Today was a lovely day. I have to say, though, that I was exhausted this morning. I have really been letting my quiet time, which I call my desk time, slip away. Usually, that means some Bible reading, some prayer, some journaling and, frankly, some time to get in touch with myself again. That may sound a bit flaky but I find that with the pace of my life, I just let things go. I need to work harder at that. Anyway, after about 45 minutes of "desk time", I came down to browse through reader and made the mistake of reading Emerging Mummy. I LOVE Sarah Bessey. She is what I would refer to as a thinking Christian and even better, she's a thinking Christian who readers. She has done a week of lists of books and I have been in heaven. Last night, I read her post about spiritual memoirs and it sent me off on a crazy search. I don't know why but I had totally forgotten about how much I love Madeleine L'Engle and I couldn't go to bed without finding a copy for myself of her memoirs. Thanks for Abebooks, I have a set coming but it was pretty late by the time I went to bed.
Of course, today being Sunday, the morning was spent at church. We started by singing "Mighty to Save", which I love. I think because people were feeling both connected to church thanks to all the funeral events this week and because we had all had such a reminder of our own mortality, people became really lost in the music, me being one of them. It was magical.
After church, we had a luncheon. There was so much food left from the funeral (I gather that they actually had to turn away donations yesterday as there was so much that people brought - it just confirms what I truly believe - people desperately want to help other people, they are just often confused about the best way to do it), that we had a huge lunch of every kind of sandwich known to man, veggies, fruit and sweets. Of course, the kids had a blast.
Another thing I am striving to do in my life more often is to engage in hospitality. I really see it as an important part of being a Christian. I have to admit that it doesn't always come naturally to me. I love being with people I care about but it tends to bring out my type-a-ness. I worry that my house isn't clean enough, my food isn't gourmet enough and my home isn't nice enough. My parents almost never entertained, when I was growing up - our house was always a disaster and my parents were always directed to "higher things" and didn't think about basic things like have friends over. I really want to make more of a habit of having friends around and cultivating our home as a place that people feel welcome. One thing I have to say - when we bought our dining table 9 years ago, the man we bought it from kept saying how important that it was to have comfortable chairs so that people would happily linger after a meal. We are finding that to be so true. There are tables at which I can't get away quickly enough but our friends always seem to stay and chat.
I have extended several invitations for the following weeks to some of the most important people we have the most trouble making the priority they should be. Today, we went easy and invited a couple of friends from town, one who was babysitting and probably wouldn't have time to cook and another family who had gone to see a family member an hour away who is battling cancer. We love these friends and our meals together always end up being so much fun. Today was no exception.
The kids had fun playing outside...
The grown-ups had fun eating and visiting and playing, too. One mom tried a yummy new recipe that dh had to have some fun with. I would say that our first foray into hospitality was a success.