I warned my family before the company came over on Saturday night. Don’t.Mess.With.My.Plans.
They knew that I had strategically placed two small mesh pouches on the dining room tables and they were not to remove them no matter what.
Furthermore, they received instruction not to smirk or roll their eyes when I revealed the little mystery bags to our dinner guests either.
In other words, there was some fear and trembling up in the W-H home before our company arrived.
Just before we prayed and served dinner, I announced to our guests that we were going to play a little game during dinner. The Hubs and my middle OS Aaron and the orange hair, freckle face OS nodded attentively according to orders. 😉
I told our guests we were going to go around the room and play Think-Ets. The guests weren’t sure what that meant and I continued. Each guest would remove an item from the small bag, show it to everyone else and share something about themselves as it pertained to the little trinket they held in their fingers.
Our middle OS got things started as he pulled a tiny bell from the bag. He shared a story about his childhood and waking up early thanks to our dog Toughie. May he rest in peace. Then it was Pastor Jerry’s turn and he spoke about a recent time at the beach. Throughout the night 12 people in total gave us a glimpse into their lives with the help of these Think-Ets. Some of the stories were touching, like when one of our guests told us about his absolutely out of control curly hair he proudly wore as a teenager (the multi-colored bead) and when one of the women told about how she recounted her dreams as a single woman and gave them to her husband as a wedding gift (the book). Things got personal as the Hubs shared about growing up in Guam and shelling in the middle of the night (the shell) and one of the pastors spoke about moving as a little boy when his parents divorced from the west to the deep south (the pig). My favorite was learning about the grandparents who owned a rock shop in Florida and would drive all the way to Colorado to buy rocks for the store (the polished rock). How cool is that!
This loquacious group would have kept the conversation going, I am sure of that. But thanks to the Think-Ets, we went deeper, funnier and sweeter than we would have done left to our own resources. A closeness was shared not only because we had enjoyed a nice meal together but because we were real. In no small way those little mesh bags filled with tiny trinkets moved us from mundane to meaningful.
A crazy rain storm had been brewing outside all night. Lightning flashed into the dining room and guess what? We couldn’t have cared less. We were listening to each other and making friends.
We went to church the next day and all the folks commented on the great night we had shared! They especially mentioned “the game.” See I was right, it was a GOOD idea!
We had such a sweet time of fellowship, I want to extend the opportunity to you. Leave a comment on this blog post and on Monday August 6th, I’ll select a winner and that lucky person will receive the brand new Think-ets Party Games Edition for you to try yourself!
Here’s what the winner will get: 15 miniature trinkets from around the world, Instruction Booklet with 10 different games to play and the absolutely wonderful burgundy mesh carrying pouch.
Sample Trinkets include: “Wine” Bottle, Purple Person, Woven Rug, War & Peace Book, Meerkat, Apple, Gold Ring, Hammer, House, and more. (Items may vary due to supply changes.)
If you leave a message on my blog on this post in particular, I’ll count it as one entry but you can also enter on my personal facebook page and My Awesome Olive Shoots facebook page as well. Feel free to share with friends. Tell me how you think you could enjoy these and I’ll randomly pick a winner. So easy!
I’m just thrilled to give you the chance to enjoy a special time with friends and look forward to hearing from you!
I want to play!
That would be great! Good luck!
Pick me! Pick me!! Sounds sooooooooooooo fun! (Actually I know it is. Didn’t we play at Writer’s Group?) And your “piece” reminds me that you are my squiggly line friend!! Love you!
They are so fun! You would have a great time with them that’s for sure! Squiggly lines rock! Love you too!
Every Wednesday at small group we have a Happy question ( think ice breaker) and go around the room and get to know each other better. This would be a great game to play. Thanks for the idea:)
Thanks Karen! I used it during Teen Community Bible Study and my girls loved it! I bet you would have fun with it too! And it could be very cool on your big trip that you are going to blog about!
