It was a much needed and longed for night.

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Our friends invited us over for what I call an “early Thanksgiving Dinner,” because any time we experience gratitude in our hearts, isn’t it Thanksgiving?

Fresh green salad, tender roast beef, flavorful potatoes and perfect carrots and sweet onions, sweet and spicy corn hash, homemade rolls and real butter.

Nothing is better than homemade.

Warm connections are built around the opportunity to reconnect with and encourage close knit friends. Many times it starts with food.

Close knit … being real and authentic, feeling free to break into song, sharing our deepest hearts, concentrating on the richness that comes out of quiet and gratitude.

It’s hard to explain what happened after we ate dinner.

We lit a fire. Flames joining us together in a profound way.

We snuggled. Some didn’t know each other well, but we walked away as “family.”

She placed her hand on my shoulder. I felt loved and accepted.

The guitar was handed to him. The outside area felt warmer, the people became quieter, the fire became our secret escape for focusing on God.

They sang to us, a song of healing and love. How beautiful, to break into a song of praise.

He asked about our lives and ministries. We feel small, but when embraced and encouraged, we’re challenged to give and our perspective changes.

She told her story. Every time she speaks, love and grace and mercy flow from her lips.

We sang together. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

We talked about spiritual matters. The words from our lips became sources of great affirmation and hope.

The pie was served, a perfect crust. Tart apples, a tiny bit of ice cream, and bold coffee. Cutting edge, sweet, courageous.

They had to leave early. Home to a special needs son.

Food is the conduit to what comes next.

What comes next is up to us, in how we want to spend our time on earth, with our time and talents, our attitudes and perspectives, and how we love.

When’s the last time you experienced a dinner that impacted you or your family?

Get caught up, Days 1-25 of 31 Days of Warm Connections, HERE.

Winners of last 2 giveaways are: Bev from Bev Cooks won the Bush’s Beans giveaway, Kirstin from Loving Life, Jan from Jan Udlock, and Kim from Art of Domestic Living won Melissa Michael’s new eBook. Congrats, Ladies!