I have always loved people. Joining clubs, talking to strangers in line at the store, and getting to know my coworkers are just a few examples of how I like to expand my circle. I think it’s cool when I see a friend on Facebook that knows a different friend of mine – connections like that make me smile. In the end I truly love to celebrate friendships, and help other people realize how very special and loved they are. Maybe that’s why I love planning parties and hosting events. Life is short, celebrating milestones both big and small help us all to keep perspective and find the joy in this crazy world.￼
A dozen or so years ago, I took a quiz of sorts that would help me to identify my talents and passions useful for helping others while living my best life. I discovered what I’ve known all along – hospitality and service were both at the top of my list. Hospitality is defined as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm friendly generous way”. I always offer to open doors at Bible study, send cards of encouragement in our moms groups, or start our PTA meetings with a short story or inspirational quote. These types of things come naturally to me, and bring me joy. Hosting gatherings is also something I love ~ holidays, birthdays, backyard cookouts, whatever the occasion- our doors are open! I have even created a few yearly events as an excuse to gather friends. Each year in early December, I hosted a “Wrap & Write” that included my friends that brought gifts they had purchased for the holidays and wrapping paper, scissors, and tape. We sat together and wrapped gifts, listening to Christmas music and eating yummy food. So much better than wrapping gifts alone! We all looked forward to this event during what is an especially hectic month for most people. It was a time to relax and enjoy the company of others who may also be feeling frazzled and crazed. That’s what I love most about hosting, making people feel welcome and comfortable, feeding them, and making them laugh. Is there anything better?￼￼￼￼￼￼
Covid took a lot from us, robbing us of many social events that we had unknowingly been taking for granted. We grieved this loss over and over as days, weeks, and holidays passed, and we had to create new/different ways to get our social fixes. We spent even more time investing in the relationships within the walls of our home. Taco nights, game nights, watching both new series on Netflix, and old family movies is how we spent our new “free time”. We texted, FaceTimed and used the Marco Polo App to stay in touch with loved ones that we couldn’t see in person. We fought to maintain connection – and we did it! Better yet, our friendships and relationships grew stronger through the uncertainty of those long months (years?). We realized that we didn’t need to be face to face to encourage, vent, laugh or cry. We are grateful for the efforts we made and now that we can join together again in person, the time is even sweeter! Never again will we take for granted meeting someone for a drink, or having a lake day with friends.￼
I’m writing all of us to encourage you. You may not be the type that enjoys loud parties. Whatever form of fellowship feels comfortable for you – I urge you – go do it! Make the call, take the walk, meet for coffee, stop for ice cream, look at the stars. Find a friend or family member and enjoy your time together. Dive deep into those relationships, strengthen those bonds, create new memories. There’s nothing better!