Dinner Party

**Disclaimer: Let it be known up front, I am not telling the following story in order to boast about myself, Kasey or Matt. I realized that it may be encouraging to someone else, and wanted to share.**

“And I realized that, for this night at least, I didn’t much care if anyone was the marrying kind or not–not even me. Who could tell? We none of us knew for sure what kind we were, exactly, but as long as we were the kind that could sit around eating together and having a lovely time, that was enough. Which just goes to show, I guess, that dinner parties are like everything else–not as fragile as we think they are.” –from Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

Before I tell my story, please know that I use the above quote, not because any of us are trying to decide if we are “the marrying kind,” but because I feel like it describes the satisfaction of enjoying a meal with a group of people and “having a lovely time.”

On Wednesday morning, Kasey and I decided it would be fun to have a Thursday night dinner party. Mind you, we still don’t know many people in the area. At any rate, the Ainsleys and I decided to put ourselves out there and invite a random group of people for dinner. It started with inviting three people and we ended up with ten coming for dinner! We were excited, and nervous.

I made chicken enchiladas and “crack” brownies. Kasey cleaned and cleaned the house and then made homemade salsa. We were all ready to go. As people began arriving, we welcomed them and began making introductions. Funny enough, we thought nametags might have been helpful. There were connections between everyone at the party that would later be discovered, but prior to Thursday night no one really knew each other.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, and it was so apparent that all of us are looking for community, for people to live life with. Several people even mentioned that they wanted to do dinner again, and possibly on a more regular basis.

So…here’s why I tell this story…hopefully it will serve as an encouragement to someone out there. Naturally, I am very much an introvert, but I’ve worked hard over the years to extend myself to others when appropriate. Living and working in the same place for so long meant that I had a very established group of friends. I never had to venture outside of that, but would often work to help connect new people to others they might be able to relate to. After moving, I waited and waited for someone to “connect” me in my new community. I even prayed that God would put someone in my life that would be that person for me. Eventually, I felt that He made it clear that I needed to step out and work on building community amongst the small handful of people I was meeting. And, that’s what I’ve been doing. And, I’m glad I have. Even though I have worried what other people would think, the benefits of beginning to connect with others in community is worth it. In fact, a couple of people have even thanked me for kick-starting things.

So, again, please don’t take this the wrong way. I have no doubt that God is working and that He prompted Kasey, Matt and me. I am not even beginning to try to take credit or say “look at us.” Really, I’m hoping this will serve as encouragement to someone.

Looking for new friends? Hoping to build community and find others to live life with? Take a risk. Invite someone to coffee. Or lunch. Invite a group over for dinner. Or go out to dinner.

It was risky for us, but we did it. And, we are glad we did.

I’m sure this isn’t the end of the story, but we’ll say it began on August 20, 2009.

To be continued…

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5 Responses to “Dinner Party”

  1. Joshua Kolkana Says:

    You light up my life…

  2. kathleen Nugent Says:

    No pictures of this event?! Sounds fun!

  3. Chris Says:

    Impressive! Possibly inspiring too, time will tell on that one.

  4. Dawn Voelker Says:

    So awesome, I am so proud of you! That sounds like such fun…now I want to have a dinner party…who came? I miss you!

  5. katiehobbie Says:

    so cool!

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