Choose Celebration

When we received two “You Are Special Today” Red Plates for wedding gifts, I always intended to return one of them. At the time it never occurred to me how I would use one, much less two.

      Thirty-seven years later those Red Plates have prompted countless celebrations in our home and often for two people at a time!

There’s just something truly, well, special about a table set with flowers, candles, cloth napkins, teacups, and beautiful red plates shouting out, “You are Special Today.”


      Perhaps the best celebrations of all are those that take the guest of honor by surprise. Which is, of course, the story of the prodigal son who ran away and squandered his inheritance seeking pleasure and people to purpose his life. But in failure, he reached the end of himself and ashamedly trudged home to the only place he knew, the very family he had abandoned.

      I’m pretty sure the last thing he expected was a well-stocked dining table featuring a red plate setting just for him! And yet, this is exactly where we see his compassionate father make a choice for celebration. “We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!” Luke 15:32

      The emphasis seems to be on the generosity of the father, rather than the sinfulness of the son. This is true celebration—total focus and acceptance of the guest of honor.

      What are some small celebrations you could orchestrate in your own life?

  • Finished up that project at work (for writers, met that book deadline)
  • Survived the first one hundred days of the school year
  • Memorized a Bible verse or the words to a hymn or Christmas carol
  • Daylight Savings Time either started or ended
  • Kid came home from college for the weekend
  • Just because it’s Tuesday (or Thursday)

You get the idea. Celebrate anything and anyone because making ordinary days special is good for the soul! People will forget your décor, menu, and presents, but they will always remember how they felt in your presence.

Lord, You love a good party, and so do I. And yes, it is even better when we are celebrating something surprising and undeserving. Help me to learn how to do this more and more so that I can spread Your joy and acceptance to those who need it most. Amen.

         May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at

Want to read all of the “One Daily Choice” Blogs? Click HERE to read as each one goes live. These 12 weeks of blogs — adapted from Lucinda’s award-winning book “Life-Giving Choices” — come out each Wednesday morning through December 22. Thanks for reading. Click HERE to add your email to get blogs weekly in your in box.


  1. Angela Nichole on November 17, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Love this reminder to celebrate! Thank you! In celebrating daily may we pass along the joy that we have in Christ.

  2. Daphne Woodall on November 17, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Love this analogy Lucinda.❤️

  3. Maggie Wallem Rowe on November 18, 2021 at 12:15 am

    When things are tough, all the more reason to celebrate other things that come along, both big and little. And when we are struggling, we can be all the more celebratory for those who are not. All boats rise together!

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