was intended to be a surprise, I was asked to keep it under wraps and simply show up for the event.

Keeping it under wraps took restraint.  Discipline, I tell you.  Hannah had mentioned the awards ceremony in passing a few times, and each time she assured me she had no chance of winning anything.  Since I knew that to be false, I had to bite my lip to keep from telling her the good news.  Oh, the squirming I did!

So, yesterday was the big day.  I listened as awards were presented to students who had achieved academically and had proven to be stellar students, but the best sound was the cheers that came from the students, themselves.  They had a blast whooping and hollering and celebrating each other.  As I sat there, I thought about the significance of taking some time to celebrate the wins in our lives.  Big or small, accomplishments are important, and recognizing them is even more important.  There is something fantastic about getting a pat on the back.  It just spurs you on.

Yesterday made me want to print a few certificates of my own.  To pat a few backs.  To celebrate the accomplishments of my friends.

  • Like, my friends JJ and Brian who have hosted my Life Group in their home this year.  They’ve provided a welcoming environment for our group to enjoy.  Their hospitality makes me smile.
  • Or, my friend Meagan who is mentoring several young women.  She selflessly offers her time to love and encourage other people.  She is making a difference!
  • Or, my friend Jill who, after years of working hard, will become a stay-at-home mom next week.  She has resigned from teaching and is looking forward to being home with her family and volunteering at church at a heightened level.  She’s planned and saved for this day, and the reward will be so sweet.
  • Or, my mother-in-law, Teresa, who has battled a bewildering illness for several years now.  She keeps putting one foot in front of the other, and despite the pain no one seems to understand, she loves and cares for her family.  Inspiring.

We don’t need certificates to celebrate.  We just need our words.  Tell someone today what a good job they’re doing or how they put a smile on your face.  I assure you, your words will spur them on to greatness!  People value what is celebrated.  Celebrate the good you see and watch as good flourishes!

Oh, and by the way, Hannah earned honors for achievements in Physical Science, and she earned the Wildcat Award, which is an award to honor someone who excels academically, is involved in activities, contributes to the community, and whose character is an example for others.  Way to go, Hannah!  That’s my girl!

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