I reached yesterday evening tired but happy. It had been a wonderfully enriching day, full of worship, fun and friendship. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would feel. As is my usual tendency, when discussing the fact that there were four of us in the church with birthdays the same week, I opened my mouth and suggested hosting a bbq at our house after church with very little thought. Once the idea had been seized upon gladly by others, and I was in the throws of organising food and chasing people up to find out if they were coming and what they could bring, I was beginning to regret my good idea! I knew it would be a mad rush after church too – we were leading worship and my husband was anchoring the meeting so we had a lot on. We are usually the last to leave the building anyway. So I started panicking about how I was going to get it all done. But then I started asking people for help – and discovered that there are many able and willing people out there with such a heart to help. I arrived at church feeling that things were now manageable, and the frustrations of the week faded away as soon as we started worshipping together. God came in a powerful way, our visiting speaker really challenged us and we all felt it had been a significant time.
As soon as the service was over my organising instincts kicked in and I scurried around like a mad person! Friends kindly brought me home and helped light the bbq in next door’s garden (they are also in the church, and it was his birthday too). Some arrived quickly and suddenly all the salads I was down to make were done as they set to work on them. They helped throughout the day. Others arrived with more tasty contributions and suitably summery liquid refreshments. As all the kids played happily in the garden, people popped in and out the gate in our fence that leads through to next door’s garden and others chatted in our garden I took a step back to admire the scene. I realised that this is what family is all about – those of us who feel we have a gift of hospitality opening our homes, but everyone contributing and enjoying spending time together. We had a wonderful afternoon. And I was truly blessed by those who stayed behind and cleared up with us too. My son helped me as well by slowing me down at just the right moment – I had hardly seen him all afternoon and he had been so busy playing he hadn’t had a nap. It was reaching 5pm and he was shattered. He simply came to find me in the kitchen and said ‘mummy sleep, cuddle on sofa’. I took one look at him and, encouraged by the others around me, scooped him up and sat in the lounge with him curled up on me. There he stayed for an hour – the friends who had worked so hard next to me taking a break and chatting with me too. As soon as we sat down, others arrived in the kitchen to continue the tidying. What a great church we belong to! 😉