We Wash Feet

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Archive for the tag “spaghetti and meatballs”

This Is Called Community 

IMG_0137We love Friday nights!  We anticipate Friday nights!  We often plan events as to not conflict with our Friday Night Meatballs! We are going on our fifth month announcing weekly open invitations to come have a meal around our table.  I cook up the sauce and noodles, and everyone else contributes sides, desserts, and beverages!

I promised pictures not necessarily my endless ramblings. Ummm  I still haven’t taken any past the simmering pot of meatballs bobbing in a pool of spaghetti sauce. In my defense, I’m not thinking about my camera, I’m sitting around a table with friends and family, laughing, connecting, building community.

Here’s a few thoughts intermingled with more of my random musings on our nights of open door hospitality.

Teenagers, kids, singles, marrieds, parents, grandparents, seniors ALL mesh beautifully. It can get loud! It can get chaotic! Be prepared!

This is called community. 

Everyone likes to eat.  Everyone likes to laugh. All carry burdens. All need each other. Be ready to listen.

This is called community. 

People are busy but even the busiest need down time and nourishment. Everyone needs friendship. Friendship deepens around the table.  It can only happen when you move to be intentional. Be intentional.

This is called community.

A majority of our guests are our church family, people we worship beside Sunday after Sunday and I’m ashamed to admit, most I didn’t really know. At least not in the way that the word family insinuates.

Meatballs is changing that.

Since we began opening our home, I’ve listened to vulnerable, transparent hearts speak of loneliness, grief, restoration, joy and so much more. I’ve got to love on children who have been rescued and adopted, children who pray alongside their mom and grandparents for their father’s safe return, and children and youth bearing unbelievably heavy burdens. I’ve hugged teenagers and spoke life over them, I’ve listened as a weary sister in a new town relaxed, enjoying a small respite from providing care for her Alzheimers stricken Husband. I’ve shared of homeschooling, raising boys, and God’s grace. I’ve invited friends  to join us for church and ensured them of their welcome there.  And when I’ve grown tired, I’ve been blessed and encouraged, listened to and hugged.

This is called community. 

Keep a guest book. On my entryway table, friends new and old sign its pages. It’s fun to record who was here which night. Some nights it’s in the twenties, other nights it’s my family plus one more. There is beauty in both.

I’m thinking of adding a prayer box of some sort on my entryway table. Bearing one another’s burdens is essential to life and well prayer, everybody can use more of that.

This is called community.

We serve buffet style at 6:30. Plates on the counter,  Noodles in pots warming on the stove, sauce and meatballs simmering in the crockpot beside the stove, often times followed by baskets of bread. Salads and bowls rest on the small kitchen table with toppings, dressings and croutons! Desserts on the buffet cart, drinks on the counter with the cabinet doors above swung open to reach our glasses. Simple is best, even if I must fight my inner event planning, tablescaping tendencies.

Oh and If you can’t come at 6:30, come late. Spaghetti warms up nicely in the microwave! We would love to see you there.

 This IS our community. 

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A simple Meal with friends 

 We did it. We offered a meal of spaghetti and meatballs. My parents, niece and nephew, my son’s girlfriend, and a friend and her daughter joined our family of five.  My parents brought brownies, my friend brought salad and soda. We had a nice dinner with good conversation followed by a lively round of Apples to Apples. It was a great night.

It just wasn’t what I had anticipated. I expected to have a house full.  I expected the entire community to line up to get a seat around my dining room table, to fight over my company. How conceited is that? I felt disappointed. Emotions can be so weird, after all, there were 12 people present, all of which I adore and love to spend time with and yet I just confessed to feeling disappointed.  

Did I mention, I want to be real? I have to be real. I am real, not a picture perfect Christian with ‘Jesus, others, you’ priorities in a neat little row. You would see right through that anyways. 

I did the only thing I really knew to do. I prayed about Friday Night Meatballs.  Yes that may seem silly to some but I truly believe in a relationship with my savior, Jesus Christ. He cares about me and wants to hear about every area of my life. I take my questions, concerns, successes, and failures to Him. It’s part of who I am and who I want to be. 

So I prayed for contentment with whomever God sends, if anyone.  I questioned my motives. Did I seek Him first? Was this plan from him or was this my doing? Would my time be better spent elsewhere? What is my intention? What made me disappointed? 

What I discovered: My motives were much more selfish than my invitation had suggested. Friday Night Meatballs is more for me than you. I want to connect with other Christians in a deeper way, to fellowship, to build closer friendships.   I’ve ask him to bless this and make it what he wants it to be. 

And just like with God’s grace I get to try again.  Not to host a larger crowd but to participate. To enjoy a simple meal with a guest list of 2 or 22. To laugh, to share, to relish your company. Yes it is still an open invitation and I do hope you join us but if you never do…. I will not be disappointed. 

 

 

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