a gift

November 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

this week our small group was meeting for the first time in about 6 weeks. busy lives and the challenge of getting 8 calendars to match with an unscheduled friday night led us to a drought of get-togethers. so on monday i decided that instead of our usual pot luck style dinner, i wanted to cook the whole meal, a harvest feast, as a gift. i had all the recipes that i wanted to try. and i wanted everyone to just come and receive. using the good china, creating a beautiful centerpiece, lots of candles, and some of my favorite people at our table…it just sounded like a perfect idea.

 
and then the week began. and what felt like a gift on monday turned into a burden.
 
how does that happen, that the challenge, the difficulty of carrying out the plan, completely overshadows and swallows up the joy that set the whole thing in motion? as soon as i recognized the shifting in my heart i decided to fight back. to stand firm in the joy of giving the gift instead of collapsing into the earthquake of toil and hassle.
 
and there was some hassle. like my carrot cake mysteriously exploding in my oven. that was a huge mess. and an enormous inconvenience. but with a little perspective and gratefully having all the ingredients to make another one, i was able to chuckle about it. not a martha stewart moment. more like seinfeld which i actually like better anyway.
 
the dinner was wonderful. just like i hoped. fantastic food, wonderful friends, authentic and vulnerable conversation, beauty all around, a glorious harvest feast.
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