Sunday, December 22, 2013

Open House

After church today, we had a Christmas open house at the parsonage for the congregation and various other friends we have met here in Dulce. We probably had 40ish people here enjoying sweets and fellowship.

After an hour and a half or so, most people had departed, although we had a friend of our daughter's watching a movie and playing. Then my husband's phone rang; it was another young couple, not from our church, who had been invited to stop by our open house.

I happily made up a small plate of treats and sweets, served some lemonade, and we all sat down and chatted for a while. We made up a plate of goodies for them to take home before they left. It is a tradition here to leave a gathering with a plate of food for later. (I like this tradition!) This is our second open house since we've arrived, and it was a lot of fun!

And as I reflect on our time here in New Mexico (all 4 months of it so far!), I relish the fact that our home is a part of the ministry of the Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church. We have extended a welcome to church members, to neighbors-passing-through, and to people we have met in the area... and that welcome is God's welcome. It is never burdensome to me. It is a joy to invite people to dinner, to Bible study, to open houses, to step in as they rent the church gym for an event. It is never a burden to offer a sandwich, a ride home, or a quiet prayer.

Sometimes people say things like, "Oh, what a blessing you are to these people!" or "You're giving so much!" But I don't feel that way at all. I love that God is working through us, but I am the recipient of the blessings, not the giver of them. And only God can work that way: That all parties feel blessed by the interaction. Nobody feels "used up" or "burned out."

Amazing blessings in God's house, God's family, God's place and time.

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