Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


An observance. By definition it’s a “procedure, ceremony, or rite, as for a particular occasion.”

When you think about it, there are lots of them—a wedding, a baptism, a convocation, a Memorial Day service, a Veteran’s Day celebration, a bar mitzvah, a graduation, etc. And there are lots of things going on at them. Things you can learn from if you’re in a receptive state of mind.

An observance. By definition it’s also “an act or instance of watching, noting, or perceiving.”

At most “observances” we watch, but don’t note. We see, but don’t perceive. These “observances” take place, go on, end, and that’s it. Do we really observe? Do we really listen to the words being spoken? Do we really get what’s going on?

An ObservanceWhen you think about it, the very thing going on at an “observance” is life itself. Real people, real feelings, real commitment, real emotions, real memories…real life. Life is always going on. And life is precious. God is always going on. And you, who attend an “observance” are always going on.

Maybe the word “observance” itself suggests what is perhaps the most profound thing about them.

Author and literary critic Henry James wrote, “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.”

OBSERVE! Be present. Take note. Be receptive. Learn something. At each “observance” you only get one shot to be observant. Don’t be lost. Observe well!


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  1. Rosemary Norton on said:

    Interesting timing. I just this moment finished writing to a cousin to honor him as he is part of an honor flight this next week to DC from IL. Definitely an important observance. They will receive mail when they get back as part of the celebration just like when they received mail when they were in the service.
    I appreciate your messages, Beth. This one was interesting.

  2. Thanks, Rosemary. What a great thing for your cousin to be part of the Honor Flight. And cool that friends and family get to honor him w/ letters and notes. A very special “observance” indeed!

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