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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

Celebrate Good Times!

Ah….as I type the sound of Kool & The Gang rolls past memory lane….

“Celebrate good times c’mon! / Let’s celebrate / There’s a party goin’ on right here / A celebration to last throughout the year / So bring your good times / And your laughter too / We’re gonna celebrate and party with you”

Well…I don’t party like I used to any more…..and that’s a good thing.

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And then there’s the song from “The Kids from Fame” – “Life is a Celebration” (Rick Springfield). That song is super cool because when I was in high school I submitted it as a Convention Theme Song for the annual CYO Convention (Catholic Youth Organization). I still have the shirt! What I DIDN’T know is how true those lyrics were to me at that point in time.

I was lost on a winding road I thought that life had nothing left to give Then you came and showed me that just to live Was the greatest gift of all

And you showed me life is a celebration And Lord, I’m gonna celebrate Don’t you know that life is a celebration? So come on now and celebrate, celebrate

Life is a celebration, look it’s a revelation So celebrate now, celebrate life, yeah Celebrate now, celebrate life, yeah

How could I have been so blind? Just to think that we were living to die Then you came along and I was no longer alone And you lead me to the light

And you showed me life is a celebration And Lord, I’m gonna celebrate Don’t you know that life is a celebration? So come on now and celebrate, celebrate

Life is a celebration, look it’s a revelation So celebrate now, celebrate life, yeah Celebrate now, celebrate life, yeah 

Ahhhh…..those were the days. Celebration of life takes a different meaning these days.

This past Sunday we took Mom out to eat to celebrate he 83rd birthday. Red Lobster was the request so Red Lobster was the gift. I had the bacon chicken club. Never been much for seafood. In fact the story goes when I was young I was fishing with my family and my aunt and uncle. I guess I caught a fish and someone asked a question and I replied ‘I want mine DEAD!’ I guess compassion wasn’t quite in my vocabulary at such a young age. Now I can’t even stand the thought of killing a worm by sticking the hook through it and having worm guts squirt all over my hand. Ah…..celebrating life.

Last week I celebrated a birthday of a different kind. On May 31, 1985, I made the most life-changing decision

when I decided to follow Christ. That’s 31 years now. WOW! It has gone so fast and yet the fun part is looking back and seeing Him involved in all aspects of my life. I have recently felt Him bringing me back to life….feeling my heart beat again for the things that matter to Him. I am growing and desiring Him more and more. When I was in high school I was a depressed teen trying to find a place to belong. My identity became my involvements…band, chorus, plays, basketball, work. I was lonely, hurting, and just trying to find some friends. I wasn’t sure who I was, what was important to me, or how I was going to get there once I figured out that part. College became a lot of the same – my identity in my activities. I had my hand in just about every cookie jar possible….and still managed to pass my classes. But the summer of 1985 my life changed when a coworker invited me to a Petra Christian rock concert. I realized that night that life is ANYTHING BUT just trying to make it to the end. I found life and started living it!

Recently I find myself celebrating my dear Ragamuffin friends and family. The change in me the last 20 months has blown me away. BUT GOD is the ONLY way to describe it! I am not only coming back to life after a long season of brokenness but I AM alive and growing! My mind and heart are being captured by the furious love of God, KNOWING, BELIEVING and STARTING TO UNDERSTAND what it TRULY means that God loves me, likes me, and is absolutely crazy about me! I am letting myself start to dream again….and not just dream…but dream BIG! My thoughts go far outside four walls.  I am believing (again) that God WANTS to, CAN, and WILL use me and that my story is not one to hide but one to be shared. I am seeing Him use it by things I share here.

I am seeing Him use me at work where my coworker with whom I would bump heads / attitudes at times has returned to church and is now asking my thoughts on Christian music as she works to replace the music to which she surrounds herself. She shares stuff she’s reading from the Bible, asks questions about what translation is a good one to read…..just all kinds of stuff! It is SO cool to see it unfolding in front of me!

And believe it or not I am finding it within myself to start celebrating courage. It has been painfully challenging to be so open on this blog about my struggle with my eating disorder, but the feedback has been SO encouraging and reinforces the truth that God uses our stories even when He’s writing a new chapter and we’re just trying to keep up. I have my first appointment with the dietician next week. We shall see how it goes. Stay tuned….

And right now I celebrate that in less than 24 hours it will all be over. I have an infected root canal. The root canal was done when I was 12 and the silver points have failed (its life expectancy was 30-40 years so it ran its course). Tomorrow they pull the tooth and remove the silver points. This weekend I suck gauze pads. And I celebrate because the infection that has been off and on roaming in my body for 6 months or more will be gone, my sinuses will quit being so irritated making me cough, and I get a couple days to lay low and be a bum!

So since I have all that going on it’s time to celebrate time to get a couple more things done. All the while celebrating the CD player in my car given to me for Christmas last year. Time to crank it up!

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Read more celebratory thoughts at and

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