A Simple Gathering of Friends

If you know me, you know how much I love getting all cutsie when it comes to having a party. I loved pulling together this tennis party.

20140724-181719-65839893.jpgMy tennis team was celebrating being league champions in our area and looking forward to competing at the state level. I had so much fun pulling together the coordinating colors, Pom Pom mason jars, a team banner and tennis ball sersies. This is something I enjoy doing, but it isn’t always necessary for a “successful” gathering.

You’ve read about me feeling led to bring the women of my church together. In fact, the last time I wrote a post, I told you about two small spontaneous gatherings we had at Barnes & Noble. Well, a week or so ago, I invited the women of Hope Point to my house for an informal coffee and dessert. There was to be no agenda, just girls sipping coffee, eating some delicious dessert and chatting away.

Can I just say, that it took every fiber of my being to not do something cutsie and have the house all “perfect”? But I did it.

How many of us say we would love to host a get-together as soon as …we get a new couch or dining room table or rug? Or whatever? We have in our minds that we have to be Martha Stewart to welcome friends in our home.

I have been in people’s homes where everything is immaculate, decorations are adorable, food is amazing, but yet the welcoming comfort is not there. I almost felt afraid to sit down. And then I have friends, that I have never stepped foot in their home! Crazy! I’ve known them for years, but have never been invited in. Both of these examples are extreme, but they are real. I pray that I fall in the middle…cute, festive and warm and welcoming.

So, I sent the invitation out. (In fact, when the invitation was announced in church one Sunday morning, Superman and Thomas both looked at each other with unknowing glances, shrugged their shoulders and whispered “Mom’s having a party.”)

There was no RSVP, so I had no idea how many to expect. (A fact, which drives my type A-super organized-husband crazy.) Three women came to me to say they would like to bring a dessert, so I figured there would be at least four of us!

My flowering, potted plants had all died, so I just emptied the pots and didn’t fill them back up. (I really had to resist the urge to buy more flowers!) I used the paper plates left over from numerous previous parties, all mismatched and uncoordinated. (I was really, really stretching myself.)

I made a big urn of coffee and had a pitcher of ice cold water with lemons. No fancy drinks, just coffee and water. And guess what?

20140724-184740-67660581.jpgIt was fabulous!

20140724-184845-67725052.jpgOh my goodness! The desserts were out of this world! Susan brought two homemade chocolate pies, even though she wasn’t able to make it. Charlie made a deadly S’mores dessert with chocolate pudding cake on the bottom topped with marshmallows and Teddy Graham’s on top! Then to round us out, Joy brought a homemade Vanilla pound cake with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream.

20140724-185302-67982107.jpgYa’ll, I think I had died and gone to heaven! I had a little….ok, maybe a lot…of everything. It was sooo good!

20140724-185407-68047758.jpgBut not as good as the women who came!

20140724-185455-68095619.jpgFriends caught up with one another and new friendships were made.

20140724-185554-68154477.jpgYoung and the little less young came.

20140724-185711-68231509.jpgWhat impressed me the most was how there were no cliques. I know…”Mary, you are adults!” But let’s get honest. Even as adults we tend to cling to those we feel the most comfortable with or who we know. But not my girls! I saw people chit, then organically move to another group to chat. See, these gals drew together because of the “Spider-Man” mugs! (Paula, on the far right, has three boys. She’s all about Spider-Man.)

20140724-205319-75199483.jpgMy word for this year is Simple. When making decisions I’ve tried to incorporate this concept of simple. It has brought me peace, time and a new view of myself. This informal gathering of friends at my house, with mismatched plates and simple offerings, created an atmosphere, I think, that was comfortable, loving and special.

Friends, I pray that the idea of a simple gathering encourages you to open your home. Sparkles are nice, but your warm smile will light up your guests’ hearts for much longer.

Thanks for dropping by,


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