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  • Matt McMullen

Celebrating Wins

Celebrate the wins in life – even the small ones.


One of the things I wish I was better at is being able to celebrate the wins in my life and in the lives of the people closest to me. Naturally I tend to default to the critical – I can identify all the mistakes and make demands…I mean suggestions to correct them. As you can imagine, this gets me in trouble quite a bit. For instance, my wife and those who hang around me like to rib me about my take on restaurants, “Why can’t you just say you liked it?” I don’t know why. I guess it could always just be…better?


But I’m learning as a husband and a dad that if I only ever critique what went wrong that I really have a negative impact on my wife and kids. Instead, I’m trying to learn to celebrate the wins in life – even the small ones – and let them stand as they are.


Thanks to my wife, I’m learning this with my boys right now as they’re doing jiujitsu. One of my boys is struggling with wanting to do it and I’m realizing I’ve been pretty hard on him about it. When he has a session and he doesn’t give the type of effort I think he should or maybe isn’t paying the right amount of attention to his coach, I think that I’m encouraging him to do better, but I’m actually discouraging him to where he just doesn’t want to do it. As dads we can tend to do that quite a bit.


My wife challenged me to instead of nitpicking on the things he’s doing wrong, find some of the things he did well and celebrate those. So, after he rolled on Monday, we talked about the good takedowns and effort he showed instead of what he could’ve done better. We encouraged him that even when he didn’t want to do something, he did it and that’s worth celebrating. Doing this we definitely saw a different attitude in him.


Practical Tip: Celebrate wins in your family, especially your kids. Make notice of them and take time to praise God for them together.


I’m working on celebrating the wins in my family, even when they’re small. AND even when there’s things that could be fixed. I’m challenging myself to notice them and take time to praise God for them together.


Instead of noticing the lines they colored outside of on the art project they’re proud of, the missed math problem on an A assignment, the mistakes they made in practice, or the million other things we could critique, let’s try to see the bigger work that’s being done and celebrate and encourage one another.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10.24-25

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