I have read so many books about hospitality, community, connection, and belonging. I get pumped up. I get jazzed. I start telling my husband, “We’re gonna do something!” and his little introverted self just says, “Ok…” Do you get inspired in this way? Even as I’ve studied the Bible, in Acts, it talks about the forming of the church. People met in homes and devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to sharing meals, and to prayer (Acts 2:42-47). This is small groups, life groups, and the church in the simplest form. This is community. This is belonging. And you know what, the people in this day didn’t have a big building to do this. Church is the people. Church is you and I. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a big worship center, in the small living room or at the kitchen table in your home.
Getting back to my jumping jacks…this feeling and intention never lasts last long. Fear tries to knock on the door. Well, it pretty much knocks it down. Insecurity creeps in, “My house is too small, Who’s gonna like me? This is crazy” I can barely make coffee. After putting the books aside and spending some time with God, he was my biggest cheerleader. He gave me the guts to finally put into action something that I have been dreaming and thinking about for some time. He started something like this in me three years ago when I hosted an If:Table. Six women, two hours, four questions. This was one of the best times with the Lord, since he was in on the planning with me, and the most memorable moments with the ladies at my table. I pray it was for them too.
So, here we are a few years later. The Lord puts it on my heart again, or I finally get to the place to clear away all the stuff that doesn’t matter, to get to the stuff that really does matter. People. This is how Tammy’s Table was formed. Looking at the calendar, it looked like Wednesdays were good for the fam. I created an event on FB and invited some random gals. I invited ladies I knew at church, family, friends…it was like God was using my pudgy pointer finger to click each square for the women HE wanted me to invite.
The invitation simply read, “Tammy’s Table, a place to come and hang out, have a cup of coffee at the table, enjoy conversation, prayer, some snuggles from Otis Redding, or to just put your feet up and “be” without the need to even talk.” This was my only desire. No agenda. No Bible study. No “group.” Simply opening my home to invite some friends, allow the ladies to meet someone new, and to just “be”. I wanted to create something that happened on a regular basis so ladies can just drop in. The first night, there were 13 ladies. The next week there was one. A lot of ladies already had their small group on that night or a kids’ water polo game. I was amazed at the response and the interest.
Let me tell you about that ONE though. The thing is, I had no motivation or intention with Tammy’s Table. I just wanted to be obedient to what the Lord was calling me to. That second week, God brought the perfect gal. A gal that I had known, or I thought I did, for years. We serve together in women’s ministry. The two of us. Sitting together at the sofa (we got a little cozy). I learned how God has been so faithful in her life, I got to share some struggles in parenting teens and young adults, as she’s in that same life stage. I couldn’t imagine anything better. This was all God’s orchestrating. His perfect timing. His perfect doing for the right people. I pray she knows how much of a blessing she was to me the other night. I pray that the Holy Spirit blessed her sweet soul too.
You see, God can use all of our insecurity and fear when it comes to opening our home and practicing simple hospitality. Even if you don’t think you have the gift of hospitality. Even if you think you’re the introvert of introverts, God shows up. People would tell me, “You’re so good at that kinda stuff” and I have to reply, “Oh no, it’s not me. It’s God, because he is good. This is all his doing and prompting.”
I’d love to this happening with the church today. Some “churches” are getting so large and host several services. It’s hard to chat and have fellowship in a row of chairs or in a pew. When we can meet in small and simple ways, we’re making the church smaller and bigger at the same time. Let’s do church old school, back to what our forefathers and sisters taught us in Acts 2. Let’s get back to the people. The devotion. If we want to see this, we’ve got to be this.
How can you be intentional in creating a space of belonging? How can you get past your fears and insecurities? Are you needing a place to just “be”, to enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation over a scratched kitchen table? As you can see, my table isn’t fancy, it’s scratched, it’s dusty. Well, everything in my house is dusty because I practically live in the country. Get some gals together. Give in to God. Allow him to do the inviting and to put everything in place. It’s like in that movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.” Yes, ma’am, if you build a place of belonging, if you create the space, if you just put yourself aside, HE will come. HE WILL INDEED COME.
May your Saturday be filled with love, laughter, and life!
Hugging you so tight,
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