This year T.J. and I marked the first holiday together as a married couple. We made plans for a nice lunch and figured it would be just the two of us. That was perfectly okay but I prefer to celebrate Easter a little bit bigger. Plus we were going to have a lot of left overs. So last minute Saturday night we ended up inviting over another couple to join us after church.
Since moving in, our house has been a little sparse on the furniture. We just got our kitchen table but we still don't have chairs, and we're still waiting on our couch. Yes we have a futon that's rather comfortable but....we weren't really set up to entertain. This would be the very first time that we had guests over to our home.
I had been nervous about hosting people in our unfinished, imperfect, house. While I couldn't wait to have parties and cook dinner for friends, I wasn't close to done with decorating. I have all these plans and ideas and things we still need to do. I wanted it to be just right before we let people in. But when it comes down to it, that's not what matters. Opening our home, our hearts, being hospitable, gracious and generous with the many, many blessing we do have- that's how I want to be. I don't want to apologize for only having a futon, or excuse away the mess I try to hide behind closed doors. I don't want to use an untamed backyard with a moss covered patio as a reason not to break out the grill and share a meal with someone.
Of course I still flurried around Saturday night in tidying up frenzy, stashing this and that in the coat closet and setting the table with our new serving pieces. And I set my alarm to get up earlier and run to the grocery because I didn't haven't anything prepared for dessert, and I just needed flowers! But I was excited to have people over. I decided to be intentional about not falling prey to the habit of apologizing for the imperfect the second someone new walks in the front door for fear of judgement. And once we were on our way to church I just let the rest go.
We sang so many of my favorite songs that morning and praised the reason for everything. And I held T.J.'s hand and felt so much peace when we walked out into the sunshine. When we got home we opened our Easter baskets that the "Easter bunny" (aka my mom and dad) had sent us and then waited for lunch.
After they left we just relaxed and enjoyed a quiet night. It was just the Easter I hoped for. Being so far away from family and friends means we have to celebrate where we are. And sometimes that might be just the two of us on the couch with take out but I hope it also means an open house with new people and a new community gathered together.