Toben and I are hosting a party tonight as part of Two Ignite, the new marriage ministry at our church. The theme for this month is 2play--you can find out more about the ministry and what all the "2 (fill in the blank)" things are all about here.
Our neighborhood has an amazing clubhouse and several pools--and we can rent the facility for free a couple of times a year. So we're hosting a pool party tonight and expecting quite a crowd.
(I do have to say that I struggle with the "play" part of this. It feels like we're really just hanging out. We've not really organized games or anything like that and I'm sort of wondering if we should have. Anyway.)
I'm excited to meet some new people, to hear some marriage stories, to sit under the twinkle lights in the palm trees, and sip some sangria. (I found an alcohol-free recipe here. Not that I'm opposed to alcohol, but with Toben's struggle with alcoholism, we just avoid it. Period. I'll let you know how it turns out. I got a beautiful beverage jar at Costco yesterday and I'm so excited to see how pretty it looks in it!)
I'm serving up some chicken tacos (the chicken is cooking in the crockpot already this morning) and will post recipes and pictures and maybe even some video after the party tonight. But a couple of things are on my mind this morning.
This move has been a good one, mostly because of our church. We didn't have to "church shop"--Toben's being on staff pretty much determined that we'd go to Mission Community Church! But even at that, we made a choice to jump in and get involved. To meet people. To be at church whenever it's open.
We've invited people over for dinner. Instead of waiting around for people to befriend us, we've tried to reach out to others. Who cares that we're the new ones? We don't have to wait to be asked, we can ask!
Please don't think that I think we're all that. But we've moved quite a bit, and this move has been particularly good and different from the others because we made some specific, determined choices about how we'd settle here.
All too often, I think we as people expect others to reach out to us, to invite us, to know that we're new, that we need friends. And when (especially in a big church where there are so many new faces) people don't automatically know all that, we give up, get disappointed, and sit around feeling grumpy and even a little bit mad.
We get out of something what we put into it. We have to make some effort, take some chances, get up and get out and reach out if we want to feel at home in a place.
The cool thing is that we don't have to wait for a new move to start reaching out. Sometimes we've been in a place for a while, but still don't feel quite at home. We can always start over--even in the same old place. And in starting over, we find a whole new place.