True Hospitality

We are having some dear friends over this evening, and will be financially able to feed us all without breaking the bank. Another luxury that many in the world do not have.
An excerpt from Extending The Table:

“When we visited the Christian Council of Mozambique for the last time before leaving Africa in 1985, the council workers probided a lavish farewell feast. Despite our protests, these Mozambicans who live in one of the poorest countries on Earth insisted on giving us a proper celebration. Staff members spent most of a day looking for food-a chicken from a market across town, vegetables from someone’s struggling garden, rice, and Coca-cola from an expensive foreign currency shop. At last the feast was ready, the opening speeches given and the meal served. Our friends piled our plates high with food, urging us to eat more and more until our stomachs were fit to burst. All the while, we knew that some of the people at our table would go hungry the next day. It was one of the most painful, precious, and joyful moments of our lives. We, who had come to serve (and who mostly took our food for granted), were being served by those who materially had nothing compared to us, but who could celebrate with lavish abandon because they knew how to love. They knew from experience that true celebration is necessary for survival. It nourishes and strengthens both the givers and the receivers and helps to lighten the crosses in our daily lives.”

However you spend this Labor Day, celebrate heartily; be thankful for what you have and those you have to love.

Gratitude

Yesterday the kids were sick, and it created a lot of dirty laundry. I fell into a rhythm of washing, switching to dryer, and folding the resulting clean clothes. This went on all day. I thought about the areas of the world where there is no such thing as running water in one’s house. Or clean water anywhere nearby. What do they do when a little one is sick all over everything? The time it would take to get everything clean (before the sickness would spread from the dirty things to other people) would be greatly multiplied. How wonderful to be able to wash clothes quickly and efficiently! We are even able to clean our carpets (thanks, Mom and Dad) when they get dirty. What wealth we have in just our clean running water and our washer and dryer.
Today I started the process of switching the kids’ clothes from warm weather to cold weather. First let me say that we are so blessed to always have more hand-me-down clothes than we’ll ever wear, so I rarely have to go out and buy something. Up until this season, I have kept extra clothing stored in my mother-in-law’s basement. The arrangement was good and bad. We liked being able to go down there for what we needed from time to time, but there were way too many clothes! This summer I worked at cutting back and am keeping only enough for the elders this winter, for little A, and clothes for a baby (0-12m boy or girl) if we have more children. This month I want to take time to look hard at areas I am overdoing it. Hoarding the kids’ clothes is one area.This fall, they will have a lot less in their drawers, but I doubt they will even notice- they tend to want to wear the same 3 outfits over and over. This is what they’ll have:
5 casual outfits
2 church outfits
1 pr sneakers
1 pr dress shoes
1 pr casual shoes
2-3 pj outfits
I got the boys done this morning, and will work on the girls through this week. It will be cold and wet for at least the next week, so we already need the warm clothes.
Again, how many children in the world only have the clothes on their backs? Even my children’s minimum seems luxurious.

Sick Day

Five things that won’t happen today, now that we’re passing around the stomach flu:
1. We won’t be celebrating Big A’s ‘first day of first grade’ with Ohio-shaped sugar cookies
(listen to the song here)
2. We won’t start 30 Days of Nothing exactly as planned, but this first day will be a day of nothing!
3. We won’t exhaust our neighbors’ dvd library, because they have so many
4. I won’t be cooking my usual gourmet dinner tonight
5. Luke and I will not get out to see Pirates of the Caribbean II for our monthly date.

Fortunately, I can be certain there will be better days. I have to say that we are blessed with more good days than bad. Hope you get more done today than we do, since you don’t have our excuse.