This year our family started a new Christmas tradition! We had a Christmas Eve brunch for anyone who didn’t have family in town or someone to spend it with. The idea excited all four of us, and it didn’t matter that only one person came. Our guest made it feel like a full party. 🙂

Christmas Eve eve, my husband finished and brought in a new table for us to replace our old tiny one. Years ago, my family had a tree cut down at my Mimi and Papaw’s house and Mom saved the wood and had it planed. We have some of the wood, so James used that wood for the table top. It is big and beautiful and the best Christmas gift he could have given me.

On Christmas Eve, the 5 of us sat around the table for 2 hours laughing and talking. It was so much fun! We got to know each other better than the short conversations at church. Our guest, Steve, said he felt unconditional love, and don’t we all need that?

Our brunch was so successful that I want to do that more. I haven’t exactly picked a word for 2017, but the word community keeps coming to mind. Now more than ever, we need to get back to the basics. Social media is great, but it keeps us isolated and even lonely. We feel like we know people, but we are mostly seeing their good parts of life. Jealousy kicks its way in, and suddenly our life seems pathetic and theirs seems shiny. Everyone else has it all together, except us.

If we are going to understand each other better, it will require effort. Our family has gotten accustomed to staying in our little bubble and associating with each other and a few people. We are comfortable but need to stretch outside of our comfort zone. I have to learn that the house doesn’t have to be perfect, just full of love. The food doesn’t have to be gourmet, as long as it tastes good. The most important part of the whole thing is that we reach out. We make people feel at home, where they are made to feel special and appreciated.

So, as I wrap up 2016 and look to the future, I see us laughing at that table for years to come. The girls will have friends over for pizza and eventually, gulp, boyfriends. We will get to know neighbors better and acquaintances and anyone else God brings to our hearts. I want to listen to the stories of their lives and really hear. I want to reach out and show others how special they are.

You are special and loved. May you be reminded of that in 2017. Happy New Year!

Linking with Holley Gerth

14 thoughts on “Community

  1. You are so sweet. What a gift to have a heart that longs to reach out and include people in yours.
    Happy Wednesday, from the Coffee For Your Heart Linkup.

  2. That is a great new tradition! It is so important to step outside ourselves and our comfort zones to show love to people, especially those who are isolated or lonely. That is something I want to be better at doing too. Happy New Year!

  3. Oh Sarah, I love this!! I’m praying that my other half will see the blessing of community more and more this year and get on board with having people over as the lord leads us. Hope y’all had a very Merry Christmas! God Bless!

  4. For sure, we’re all longing for community, for acceptance, for the warmest of welcomes. I love that you opened your hearts and were rewarded.

    New Year’s sweetest blessings to you and your family, Sarah …

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