by Bethany Reid
You know, missionaries almost always have time to gather. I know this because I was a full-time missionary for 12 years. One aspect of my JOB was to gather my team and those I was working with!
One year into living and working in Suburbia HQ (the Bay Area, California) I’m discovering it’s not quite so simple anymore! And my friends are not the problem – it’s ME! Jeff and I both work and we have kiddos at multiple grade levels. So, between work, homework and family … there’s very little left to share or give. Deep inside, actually it’s not deep… it’s all over me every time you meet me… I LOVE PEOPLE! I love my friends and getting quality time with those I love is a TOP priority in my life.
I’ve made a conscious choice to become a working mom, and right along with it I say out loud every day “I will not get too busy for my friends.”
So, how do WE gather? We are spontaneous and laid back. We meet at the park and bring donuts. We go to In-n-Out after church on Sunday with dear friends…when neither of us have lots of money or time. But we desperately need to be together, because friendships like this are rare and should be nurtured and grown.
This Tuesday we gathered with Adam and Breanne (+kids), and Chad and Kate. Both Chad and Adam are firemen, and Jeff travels often for work so we just had to seize the day and get together while we were all able. And it was a breath of life to our busy weeks! We usually gather at Adam and Breanne’s; they have the youngest little dude (and therefore the busiest!) so we need their enclosed and 3yr-old-proof yard! Breanne rushed home from her 10-yr-old’s football practice and chopped cilantro to go with her yummy crockpot Salsa Chicken. We made sure our boys finished their homework quickly, so we would have more time that night with friends.
The grown-ups congregated in the kitchen, sharing about our days and laughing over silly stories. The kiddos, worn out from football and running practice, flopped in front of the TV and enjoyed being with kiddos they are known and loved by. We all left happy- hearted and ready for the rest of the week.
It’s so easy for me to over-think gathering and hospitality. And I can always come up with a reason why it isn’t going to work.