Not everyone may consider themselves to be a host or hostess. For some folks it comes naturally, but whether or not we see ourselves with such a gift, there are times when we have that very opportunity to entertain guests. We had that chance recently.
Now you might find this list of events a bit much to handle. Back to back like this, they might be. Despite being activities planned out ahead of time, they had the potential to be overwhelming.
Living on a Heritage Farm founded in 1856, we are blessed with a number of relatives who also have roots linking them to our farm. My husband came up with the fun idea of having a family reunion. So we took steps to invite family to attend. On the set date, the Lord gave us a beautiful day for an outdoor picnic. We had nearly 50 guests join us for good times of sharing delicious food and fond memories with each other besides learning about the lives of our ancestors.
As the day drew to a close, two of our granddaughters remained to spend the better part of a week with us on the farm. (We try to have our grandchildren come for a summer visit where we can get better acquainted with each other.) During that time we are challenged to come up with menus as well as jobs we can do together. This teaches our offspring what work needs to be done as part of life on the farm. We cooked and baked. We played games and had warm times of conversation. Eating together and working together tend to deepen our relationships with each other. On their final evening with us, we arranged to meet the girls’ parents so they could take them back home.
The very next day, a young couple visiting from Arkansas came to spend the weekend with us and to attend a wedding. Again, more menus and linen changes were in order. Our friends brought their nearly one-year-old baby along with them. We got the chance to babysit while baby’s Mommy and Daddy went to their friends’ wedding.
On the day of the wedding, just as we were finishing lunch, the unexpected ding-dong of our doorbell rang out. My daughter answered the door. A friendly, “Is your mother home?” greeted her.
Our daughter directly came to me in the kitchen. Shrugging her shoulders, she indicated to me that the person at the door was not someone she knew. I headed for the door. As I entered the foyer, the mystery person offered her name, maiden and married, and at once I knew her! We had attended the same elementary school many years ago. We had not seen each other since our high school graduation! What a delight this unexpected visit brought. Reminiscing from our past and catching up on each other’s lives as we sat on our lawn swing brought a wonderful sense of satisfaction to us both.
All in all, we connected with old and new families at the reunion; we learned new things about our granddaughters and had fun times together; we enjoyed relating again with our friends from Arkansas. Although our schedule could have been crushing, it was not because these groups of dear people enriched our lives.
My husband and I planned several opportunities to host friends and relatives. But the Lord set in motion a fun surprise I had not expected. This reminds me of a Bible verse written in Proverbs 19:21. It says, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.” We made a bunch of plans, but the Lord had one, too.