When I found out I won the 2014 Readers Favorite International Book Contest Silver Medal for Inspirational Fiction, I wasn’t going to go to the awards ceremony in Miami. It would cost way too much, I had to take off from work, it was “just” a medal…I thought of several reasons not to go. And then my husband thought of one very good reason (among others as it turned out.) He said “you need to be there to celebrate your win – it’s a big deal!” Many times I’m guilty of always looking forward, striving for my next goal, trying to win the next “prize” (I was raised in an ultra-competitive family!) – and not taking the time to appreciate, be grateful for, and to celebrate what I’ve already achieved. This can be a character flaw, I’ve learned lately, when it goes beyond self-motivation and robs me of my joy and gratitude. As it turned out, I heeded my husband’s advice (thank God) and received so much more than just a silver medal…I made new, wonderful friends in the fellow award-winning authors I met (like Chayvon Harris and Jalpa Williby pictured here with me), I got to share the event with my daughter Kendra, seeing her for the first time in months when she came over from college in Florida, and I actually made some good connections at the Miami Book Fair. As it says in Psalm 118:15, “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” I am reminded by this that it is God’s victory as well as mine, and to not celebrate would be a bit like giving a gift back to Him unopened. May you take the time to celebrate your many blessings, gifts and victories, no matter how big or small.