Warm Connections {Day 11}: Dreaming of Autumn Guests

I knew I wanted to start practicing Eucharisteo (grace, thanksgiving, joy) … by giving thanks in a journal on a daily basis. My inspiration came from Ann, and my heart’s been telling me to jump in and do it. So into the garage I went, searching for a “journal.” I knew I had journals, many with blank pages near the back.

I grabbed one that was 12 years old and dusted it off. The spiral binding was still in place – it felt good to the touch. As I thumbed through what I had written I went to the last page.

“Autumn guests” was listed with about 50 people, some couples, some single friends — grouped together by dinner parties.

I knew that I liked to dream about dinner parties way back then. I liked to put the parties together in my head, and then on paper, and then I’d pray …

Many of these people aren’t in our lives anymore. It’s not that they aren’t friends, it’s just that life takes us through seasons. And particularly for those of you who have kids, you’ll know what I mean. I’ve also noticed that after attending several churches, friendships come and go. And sadly, some marriages just don’t make it.

But most of the people I had written in my journal we are still close with. Since we’ve been married for 20 years, some are 20+ year-friendships. Tight and solid.

One thing I’ve learned is that we have to meet life where it’s at.

I go back and forth about wanting to explore “relationships” further here at RE, because I know they can be tough for many. So if you have a particular question, feel free to ask it here, or send me a personal email.

Warmer connections come when we think of the people around us, their marriages, families, seasons of life … and we give thanks.

Don’t you find that throughout life you’ve mingled more with parents of your children’s friends? That as they grow and change, our friendships do the same?

If you missed previous days to 31 Days of Warm Connections …
Day 1 (and 700 31 Day Bloggers): Secret Ingredient to Warmer Connections
Day 2: Bringing the Beauty of Autumn to Your Table
Day 3: Multi-Generational Pear Applesauce
Day 4: Canning Suncrest Peaches with a Friend
Day 5: How to Find Contentment
Day 6: Encouragement with Easy Pear Cobbler
Day 7: Bush’s Garbanzos, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup for a Sports Family
Day 8: More About Others
Day 9: Technology Versus People
Day 10: The Table Experience with Bush’s Beans

16 comments on “Warm Connections {Day 11}: Dreaming of Autumn Guests”

  1. Pingback: Well-Designed Kitchen Counter - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

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  3. I just wanted to say that really enjoyed this particular comment. I live in a town where many people move away. Ther e aren’t too many jobs here. I have yet another good friend moving in a few weeks. It always makes me sad. But I’m going to start trying to take Mary’s advice bout feeling blessed that they were in our lives, even for just a short while. Thanks Mary! Jamie

  4. Pingback: A Homemade Life - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  5. This phrase “to meet life where it’s at” has been something that my daughter has been talking about. It is a true reminder for us in many situations.

  6. You never cease to inspire me, Sandy.

    Thank you for your life poured out so beautifully….

  7. I love this idea! thanks for helping plan out my warm connections with friends new and old.

  8. Hi Sandy,

    What a delightful post. It is wonderful to record dinner parties and other get-togethers and look back at them over the years to see what you ate and drank as well as who you entertained. But sometimes it can be bittersweet to think of friends who may no longer be in your life because of having moved-on, divorce, or in some cases having passed away.

    When my husband and I married, we had a small wedding followed by a champagne brunch. We had a small wedding party and I had just my maid of honor who was a close friend living here in Texas. Recently when I was cleaning out my closet, I came across a note she had sent me after we had shared a meal together It was so sweet. But also bittersweet as she died a number of years ago. But having that precious note triggered my memory to the wonderful evening we spent together and all the goodies we enjoyed together…eating and giggling like to happy little girls.

    Also – you mentioned in your question about relationships with our children’s friends…yes, many of the women with whom I am friends with are friendships that developed because our children are friends. These relationships were so well described by you as seasons. Most of the women I am friends with now are in my life because of the “season” I am in but I suspect as time passes and our children get older, some of these relationships will not endure the test of time because of the different seasons our lives will be moving too. The one gal I am closest to is 20 years my junior but we both have middle schoolers (i’m an older mom). When my son goes on to high school, she’ll still have toddlers in the house and maybe even new little ones on the way. I can see our relationship changing then.

    I used to feel a bit sad about this much like I did when my single friends would marry – while I was still single – and our friendships would change… but as I have grown older I realize how blessed we are to have wonderful people come into our lives if even for just a short while.

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts. They are just delightful!

    Love,

    Mary

  9. I am almost finished with One Thousand Gifts. I had started a journel years ago, but somehow got away from it. I am looking forward to starting a new one. I love the idea of recording your dinner parties. Such a great way to keep memories of times shared with family and friends at hand.

  10. What a great post Sandy!

  11. While we do not keep a journal of dinner guests. We do keep and treasure memories from each event. It is so true that as life ebbs and flows, so do our relationships. Sherrie and I have been blessed to have a group of friends that have been together for over 20 years. Life seems to get so busy and we at times forget to keep in touch, but when we do it is like no time has passed. Sharing our lives with others, the good, the bad, the ugly is what it is all about. It makes up our crazy quilt lives stitched together with love.
    Blessings to you and yours
    Curtis & Sherrie

  12. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who records dinners from the past. I, too, have a journal where I keep all those “important” dinners, the guest, the menu and comments (like 13 people at the table is too crowded – note to self – next time buffet). And each time I bring it out to plan another gathering, I flip through the pages to recall wonderful friends and feasts from years gone.

    Thanks for making us remember the people who have come (and sadly gone) in and out of our lives.

  13. Hey Sandy!

    It’s been a long time since I have commented, but I’ve still been here, reading and enjoying. I wanted to tell you that I am hostessing a fall birthday party tomorrow. As I prepare, I realize I really have learned a lot from you. I did all of my shopping last night for my part of the dinner. I delegated several items to the dear ones that are coming. Tonight, I will be doing all the pre-work I can so that tomorrow when I come home from work, everything is ready except popping the homemade lasagna in the oven.

    As I make my mental list of what I will do tonight, it inculdes setting out flatware, making sure the linens are ready, and doing a simple cleaning job, remembering that my peeps are coming to see one another, not my dirt or lack thereof.

    I realized last night, as I was able to rest after having checked off a number of things from my list, that I learned a lot of these things here. So thank you! Your words and ideas have impacted the way I entertain and made it better…for me *and* my friends. They will have a hostess who is happy to welcome them into her home, fully present, and not stressed. What a gift for everyone involved. :)

  14. Meeting life where it’s at.

    I cannot tell you how much God gently reminds me of this – like today. It’s so true, and yet I hear myself say things like “when we move into our next house”, “when we retire…”, or “one day when i have the time…”

    That’s not really meeting life where it’s at, i know. However, moving into the home that we’re in currently has definitely shifted my thinking. We are surrounded by friends who live by the rule, “Who not now?” and it truly has been God’s blessing putting us here. I definitely am living more in the moment than ever before. (still have a lot of *work* to do)

  15. i’m glad to know that others keep lists of people to invite for dinner! the ebb and flow of friendship can be difficult, it can also be so beautiful if we are willing to let ourselves and others be where we’re at…thanks for the reminder

    • I also loved that statement, “One thing I’ve learned is that we have to meet life where it’s at.” How hard is it to be content in the moment? I find myself frequently stating…when, if, at this point. I am working at learning to be content in this 31 Day exercise and it is certainly eye opening. Thanks so much for sharing this. I find that I am most content when I am sharing with in community and that is exactly what warmer connections is all about!

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