For the past year and a half, my husband and I have spent every other Sunday night with three other couples and our seven children. In the beginning, we called our gatherings a Bible study. And despite dirty diapers, runny noses and squabbles between kids, we did manage to read some Scripture, discuss a few questions and pray together.

But as time went on – and the kids got more mobile and, well, louder – having an actual study became increasingly difficult. And so, after spending the entire summer in chapter four of Crazy Love by Francis Chan, we finally admitted the truth: This Bible study thing just wasn’t working out.

Instead, we chose to just be who we are for now: a small group of young parents who crave community and are committed to spending a couple nights a month encouraging, praying for and generally loving each other. And feeding each other.

Happy Meals for the kids and last-minute snacks for the grown-ups weren’t cutting it. And just like that, our Bible study turned into a supper club.

A couple weeks ago, it was my turn to bring dinner, and I decided on lasagna, salad and bread. As far as ease of transport, a dish of lasagna makes perfect sense. But as easy as it is to move, it’s a little more difficult to make.

The afternoon before our dinner, I found myself in my tiny kitchen, frantically running from one counter to another, turning in circles, sweating and generally going a little crazy.

I placed noodles in the bottom of two greased foil pans. Then I layered meat sauce and three kinds of cheese on top. I pulled the brownies out of the oven and turned back to the pasta dish. That’s when I realized . . .

I had forgotten the second layer of noodles!

“It’s RUINED!” I cried to my husband. “This will be the worst lasagna they’ve EVER tasted!”

I may have the tendency to overreact.

With my husband’s help – and four spatulas – we scooped one messed-up lasagna on top of the other. And then I covered the whole thing with shredded cheese.

Cheese covers a multitude of sins, right?

After I put the less-than-perfect lasagna in the oven, I turned back to the brownies. And grabbed the hot pan without oven mitts.

It was at that point that I decided I needed a little break from the kitchen.

But less than two hours later, I was in my friend Amy’s much larger kitchen, unwrapping a salad and cutting up the cheese-covered lasagna while my friend Erin washed dishes and my friend Amanda made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids.

As we took turns washing each other’s kids’ faces and filling their juice cups, we found time to enjoy our own plates of lasagna and salad (No bread. I forgot it at home.). It didn’t seem to matter that the pasta had just barely survived a near disaster earlier that day.

What mattered is that we were together – and that the lasagna tasted pretty good anyway.

For a few minutes that day in my kitchen, I forgot what’s most important about our group of friends. Our Sunday nights aren’t about fancy recipes or elaborate presentation. They really aren’t about food at all.

Our small group – and every night we spend together – is about friendship. It’s about taking time to connect. It’s about laughing and sharing and stories and jokes. It’s about our kids learning to take turns playing my friend Jeremy’s drum set and our husbands discussing how to avoid kidney stones and how to fix a crumbling fireplace.

It’s about being together. Not impressing each other with pasta dishes.

Although I have to admit, I kind of liked the fact that my friends ooh-ed and aah-ed over the brownies and didn’t leave any lasagna in the pan.

What do you do when you make a huge mistake while cooking for friends? Do you freak out? Or do you take it in stride and remember what’s important?

Mary is mom to a {usually} sweet, {always} sassy toddler and wife to her high-school sweetheart. When she’s not snapping photos left and right, reading a good book or organizing her to-do lists, you can find Mary {avoiding housework} curled up on the couch with her laptop. Mary blogs about her imperfect life at Giving Up on Perfect, where she writes about family, faith, books, diet-friendly and fiber-filled foods like granola bars and nachos, celebrity look-alikes and chick flicks. You know, the important stuff.

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