I decided when I was sick that when I got better Steve and I would begin to have an annual Christmas party. There was a small piece of me that felt it was too late to start anything annual (who starts new traditions at 53? By now we should be years into an annual Christmas party...) but that little voice is a liar so I pushed Mr. Lying Voice out of my head and began planning.
I like planning and I like preparing and I like cooking so I felt excited that our first little annual was about to take place. But, as the party grew closer Mr. Lying Voice invited himself back into my mind. You see we live in a perfectly lovely modest house with a perfectly modest party planning budget, but it seems that EVERY SINGLE COUPLE WE KNOW are fine and fancy and are only modest because they choose to be, and not because their pocketbook dictates that they should be.
The wine is too cheap, the food not catered, the furniture...is it too late to get a new couch here in time for the party - one that doesn't have one million down feathers pushing thru the fabric?? Mr. Lying Voice then invited his friend Mr. Lying Eyes and all I could see were the cracks, dings, and dust.
I think it's funny that God uses parties to remind me of truth. One morning just before the party He sat me down and reminded me that people don't want perfection. He designed his people for community and joy and connection. I had an opportunity to create a space of love and gratitude. He also reminded me that if I invited Mr. Lying Voice and Mr. Lying Eyes instead of Him my party would stink.
Everybody came and guess what? Nobody cared about the cracks, dust, dings and cheap wine. After everyone left and I was cleaning up (is it weird that I love cleaning up late night after a party when the house is dark and quiet and the candles almost burned out?) He showed up. It was just the two of us quietly cleaning and enjoying the memories of happy connected chatter from just a few hours earlier.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Psalm 126:12