Party’s On

Day’s end.
A calming piano cd plays…the kids are in their bedrooms but still chatting…the 3 year old heartthrob to be just came and gave me a hug…such a nice Saturday night.
Luke’s brother and his family came for the weekend, and we had them up to dinner this evening. Preparations for this event began about midweek, when I started thinking about when the cleaning and shopping and bathing and laundering was going to happen to ready ourselves for the party. I was pretty stressed out about it all:
1. Our dryer has been broken for a week. This was ‘fun’ for the first few loads, and while it was still nice enough outside to hang up the clothes. Until it got cold, until Luke’s work stuff was getting a day behind, until a bird pooped on Luke’s work stuff. Then I got really nasty to be around. A couple of weeks ago, while reading about Ebola and the desperate need they have in West Africa for medical aid and aid of any kind, I thought to myself, if I were single right now, I think I might consider flying over there. Seriously. I know where I am going when I die, here would be a chance to go out with a bang, helping people. Fast forward to this week, where the lack of a dryer makes me go to pieces. Um, maybe I would not be a help to those stricken with this illness right now until I had a bit of an attitude adjustment.
2. The days were loaded leading up to the event, so I had to be creative about when I went grocery shopping and cleaned the house. Friday morning we had a presentation on reptiles at the nearby state park. I grumbled about possibly losing half a day to do that, but it ended up being really neat, and the kids all came home with a brand new desire -a pet snake. (Really- they are clean, only eat/ poop once a month or longer!) Grandma said tonight that if we followed through with this that it was goodbye for her, so we’ll have to think long and hard which we want in our home more. Ha ha. Friday afternoon when Luke got home from work, Aliyah, Elijah, and I struck out for the grocery stores. It makes a big difference to not have all the kids along on a grocery trip, obviously, so I appreciated his willingness to let me go at dinnertime. I wasn’t really clear about not being home for dinner, so they did wait for me, a bit. Sarah is doing great at helping me with many of our meals, and she made cornbread to go with the chili in the crockpot. So once they noticed how late it was getting, they dug in. Even though I had to grab some fast food and drive home in the dark, it felt so good to come home with everything, and know I had all day Saturday to get the house in order.
3. Usually when Luke’s brother comes home, it correlates with an Ohio State game or someone’s birthday or some other reason. This time it was Luke’s mom’s birthday. I just learned that she shares a birthday with Billy Graham, who is now 96! Notice I did not share my mother in law’s age. Another reason for the visit was an awards banquet for Trail Life Ohio, the first of its kind. Luke, Sam, Noah, and Caleb; Keith, Anders, and Jack; and Paul and Carter all attended it this afternoon. They left around 11, so I thought of what the boys should accomplish in the way of cleaning and laundry before they left. Luke had found some red polo shirts for $2.50 last weekend, so I got those all washed up and air dried this week, but it was hard for the boys to think ahead enough on their pants. Luke suggested we get a couple box fans to help the drying clothes along, then have them for the kids to take to camp next summer, so those new fans were trained on three pairs of jeans all last night. The boys did make it to the banquet fully dressed, and left behind a clean bedroom and bathroom.

So, the stressing, as always, was a waste of time. No point in worrying about the future when every day will come just the way the Lord ordained it…*. I got to thinking how nice it is to have a clean house, and look forward to showing others hospitality, and, as a guest, the joy of doing special things with the ones you love. It made me think about Heaven- that place He is busy preparing for me. Everything is in order, the House has never looked better, every thought was put into making this a wonderful time, and the guests are washed and dressed so fine, so excited and beyond blessed to be there. Maybe this is one reason we are encouraged to practice hospitality- getting in that mode of ‘how can I serve that one I love best during their stay’ often enough so that it becomes second nature. Or, being on the receiving end, rejoicing in anticipation of fellowship and basking in the reality of being loved, being chosen, being invited.

Give praise, servants of Yahweh;
praise the name of Yahweh.
Let the name of Yahweh be praised
both now and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
let the name of Yahweh be praised.
Yahweh is exalted above all the nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like Yahweh our God
—the One enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile
in order to seat them with nobles
—with the nobles of His people.
He gives the childless woman a household,
making her the joyful mother of children.
~Psalm 113

*thank you Chris Rice (click on this link!)