I have a big thing at my house on Thursday night. We're expecting as few as 4 and as many as 50 people. I neglected to ask for RSVPs. So, I have no idea who to expect. Try planning food for that why don't ya? As I was getting ready to head out for the day this morning, I remembered an experience that happened around this time 10 years ago. It marked me. It taught me about kindness and friendship. It made me understand community.
In late November of 2005, I was surprised with the discovery of being pregnant. If you know our journey, then you know that was the biggest shock of our lives. While I had wanted to desperately be pregnant and have a child, I never considered that not all parts of pregnancy are fun. I was one of those unfortunate people who throw up a lot during those nine months. I remember the first time I felt sick and threw up. I was sitting at Ruby Tuesday in Natchez, MS. Even though no part of vomiting is fun, there was something special about it. It was the reality of me REALLY being pregnant. It was the elusive morning sickness (even though it was at night) I had wished I could experience because that would mean I was pregnant. I threw up and went on my merry way. Except, I kept throwing up. It was bad. As the week progressed, it got worse. There was no longer anything special about it.
That same week, I had a church wide open house in our home. We lived in the parsonage so each Christmas, we did a big come and go open house so the church could see "their" house. I always provided all the food and drink and had my house in spic and span condition. I was a couple of days away from the big event and had done NOTHING. My house was a wreck and no food was prepared. It was too late to cancel. I was so sick and so worried about what to do.
I can't remember how I actually found out what was about to happen. I don't know if they called me directly or if Dan told me or if they just showed up at my house. BUT, my precious friends Sue, Amanda and Tammy showed up and cleaned my house top to bottom. They decorated for the event. They put a spread out so much nicer than anything I could have EVER done on my own. They cleaned. They cooked. They did it with joy.
At that time, Amanda wasn't the cook she is now. But, she spent HOURS making homemade rolo cookies. They also brought in these beautiful black/white dishes to be used for the open house and then left them with me as birthday gifts. I still use those platters to this day and they always remind me of the beautiful gift of friendship.
I can still picture sitting on our couch and watching my friends dust and vacuum. I remember feeling helpless. I can't remember if I felt overwhelmingly blessed then because I was probably too stressed that they were doing all of that for me. Oh, did I mention they stuck around and kept food out, greeted people and then cleaned up? Yeah, they totally did. I made it through the night without getting sick.
I'm still blown away with the way they loved me that night. Not one soul in the church knew that I didn't pull that off on my own. They did the hard work then stood in the shadows. As I sit here tonight and have a ton to do, I keep hoping they will show up at my door. :-) I'm so grateful for the memory of that evening and the example it was to me of how to really love someone. As I pull those platters out tomorrow, I'll be reminded again of the blessing of friendship.