Celebrate! Don’t you just love that word? Just saying it makes me smile and get ready for something fun to happen. I drafted this post on October 2nd – my hubby’s 65th birthday—since then we have been celebrating Randy. My friend, my confidant, the one I am privileged to share life with for 36 years on December 26 of this year. My gift, the one worth waiting for, my treasure, my husband. We just now got back from attending his requested gift – a conference at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It was fabulous! Randy values experience over “party”. So to celebrate Randy, I had to put aside my ideas of what celebrate means and conform to what would say “I ❤ you” to him.
About 40 year ago, Randy made a decision that great benefits and promised retirement were not good enough reasons to spend the next 40-years cooped up in an inside office. Right out of college he landed a prestigious job with Mobil Oil as a geophysicist. As Randy’s 65th birthday was approaching our daughter remembered her dad sharing that decision. She wittingly defined one of the consequences of that choice to leave Mobil Oil, benefits and all.
“Well, Dad, you are not going to get that office retirement party, cake, dinner and great watch. What do you think?” You see, instead of spending his life waiting for retirement, Randy decided he wanted to live his life and enjoy the adventure. His deep love of the Bible led him to over 30 years of full-time ministry. Because of many wise financial decisions over the years, he is now self-employed managing our rentals, living on his schedule, active in our local church and dreaming and praying for ideas of having a family business.
That’s when the idea of a reFIREment party was born in place of a retirement party because Randy is far from retired and very much reFIREd. Our reFIREment party included:
- Theme: No boundaries, No Limits
- Theme song: Take the Limits Off
- Key Verse: Isaiah 54:2 NASB, ““Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords. And strengthen your pegs.” (How convenient my name is Peggy.)
- 🎵 The granddaughters sang Joshua 1:9 with a little help from G.P. (that’s me, Grandma Peggy) to get the party/experience started.
- 🎵 Then our children and their spouses sang “No Longer Slaves” and “Good Good Father”. Pass the Kleenexes please.
- ✍ After that we brainstormed ideas for a family business.
The plan was to tape a sheet of brown paper to the wall but the tape wouldn’t stick. We had to adjust and put the 3′ by 5′ paper on the table (that’s feet not inches). This meant we had to “bring our ideas to the table.” Everyone gathered around, grabbed markers and started writing. Even the granddaughters grabbed markers and drew lines as fast as they could. It was a special moment indeed. Don’t you love it when you have an idea and God makes it so much better?
I celebrate Randy (his way) because . . .
- It’s biblical – Ephesians. 5:33, “…wives see that you respect/reverence your husband”
- I’t’s rewarding–makes me happy to remember why I love him and Randy happy because he feels like I noticed him.
- It’s necessary–I want to speak in “honor” of him not in “memory” of him.
Respect – that’s a word that is losing it’s meaning in our culture. The 1828 Webster Dictionary describes respect this way:
- To regard; to have regard to in design or purpose.
- To have regard to, in relation or connection; to relate to.
- To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth.
- Regard; attention.
- Good will; favor
In day to day living it can be so easy to get busy with life and lose sight of those people in your life of real worth. So, instead of lots of decorations, a fancy meal and cake we celebrated Randy his way. Surrounded by music, those he loves and brainstorming into his dream, taking him to a seminar to feed his quest for knowledge and commitment to God’s Word, it was a good celebration. Why? Because we celebrated in his “celebration love language.” This will change my future celebrations – it will not be about what makes me feel special but what will celebrate who they are.
Take a fresh look at Psalm 100. Instead of me telling you what it says, won’t you help me unpack this passage? Please comment on what stands out to you. I’ll be back in two weeks to tell you what stands out to me. Until then, join me in celebrating God His way.
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