Monday, April 24, 2017

A Simple Dinner Invitation

I have hesitated writing this post, despite it being in my mind for a few weeks. I don't want to be or seem whiny (that's my hope, that I'm not complaining or being petty). What I really desire is to share what little things we can do to impact others' lives.

Two years (and 26 days) ago, my husband, children and I moved into my in-laws house. The plan was for us to be here a year while we built a new home. As you can probably guess already, that plan didn't pan out as we had hoped. Oh, we're building our house, all right, but everything has taken exponentially longer than we anticipated. It will most likely be another three or four months before we move into our new home. During the last two years, I've learned a lot.

One of those lessons is how much of an impact a simple thing like a dinner invitation can mean. Unfortunately, I've learned this through not receiving such an invitation.

You see, when we had our own house, my husband and I invited people over all the time. Usually once a week, but minimally once a month, we had another family over for dinner, or out to dinner (usually on the boat we spend the majority of our summer weekends on). With 8 people living in a 3 bedroom house, there isn't a lot of extra space for hosting. Though we have, on occasion, when my in-laws have been out of town and seats opened up.

When we were newly out of our own living quarters, I hinted around (okay, I flat out said) how much we'd love an invitation to dinner.

As of yet, we have not received one.

Now, there have been times friends have hosted parties, celebrations, meetings, where we've attended with other families. There have also been out of town friends I've called up and invited ourselves to go visit for a day or two or three, and they've gladly hosted. But not once has our family been invited to join a single other family or couple for dinner.

This is where I really don't want to sound bitter, whiny, or disgruntled. I'm really not. Because what this has taught me is how much I want to be even more intentional about reaching out to others in small ways. And there have been friends who've reached out to us in other ways. Had our children over for play dates, listened when things got tough, shared encouragement and joined us to dedicate our house to the Lord.

For us, though, we've really missed that one-on-one connection with other families. For us, it would have meant so much to be invited over for dinner. nothing fancy, just good fellowship.

For you, it may not be a dinner invitation, but something else. There are so many ways to reach out and shower love and friendship on others.

How will you overflow God's love to another person or family?

Invite them to dinner?

Plan a playdate at a park?

Send an encouraging letter or card?

Call to see how someone's doing?

Offer to babysit?

Take them a meal?

Make a movie basket for another family?

Pray for them?

There are so many simple things we can do to bless others and add to their lives. We are all busy and don't want to add one more thing that will overwhelm us, but if we seek God's wisdom on how to love others best, He will not only show us how to do so, but provide us with the ability to do so.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8

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