I spent this last weekend with eight friends who comprise our Father’s House Forever Girlfriends team. These ladies gather every January for a weekend retreat to plan out our year of women’s activities. It’s a weekend of laughter, prayer, planning, and eating—lots of eating.
Usually half of the women are new to the team so the weekend is designed to bond us as a group as well as get some practical planning done. The dining table becomes our favorite place to huddle and brainstorm. Unknown details of our lives and hilarious stories emerge that surprise us about one another, even though many of us have known each other for years. People relax around food—dining together provides an atmosphere where relationships can bloom naturally.
Number seven on my list of 2011 New Year’s resolutions states, “Dine and visit with friends regularly this year. Consider it a rehearsal for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” You might think fulfilling this resolution would come easy, but I often feel so tired at the end of a day that a quiet dinner at home becomes a sanctuary. Weeks can go by before I realize that I’ve neglected a fundamental need—connecting with friends at a deep level.
I actually started on this resolution some time ago. My friend Susan and I meet every two weeks for a morning coffee and chat. It’s a priority date that keeps us sane in lives full of responsibility. Several times a year our husbands join us for dinner and we talk until late at night.
The release of an anticipated new film provides a perfect opportunity for dinner conversation after the show with Dave and Vickie, long time friends and movie enthusiasts. A summer bar-b-que or winter stew draws our adult children and friends back to the homestead for lively conversation and reconnecting.
The reason I put “dine and visit with friends” on my resolution list this year was because I need more of it. It’s easy for me to dig myself into a rut of work and suddenly realize that I haven’t balanced my life out with friends and good food in many weeks. This does not make for a well-adjusted Susan. (Just ask my husband.)
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is scheduled on my unseen calendar for sometime in the future. It is reserved—I just don’t know the date yet. I have no idea who will be sitting next to me—it could be Peter, James, or John. However, I plan to be well versed in story telling, laughter, and how to pass the potatoes by the time it arrives. How are your rehearsal plans going?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis
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Dinner and converation with friends or lunches out used to be more regular occurences, but it seems time and money (the lack of it) intrude. It’s a good reminder to prioritize those special moments!
Somehow the time element becomes my biggest hindrance, and it’s my fault. We don’t eat out much, so having friends over for dinner is comfortable for me. Like you mention, Lilly, my relationships with those I love need to be prioritized.