Sharing A Meal
My husband was a trooper this weekend - sincerely!
I am the one who enjoys social outings and gatherings and going and just being with friends and family. My husband does as well, on a much smaller scale. So you could only imagine his social overload in my having "a plan" for each day Friday - Sunday this weekend.
Friday night we met two couples for dinner. One of the couples, he knew the husband and was introduced to his wife, who is my co-worker & friend. The other couple he didn't know either, although had on occasion exchanged some conversation with the husband, who is also my co-worker/friend. My co-worker, Karen and I have gotten to know one another more via email than interaction as we work in two completely different buildings. She is a hoot and I knew that whatever the evening held, she and I would find the fun in it!
It was an eclectic group and I'm certain Jeff wasn't sure what he was in for. However, knowing that I had a desire to go and enjoy an evening out with friends he went willingly and looking forward to it. We had dinner and plenty of laughs. A wonderful group of people. Three completely different couples all in different stages in life ~ and yet we all had something in common. We loved to laugh! We enjoyed the time with our friends, for nearly three hours. It went quickly and we never looked to see "what time is it?". A wonderful evening out. As a matter of fact, we had so much fun that prior to parting we set a date for our next adventure together, a Christmas party & pot luck with of course an Ugly Sweater Contest. There are sure to be stories after the party for which I am already looking forward to posting photos and sharing ; )
The next morning I was up and going early as my girlfriend, Monica and I have an annual tradition of going to a local bazaar and then enjoying lunch at a fun spot that is more "girly" than the guys like. Monica picked me up at 8:40am and delivered me home shortly after 3pm. We had a great time. We talked about nothing and we talked about everything. We visited with friends and we found treasures. A wonderful outing together - one we look forward to each year with one another. My husband, he had plans to fix a fence & spend time with the animals. He was just as happy to be doing that. When I arrived home, smiling and excited about the day shared he was pleased to see me. Couldn't believe we were gone all day and was happy we had a fun day.
Jeff's request for Saturday night was making dinner in and enjoying a movie together, which sounded perfect to me! As much as I love going and doing, it is a well known fact that I equally enjoying being home and with my family. A nice meal, a yummy slice of pie and the movie 42 (Jackie Robinson story, it is a A+ in my book).
Sunday we puttered before going to church, enjoyed a wonderful service and scurried out quickly after so that we could get to a lunch date with friends. They invited us into their home for a meal and dessert after church as a wedding gift.
We arrived and Cathy met us excited at the door, feeling more than welcome before we even climbed the steps. I noted this when she was standing there, how it made me feel - excited that she was excited to have us. A mental note, you need not wait for one to knock on the door before showing how happy you are to have them arriving! Inside we shed coats and bellied up to the breakfast bar where we visited and nibbled on vegies as our hosts finalized a wonderful meal. Cathy had inquired a few times prior to our coming over what we liked giving us Option A or Option B.
Dave her wonderful husband BBQed chicken for lunch while Cathy fussed over sweet potatoes and continued to entertain us with stories and inquiring about married life and how it was going for us. (we have made it to the three month mark and life is still wonderful ; )
We shared a wonderful meal at their table with great conversation and laughs. We learned a little about one another as well. After the meal, we cleaned off the table, Cathy started coffee and Dave got out the ice cream. We tried something new and I'm going to HIGHLY recommend it here to you. Dave suggested that we try a bit of ground coffee over our ice cream. Hummmm interesting right? Now, I'm not going to say that Folgers won't work, but I would recommend a good coffee and finely ground. Ohhhhh my in a word YUM! It was different, but it was very good. Jeff added peanut butter to his ice cream (which he often does) and then sprinkled the coffee... yeah, I don't recommend that. He liked it however. Dave tossed peanuts and chocolate on his minus the coffee, Cathy and I tossed coffee over our ice cream. We sat back down and enjoyed more visiting.
Hosting people in our home, in any home, what I really mean. Seems to be a lost art. We tend to get "so busy" - it is much easier to meet somewhere to share a meal. Eliminating the prep of cleaning up the house, preparing a meal, cleaning up after the meal and that nice little thing called "an end without question". When you dine out with friends, there seems to be a social gage for when it is time to go, we don't sit around after a meal for hours and just talk. You visit before the meal. Enjoy and visit during and upon the meal being over you find that is you "cue" that it is time to pay the bill and part ways.
After being with Dave and Cathy, having them serve up such a nice (and wonderfully simple) meal to share, enjoying a dish of ice cream and coffee... it made me long to want to have others into our home. To make them feel as welcome and has gifted as we did by the wonderful hosting in their home. Upon our leaving I shared that with Jeff, saying "I can't wait until we find our home so that we can invite others over for meals and fun like that" and then I paused. WHAT is my excuse now? We have a home, a nice table, I'm capable of making a meal and serving up a dessert why am I not doing that? Humm... oh I could find many excuses I would suppose, and I do.
This morning as I'm reflecting on what a gift the blessings of friendships are, the sharing of meals, the laughs and the gift of being together I'm mindful of the way I felt when our friends walked into the restaurant and saw us BIG SMILES, when Monica jumped out of the car to let me know she had arrived with a BIG HUG, when Cathy opened the door with such a WARM WELCOME... I want others to feel that blessing, that gift the seed of treasured friendship. Today as I'm looking at the upcoming week and hosting Thanksgiving in our home, I'm mindful of those feelings and how I want those coming into our home Thursday and really every day to feel. And I think about our children and my husband as well. Why couldn't I make each of them feel as welcome and special for a meal, every day. (smiling) The blessing of sharing, of loving, of taking those moments and making them memories.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
Yep, that's what I'm grateful for today- the gift of being able to serve others and leaving them feeling blessed while feeling abundantly blessed myself.
As we head into this holiday season, I'm going to take out the excuses and put forth the invitation of serving others in our home - a wonderful gift to share FRIENSHIP.