How do you describe your family? How would your children describe it? I wish everyone could describe theirs like I can describe mine. Blessed, I am!
Family is supposed to be a safe group of people we can be real with.
People we're glad to be related to and want to be friends with.
People we can dream with.
People who love us unconditionally.
People who help us meet our need for belonging.
People who are for us and not against us.
People who help us grow.
People we can quickly forgive.
People we easily celebrate.
This coming Sunday my niece, Katie, is getting married to Ezra. I enjoyed watching them fall in love, I'm proud of them for living for Christ, and the celebration will be grand! Our family is expanding and I'm thrilled.
Watching someone's dreams come true is a beautiful and humbling experience.
Yesterday I surprised a high school graduate by attending her graduation party. She was shocked because she didn't know I'd be in Atlanta due to Katie's wedding. (I'm here early to help my sister-in-law.) My friend was well celebrated and shocking her will always be a fun memory.
In both cases, we can celebrate easily. Both my niece and my friend are living life purposefully, been emotionally and spiritually healthy, and are supported by family and friends.
Celebrations are launching pads to what's next. Attend every one you can. Plan something for people who aren't celebrated enough. Celebrating milestones matters.
I often say that today causes tomorrow. So, yesterday caused today. The past matters. The present matters. They both influence tomorrow. When young people recognize we noticed them today, tomorrow looks brighter.
Celebrations communicate "You matter."
"You matter to me."
"I'm proud of you and your accomplishments."
"I believe in you and the best is yet come."
"I'm eager to see what tomorrow holds for you."
"Your future is bright."
"I'm glad I'm part of your support system."
Helping someone's dreams come true is a privilege and joy. Sometimes it's a responsibility. Do it well.
Dr. Kathy Koch is the author of Screens & Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in A Wireless World.
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