The last week or two has become a bit of a summer party madness. I ended up hosting far more than I was planning to and I while I love every minute of wonderful people being with me in my home, the preparation sometimes leads to tired friction in our family. Last night we offered to be hosts for a tiny evening summer barbeque for a visiting guest speaker with teenagers. Our big beautiful pool would be a welcome retreat for kids doing too much meeting of new people, we thought. I felt God asking me to host for them and despite feeling a little overstretched in the people deparment, I said yes. It’s a blessed new season of hospitality for us, and I am learning what the gift of hospitality looks like for me, how to be an introvert, gracefully, in the midst of hosting, and the joy of using my home and my parties to express my inner artist. (My inner artist utilizes an intriguing combination of remade, found, newly placed, artistically arranged, and innovatively inhabited, or something like that.)
New friends came with acquaintance friends and I felt the grace that comes with saying yes to what is on our hearts to do. (And they brought homemade baked beans and two blueberry pies which certainly helped!) Kids swam and fought in the water, grown ups broke the ice and learned about each other, we snacked and then ate and ate and ate.
As dusk came on we lit up our magical outdoor spaces, a small brick patio with a fire pit and candles inside (for these warmer summer nights). Our pool pergola, strung with a few elegant swags of Christmas lights. We called the kids outside from their mad card games on the hardwood floors and they roasted marshmallows on the candle flames as we began to close our evening together. We invited Holy Spirit to join us and, in faith, wanted to offer words of encouragement, affirmation, and hope over our new friends and guests. He came, as He always does, and the next hour was pure God-magic as all four of us partnered to speak destiny over our guests. When one of us would give a word, another had an interpretation, or an explanation. And unlike those strained halting times of ministry we have all experienced, there was a perfect flow.
It’s on the dream list, “live as a family, in revival”, and sometimes those dreams come true in a little rush, as you least expect it. For me, last night was one of those nights, sitting across from my passionate son, in the candle glow, watching him give God-Words to a forty-something man. Hearing my teenage daughter, curled up on my lap, telling that man’s wife that God wants her to know that she is his “little girl and He is proud of you.” These are the moments that will break a mama’s heart and make her dreams come true. And it wasn’t even on the summer list. Note to self: the best moments sometimes happen in the joy and rush and flow of community life. Let’s spend our summer that way.