Friday, December 16, 2011

The Party of the Year

Y'all know I love a party!
If you know me personally or been following my blog for any amount of time, then you know we throw parties around here for just about anything. I don't know if it's my Louisiana roots or what...but I don't need much of an excuse to whoooop it up big time!

But this past Tuesday, I hosted my favorite party.  I look forward to it all year!
I call it my "Keepin Jesus the Reason for the Season" Party.

The Lord birthed it in my heart many years ago when my husband was pastoring our first church. I was working in a friends boutique a couple days of week to help her during the holiday season. Her store was a-maz-ing. It was one of the very first of its kind and it was filled from floor to ceiling with quirky, trendy, one of a kind, amazing GORGEOUSNESS!!  I mean everything in there sparkled and glittered  and it all screamed.."you know you want me...you gotta have me...you know you can't live without me" in every corner you turned in this shop!

Well, don't get me wrong...I don't think there is a thing wrong with sparkly, pretty things....but as I was surrounded by it..saturated with it..  seeing the hunger of the people each day wanting MORE and spending SO much money to get it...well the Lord began to work in my heart that year about reminding me of getting back to the basics of Christmas...
back to the TRUTH of Christmas...
HIM!
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So... I threw my first "Keepin Jesus the Reason for the Season Party" that year.
I invited all the ladies and asked them to bring a simple gift that represented their walk with the Lord during the year...something that would reflect what He was doing in their lives and how He was at work in their hearts.   Well, let me tell you...that night rocked my world!!  
What a blessing to hear testimony after testimony of what the Lord had been doing!


As the ladies came in with their gifts, I would put a sticker with a number on it and put it under the tree. 
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After we ate and fellowshipped awhile, I  have each lady draw a number from a bag (one number for however many gifts were brought).  The lady who drew #1 would then open it and then the lady who had brought that gift would then share the meaning behind it and why she chose it.   We do this until each gift has been opened and all the ladies have shared.

The creativity of the ladies was incredible!  
One of my best friends, who is like a tenacious little bulldog when it comes to her boldness for the Lord, ...well, she brought a turtle one year (not a real one!) and it represented how the Lord was teaching her how important consistency was in her walk..to be slow and steady like the tortoise and not to be super fast and burn out while serving Him. 
 Consistency....
to finish her race WELL.
I now can't see a turtle and not think of her and that spiritual nugget of wisdom!

I could go on and on with examples of the creativity over the years but it would take forever, so I am gonna take you to my party this Tuesday...

**************

Did you read the letter I wrote to myself?
Well, you can {here} if  you want to..
Ironically, my cake DID flop! lol
But, it didn't matter...I knew the night wasn't about my baking skills (or lack of them).
I stayed true to the talk I had with myself and kept it on track with WHO it was about...

When my 3 layered cake began to slide....
I just made it into a "dump cake".
As my husband and daughter were witnessing the whole thing,  I said, "No problem..we will just have what classy people call a "Trifle dish" and then Lydia said, "well, what do WE call them?"  Then my husband said "Dump cakes"....  we got a good giggle. 
Guess we are more Country than Classy :)


I kept the menu super simple...homemade potato soup out of Styrofoam bowls...

..a few chicken salad sandwiches with chips and dip and we were all set and ready to get on with the GOOD STUFF!!...


There were thirteen ladies so I can't share all of the awesome and creative gifts that were brought. 
 But I will share what I received.

 This was from last year but I have it sitting out and I love and treasure it.
It was from Ms Pat.. she shared that she wanted to desire more and more of Lord..to pant for Him as the deer pants at the water brooks as Psalm 42 says.

She made it herself and I love the vintagey feel of it.
It's a such a great reminder to me as to what I am desiring most...


 This year, I received this...

 A planner from Janet. She told us she almost brought a plate to represent that how "full her plate" is but went with the planner cuz the Lord is teaching her about prioritizing her time...only saying yes to things HE has designed for her...learning its OK to say no if she hasn't heard from Him on a matter...and desiring to fill her calender with things that have eternal value.

Well, the Lord in His sovereignty made sure the planner AND the meaning behind it ended up with me!  As I dive into this new year..I want the same thing! To quit wasting time on what He hasn't ordained for me and do what will last throughout eternity!!
(Plus, I have a wedding to plan..my daughter has chosen APRIL.
 Yes I know that is only 4 months. sigh.)


It was a wonderful night. A refreshing night.
We shed tears...lots of them.
We laughed....really hard.
And we cried some more.
We ended the night in prayer, thanking Him for transforming our lives and that He would choose to come to this world so many years ago and humble Himself so that we can experience the freedom and joy of salvation in Him.
  WOWZA! How incredible.

As I said,  this is THE party of the year for me.  
I love hearing how great our God is and how He is at work. 
 Seeing the ladies growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord  is the best gift ever.
(2 Peter 3:18)

Stephanie :)

7 comments:

  1. lovely party and beautiful, meaningful theme. what a blessing!
    i laughed out loud, and maybe snorted, over your dump cake vs. trifle dish comment. hysterical.
    i love you.

    and p.s.
    is that ribbon plate you wrote on from southern living at home?
    ;)

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  2. Your party is so meaningful. How great to get together just to share what the Lord has taught us.

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  3. I love the party theme! Although I am so sorry about your cake, you went with it and had great fellowship. You kept the focus on your time together and blessing one another instead of party perfection. Bravo to you!

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  4. Oh what a WONDERFUL idea!! And the dump cake makes me love you even more!

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  5. That's really cool! I like that idea and that you actually made your inspiration come to life.

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  6. What an awesome idea for a party!! And the food looks good too! :)

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  7. i love this party idea so much. i am blessed just by hearing your story! i definitely want to do something like this in the future!

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