What an incredible blessing to have a house. Not only for the obvious reasons on a cold, blustery morning like this, but to invite people in to.
I woke with thankfulness for our home this morning, because it is the day we have our Open House to watch all the New Year's Day Bowl games. Crock pots of chili and nacho cheese will be fired up soon. The coolers are lined up on the deck and each have a piece of duct tape on them listing what can be found inside. (Both high tech AND classy.) Paper products have been purchased on my annual trip to Sams and furniture has been arranged for best TV viewing.
This is our 11th year of doing the Open House and this week at dinner we were thinking of all the folks we've welcomed here. How the basement use to be filled with kids, then teenagers, and now it will be crowded with college (and older) adults playing games, talking and laughing.
Mike and I enjoy opening our home and want people to be comfortable here. We want folks to open the refrigerator, put a new roll of toilet paper on, grab a towel from the stack at the pool and literally make themselves at home. I tell first time visitors to help themselves, because "If I get it for you once, you'll expect me to do it every time."
Mama told me the secret years ago to having a successful social event - Decide even if no one comes, you're still going to have a great time. And that works, every time, I promise.
Another thing I discovered is that what I want most is for the people who enter our home to feel like they've entered the presence of God. I pray before each gathering for God to be here in a strong way and to bless our home and everyone who comes in to it.
So there's the recipe for a great party - canned chili, duct tape on the coolers, and God.
Happy New Year!