Saturday, August 4, 2012

Grill, Chill and a Pill

Sometimes I am not a very nice person.  Like when Paul came home from church and said he volunteered our house to host a gathering, I was less than amused.

"Grill, Chill and Devote" gives people a chance to share a meal and a devotion together.  Sure, I love the idea of different families hosting dinners throughout the summer.  It's a more casual atmosphere and a chance to meet or get to know people better.  Great idea. Just not at my house!

'Cause let's get real, people.  As casual and low-key as we try to make it, hosting dinner is a lot of work.  Invitations, cleaning, shopping, organizing.  Who do you think will end up doing all of this prep?  And we happen to have a dog who gets anxious around company.  How will he react to 20 strange people descending upon his domain? 

But I grinned through my clenched jaw and said, "Sounds lovely, honey." 

(OK, I didn't say that.  I don't remember what I said.  I probably said something along the lines of, "You did what?" and pouted for a while.   But the clenched jaw part is totally true.  Some teeth gritting as well.  I can be quite the pill.)

There is a verse in The Bible that says, "Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom."  (James 3:13)  Humility.  Not bitterness.  Not selfishness.   Big sigh.  Deep breath.  Silent prayer.  "God, apparently I am not perfect yet.  Sorry about that and thanks for continuing to love me anyways." 
You know we love the comfort and familiarity of our "Friday Friends"--the kind of friends who don't care if your house is a mess--but our new guests would be "Sunday friends."  I looked around the house and yard with fresh eyes.  The floor could use a mopping.  Weeding and mulching the garden has been on our list for too long.  We got to work.

On Sunday our guests arrived and soon the rooms were filled with conversation and laughter.  I learned that people will talk about topics in your living room on Sunday evenings that don't generally come up in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. I learned more about some members of our church in one night than I have in the twenty years I've been attending. 
Among other things I learned...
who has a few magic tricks up his sleeve...
who will paint your long as you don't mind midnight hours...
who has a new puppy in the house...
who is sending her youngest son to UVA this fall...
who once served cat food "pate" to guests
lots of stories to tell
 The evening wasn't perfect.  I never did mop the floors and Tatum was being his usual self--the best worst dog ever.  But noone seemed to care or notice.  I had fun and maybe, by God's grace, I even got a little wiser.  Added bonus--my garden looks great.  If I had known our Sunday guests would be so motivating, I would have invited our Pastor over for dinner months ago!


  1. I'm glad I took the time to get caught up on these. Each one made me smile, all for different reasons, but mostly because they remind me of why I love you so much. Paul

  2. Allison, this is a great post! Could we share it on Facebook? You let me know. Your words are just wonderful and your reflections inspiring. Thank you for opening your home! It was a great evening! Trisha

    1. thanks Trisha. It would be fine to share.