We absolutely love autumn in our home. The weather, the smells, the food, the activities – we look forward to it all year. In my head, fall introduces the perfect season for getting together with friends. Whether it’s over a camp fire, cheering for the local football team, carving pumpkins, or picking apples – there are so many opportunities to invite people to join us.
And isn’t that one of the hardest parts of community? We all want to be invited, and it’s exhausting to always be the one who plans. I’ve struggled so much with this mindset of “all or nothing” – either I’m the planner, or I’m the guest.
Right now? I feel like God is calling me to be the planner. And I’m ok with that because He’s revealing to me that the more I plan, the more I put myself out there and invite others to join us, the more we’re invited as guests. Maybe in my seasons of silence and wanting to always be the guest, others assume I’m craving time alone. I wonder if – as we put ourselves out there – we move to the top of our friend’s minds as someone who is actually interested in spending time with others.
As we’ve made plans and invited others to join us, we’ve had our fair share of people saying “Oh, we wish we could, but we can’t.” That’s hard to hear. And harder then to go through with the plans when we’re the only ones who show up. But it’s been such a blessing – and so freeing! – to make plans, open the door for others, but know that we’re going to go do it anyway. It’s not about having a huge group of people with us – it’s about doing things that we enjoy as a family.
So we’ll make plans to go apple picking, find corn mazes, hayrides, and pick pumpkins. We’ll buy enough hot chocolate mix for a small army, stack up the firewood and drool over new recipes in the Food Network Magazine. And we’ll have a few extra seats available, in case anyone would like to join. But if not?
We’ll do it anyway.
And we’ll ask again next time.