The end of the summer is always a sweet time for the boyfriend and I. August 20th is my birthday and September 3rd is our anniversary date, so we try to make those two days a bit more special by having dinner, giving handwritten cards and gifts, and whatnot. Two solid days to enjoy the day, enjoy the past year, and enjoy one another.
This year, we celebrated my birthday by having a picnic, walking around downtown, and going out for tapas. The 3rd was unique this year because it was the first one we celebrated in our new town. We had just moved and were still transitioning, so we took it easy by grilling, walking around, and watching a movie. My new apartment complex is great and has an open grilling/lounging area, so we took advantage of that since my stuff hadn't come yet. It was a really sweet and simple celebration - and exactly what I needed this year. Not only because of the move and the new life stage, but because I really want to learn simple living and what that looks like for me. It's easy for me to become so wrapped up with aesthetics and picture-perfect presentation. I'm easily attracted to extravagance and glitter and throwing around buckets of money into those things like it's confetti. And nothing is wrong with glitter or money (thank the Lord); but in Japan, I saw how much of a distraction and idol it could be in my pursuit in loving God.
We live in a culture that emphasizes perfection and obsesses over 'more'... More money, more clothes, more friends, more options... And we live in a culture that makes 'more' possible and perfection right around the corner. But that kind of lifestyle, that chase, is all a mirage. It's empty, damaging, and soulless.
I know I'm 100% guilty of falling into that trap - Instagram, Pinterest, and reality tv (conveniently three of my favorite things) just make it too easy. Chasing perfection, happiness, and temporary pleasure when God invites us into eternal joy, contentment, and freedom in His name.
Related: How to Embrace Loneliness
Anyway! A bit off tangent. So this year, there WAS still 'fun' and all that goodness a celebration should be, but we were just very intentional about focusing on what mattered. Focusing on good conversation, each other, and how God really blessed us this past year.