“How do you know if someone needs encouragement? If they are breathing!”
- S. Truett Cathy
We’re intentional about celebrating birthdays, holidays, accomplishments, and milestones - but how often do we take time to celebrate the people right around us just for being who they are? Encouragement is something that everyone desperately needs, but few of us freely offer without some sort of “reason.”
Well, here is your reason:
Your family needs encouragement.
So do you.
This month at one of our Executive Board meetings, we encouraged our members to intentionally celebrate their families by doing a “Family Celebration Exercise.” To create a space in their schedule this holiday season to look each of them in the eye and tell them, with supporting evidence, what is so uniquely wonderful about each one of them. And then, to receive some encouragement in return.
Last Thanksgiving was the first time my husband and I did this with our family. We gave the girls a day or so to think about what they were going to say, and then he started the conversation in the car on the way to Fort Worth. One of the girls had a page of encouraging words written out and was using an online thesaurus to broaden her celebration vocabulary; the other one picked one word and pretty much adapted it for everyone. (Classic!)
It was equal parts awkward, funny, life-giving and wonderful - but 100% unforgettable and totally worth it! Our hearts were all soaring pretty high by the time we were finished, and I’m still encouraged to this day by the words that were spoken. We’re planning to do it again this year, and every year after that.
We wanted to share this step-by-step guide with you so you can do your own version of the “Family Celebration Exercise,” adapted from the book called The Cure and Parents. Like pretty much everything we do around here, it is simple - but not easy. That’s why, along with the basic framework, we’ve included some information to help you manage your expectations, call you out on the excuses you will find to not do this exercise and prepare you for the mild awkwardness that will likely accompany it...if you should be so brave.
Click on the button below to download the step-by-step guide from our EB_11 content. Then, email us and tell us how it went so we can celebrate your celebrating!