Kwanzaa is an African American celebration of community, family, and culture that helps us to reconnect with our African roots. With 2019 being declared the Year of Return in Ghana, celebrating Kwanzaa this year is all the more special for our community.
Centered around family and community, Kwanzaa is celebrated every year from December 26th – January 1st.. There are 7 days in the celebration of Kwanzaa:
- Umoja (Unity)
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
- Nia (Purpose)
- Kuumba (Creativity)
- Imani (Faith)
Kuumba is the Kwanzaa principle of using creativity to see beauty and to make things more beautiful around you. I can probably guess what you’re thinking…well, this is a little random…
Plato once said, “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.” Before I was married, I always thought this saying was just about physical looks. Especially because I realized that I dated so many guys who were beautiful on the inside… As I’ve gotten older, I’ve widened my perspective on what that phrase could possibly mean and have hopefully become wiser in the process.
Find the Beauty in Life
What do you think of when you hear people proclaim that “Life is beautiful”? Do you think they are a bit delusional or unrealistic? Do you automatically think about all that is wrong and not the way you think it should be?
Confucius was quoted as saying “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” If you’re looking for the accompanying Scripture, James 1:2 says to count it all joy. No matter what is going on, we’ll be able to find the joy…if we have a real relationship with Christ.
Our minister told us in a sermon that God came to earth in the form of a man, so that He could endure trials that a normal human would endure; He wanted us to know that there was nothing we would endure that He had not already suffered. He literally came and walked in our shoes, before we’d ever put them on our feet.
I won’t lie. It’s not always the easiest task to find the silver lining. Because our brain tells our eyes what they see, you have to change your mindset about how you see things in order to see things differently.
Getting Creative to Find Beauty Around You
When seeking beauty in your world, you have to get a little creative. When you seek and appreciate the good, your life will be perfect for you.
Consequently, you need to think outside of the box when it comes to finding joy in your marriage. Take charge of what your marriage looks like to you. Practice these 4 easy steps:
- Look for the positive. Even in the worst of situations, there is something for which to be thankful. There may be days when the only thing you can find to be glad for is that you are alive. And when you think that life isn’t worth being positive about, every breath is another opportunity to make a better choice toward a better state of being.
- Laugh more. “A day without laughter is a day wasted” is one of my favorite quotes. Consequently, you can change your heart and the way that you react to things by laughing. Laughter leaves little room for grudges, anger, or feelings of vengeance. Laughter has the power to change your perspective when your husband drops all of your hot wings on the floor…
- Practice active forgiveness. When you want to get mad at your partner for a particularly annoying habit, take a look at yourself and consider your own shortcomings. They are there, if you actually look for them! Forgive every time that you desire to be forgiven.
- Manage your expectations. One of the biggest reasons for contention in a relationship is having unrealistic expectations. Yes, you have a right to expect your partner to be a good man and to provide for you. Expecting him to fold your laundry on the same crease that you do may be a bit much… Have standards, but make sure those standards are covered in grace.
Beauty is in Your Mind’s Eye
Kuumba is the practice of utilizing creative ways to find the beauty (and true joy) around you. One of the many things that most couples miss in preparing for marriage is that, some days, you’re going to have to actively seek the good in your relationship.
Change your thinking to change your outlook…to change your relationship and world for the better.
Need a way to make this practical? Click here for the Principles of Kwanzaa for a Beautiful Relationship Workbook; you can use it to work through simple, applicable exercises each day of the celebration.