Don’t be a party pooper!

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P1080266“I want to have a surprise 16th birthday party for my son.” This was the beginning of a phone conversation I had with a mom back in the spring of 1996.

Since I’m always up for a celebration and it was a party for one of Nate’s friends, I already liked the idea.

P1110409But then she surprised me.

“And I’d like to have it at your house…”

Say what???

We didn’t know each other that well and I didn’t quite understand.

Had she seen my house?

Did she call the right person?

She insisted she knew exactly whom she was calling and was familiar with my home’s accommodations. My brain ran through the list of other more luxurious houses I would have picked before mine but she was resolute with her request.

A few weeks later, we hosted a surprise Mexican-themed 16th birthday for her son. Mutual friends and their parents attended. The food was great and everybody had a fun time. My friend made the right decision in having the party at my house after all!

Though the party was for someone else, I was also given a gift.

It was the gift of saying yes. I ignored all my home’s imperfections and opened my home up for opportunity and blessings. Strangely enough I didn’t cook a thing and barely lifted a finger for the party. Just saying yes was all that was needed from me.

Not a picture of the party I wrote about but an example of my olive shoots and their buds hanging out. So cute seeing their little faces back in the day!

Not a picture of the party I wrote about but an example of my olive shoots and their buds hanging out. So cute seeing their little faces back in the day!

In the next upcoming posts, I want to write about the importance of cordiality in our menfolk and why hospitality not perfection is necessary in our homes especially if you have children. My boys are wonderful hosts in our home but that wasn’t something that came naturally, we work on it.

I want to offer some easy ideas and examples of things I do to put people at ease in my home, you know, the little touches that seem to bless folks sometimes before they even walk through the door.

I’d love to hear your suggestions, ideas and questions too. Many of you understand the fine art of gathering others together so the proverbial green welcome mat is out just for your comments.

When I opened up my home, the blessings flowed. Entertaining can be stressful but the art of hospitality isn’t something just for moms and females. Guys need to learn it too.

Questions: How easy is it for you to say yes to opening up your home? Do you think you’re good at it? Why? Why not?

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Five minute Friday – brave

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photo copy 2Why just typing about the subject of bravery is well, brave.

My heartbeat is increasing with each.word.placed.

An idea has been swirling in my head for a while now and I’m afraid. I scarcely allow myself to ponder this and now I’m nearing the moment of revealing it to you.

A sample of the things I used this week. I feel happy in the kitchen.

A sample of the things I used this week. I feel happy in the kitchen.

What if my idea succeeds? What if it’s a total failure? What’s my motivation? Do I have the physical, financial, emotional resources needed to make it work?

Speaking to over 50,000 teenagers about saving sex for marriage was brave. Sharing incredibly personal stories about my past was something I asked the Lord to help me with every time I did it and that was for nearly eight years.

But now the Lord is placing, (I think) an idea which scares me as much as the first time I entered a high school classroom full of very skeptical kids.

My dining room

My dining room

I’m thinking about opening my home to encourage women with cooking and hospitality. Not as a money making idea, not to sell any kitchen gadgets or products, but just to encourage women in the art of domesticity. This is something so very close to my essence as a wife, mother and homemaker.

I think about this idea when I am chopping red cabbage or stirring up a homemade salad dressing in the kitchen. When I’m roasting poblano peppers or making a pretty table setting for my family, I feel this urge to open my home and show others how to do it. I’m so not an expert which is why I’m afraid to try.

When I think about going forward, I bravely ask God, “Is this what you want me to do?” It’s sad that I don’t know any of my neighbors, what if they reject me? So many questions and doubts but yet an eagerness and an unction to try.

Writing for five minutes is a treasure. Do it!

Writing for five minutes is a treasure. Do it!

Should I do it? What is the brave thing you are contemplating?

Check out this word party. This might be the brave thing you need to do!