I am often not too good at following directions…..but do love to love people! If I won I would def do my best to duplicate YOUR plans because They.Were.Awesome….. Just.Like.God’s! It did seem like such a sweet way to get to know others, make them feel welcome and relaxed. I think maybe with my kids getting older, we now often find ourselves dining with their friends and don’t really know how to relate to each other this would something they may play and enjoy.
Thanks Dawn! The great thing about Think-Ets is you can make your own directions unless you’re a member of my family and I’ve told you to follow MY directions! As long as everyone has the right attitude when playing, it’s a lot of fun. If you have a stinker who thinks it’s just stupid, well, it can ruin it for everyone which is why my family knew better!
I also ❤ your table setting, menu and the lovely words on your wall. You're such a sweetie Cindy. God bless you!
I recently invited a group of 6 moms to form a prayer group. We meet once a month and pray specifically for our children and husbands. We then draw a name randomly with each of our names in the bowl and whoever is drawn, we all commit to pray for her and her needs for the month. We don’t all know each other very well and this game would be so much fun and a chance to take our budding friendships to another level.
What a great idea Steph! It’s awesome that you are doing this and I think the Think-Ets would be a fun way to get to know each other. Every time I use these, I learn something new about people I’ve known for years. Thanks for entering the give-away!
I would LOVE to be a guest at one of your dinner parties! How fun was that!? I think the little items really make people think so you don’t get a superficial “something about me” kind of response. Genius. Just genius!
I want YOU to be a dinner guest also! Feel free to invite me to one of your parties as well since you can throw down like a boss! I like you’re comment because we did move beyond the superficial. I almost wanted to cry with a few of the stories. I felt like I really got to know the people in my home. Imagine that! Thanks Kim!
Cindy, PICK ME!!!! There, you can close the comments now! xoxoxox
You would definitely have fun with these, knowing you! I’ll put your name in twice since you also wrote on my facebook page! Thanks Mary!
What a fabulous idea. Thanks for the opportunity to win this! I am going to say I would use it the next time we have new friends over. Sometimes there’s a lull in conversation when you don’t know people well, and this would perhaps prevent that lull. I would also use it at Christmas. My family tries to play a game every year after we fill our bellies and open our gifts. This would be AWESOME!
I got your three entries, super cool! I can’t believe you would be anywhere that the conversation is lagging. You have such a bubbly personality, it seems impossible. I love how your family plays games at Christmas, we try to do the same thing and it is often, usually fun! 🙂 If you win, you have to blog about it, kk? ❤
I love the imagery in Scripture of family. We become a family, at least for me instead of “a community”. I also love the imagery of feasting and the table. Inviting others into your home is an intimate way of not only getting to know them but of loving them.
One of my pastors calls me “Sis.” It is one of the those things that blesses me because I’ve never heard of that happening in church families. You are a fabulous cook and a welcoming hostess. It does feel so good to do even though it can be time-consuming! Btw, are you coming to Aaron’s graduation party? Keep the family thing going!
I think at least one of us will be there. I am trying to work it in, I have to pick up J from the airport.
This is so cool Cindy. I would like to play this game which is unusual for me. I don’t like playing games and always say I’ll watch or be score keeper. I think this would be fun to play with all age groups.
Thanks Jill! This is one game that doesn’t work if someone doesn’t participate! You would have fun with it and I’d even play with you!
Me! Me! Gimme! Gimme!!
I can’t hear you! HA!
Love these! What a great idea!
I’ve used them other times and they are fun especially if you have people who are willing to be silly with it! I need to try a few of the other game ideas and see how they work.
What a great way to honor those who faithfully serve and give of themselves to so many! I love reading about the party and the way you created community at a deep level. A party of grace….just like our Lord! We are always looking for ways to make our home more hospitable, more welcoming… what a great game to play when the younger crowd is home for a break, or for a season. Thanks for sharing!
What an awesome idea! I know my friends and family would love this. If I don’t win, then I need to find where to get this. And by the way, I love the way you decorate your table. Want to help me come up with an idea for a centerpiece of our ASAB next year? 🙂
Thanks Sandy! I’m a little busy the next couple of weeks but after that, sure! I love doing these things even though I think I’m going to need a break after this month’s festivities!