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I often think of those moments when Jesus went off on His own to pray and was followed by His closest twelve. I wonder so much what those times were like when they gathered and broke bread with one another. The things that they talked about–the weighty, eternal things and the the normal, everyday. The inside jokes they may have shared, and the deep knowing of what was going on in one another’s lives.

There is a sacredness that comes with gathering together. Jesus modeled it for us when He broke bread for His disciples–in remembrance of Him. Coming together before the Lord in celebration of who He is and of each other. Of the ups and downs and whole, complete journey of what goes on in our lives.

I think it brings God so much joy when we gather together and celebrate His goodness. When we rejoice alongside Him in the beautiful, abundant gifts that He has given us. There have been so many moments when I have been seated around so many different tables over the years and when in the midst of the fun and laughter, and sometimes tears and hardship, this Holy Spirit moment comes and the whole thing just feels holy. This gathering and rejoicing and fellowship that is a mirror of all that is to come in eternity.

These times of coming together to celebrate what God has done and what He is doing still. To remember those that we have lost or the difficult times that life has thrown our way, and support one another and build one another up. To celebrate the exciting and joyful things that are happening in our lives and invite one another into the blessing of it all. It’s beautiful and sacred and I don’t think I will ever get enough of it.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to help throw my best friend a baby shower, and it felt like such a gift. Not only to get to pour out love and excitement over this little girl that is coming soon, but to celebrate the road it took to get here as well. Because it hasn’t been easy and this day of coming together was like spring after the storm, but that made it all the more wonderful. Celebrating God’s redemption in so many ways. Being able to acknowledge the hardship while also rejoicing in the good.

It’s living faith out truly in the moment. Because life is full of twists and turns and things we never want to face, but they come anyway. But after the silence of winter, the spring always comes because our stories never end in the wilderness place. It’s this intermingling of praising God for the good and still acknowledging His name in the bad where I think the true grit of faith actually lives. He is the same God in every season and that alone is worthy of all praise and gratitude and utter celebration.

Today I am just feeling so very grateful. Grateful to get to be in this place that I love dearly surrounded by so many of the people that have made me who I am today, and also grateful to gather in celebration of God’s redemption in so many ways. I cherish so much the utter gift of having people in your life that you get to walk every road with. Who are there in the seasons of plenty, but who are also right there alongside you in the seasons of complete want and total pain. What a joy it is to be invited in for it all–to have people who know you and who invite you to know every part of them. A mirror of how our God knows us. I cherish it always.

Here are some photos from that delightful day. It was one of the most beautiful gatherings I have ever been part of!

What are you celebrating today? What are you praising God for in the good and in the bad?

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