Dudes, I made enough chili to feed ALL y'all. But my church friends ate most of it already. Sorry.
Tonight, we had an awesome Chili Social at my house. Most of our small groups (or home groups) meet on Tuesday nights - they alternate weeks. Mine is like the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Another one meets on the 2nd and 4th. So on those rare 5th Tuesdays in a month, ain't nothin' goin' on (I like apostrophes). I heard someone saying that on Sunday and said, "Since no one has small group, we should all come to my house for dinner." Robert said, "Are you serious?" I thought for a second and said, "Sure," knowing full well that my house was in a state of chaos. So it was officially announced at church. Very last minute.
So as I cooked enough chili to feed my whole neighborhood, I thought, hmmm...I might be making just enough or I might be eating chili for the next three months. You never know how many people will show up to these things.
As it turns out, I think we had around 15 adults and about 15 kids? Something like that. They were all moving around too much to count. My mom joined us, too. Oh, and one neighbor kid who heard us talking about it in the car after school. He fit right in and had a blast! It was so cool.
Tonight's dinner made me SOOO happy! I grew up in a church that had lots of issues. But the one thing it did right was Family. All of our extended relatives lived in other parts of the country. So my childhood church WAS our family. They used to have these pot-luck dinners after church. Everyone would bring their best comfort food and I'd be in heaven with all the differing forms of Jell-O mixed with various things like marshmallows, pecans, pineapples. Everyone would eat and us kids would run around wreaking all sorts of havoc. The adults would sit around talking - which of course seemed all sorts of boring to me at the time.
Tonight, we all got our chili, cheese, chips and other foods that didn't start with the "ch" sound. Some sat at the table. Some sat in the living room watching American Idol. Some stood. The kids were running around upstairs, downstairs, chasing each other with light sabers, swords, and pillows.
It felt like home. Not just because it was IN my home. But because this is my "forever church", as someone put it tonight. This is my family. These are my thick & thin. These are the people God sent me after all my prayers while moving down here. I stood around watching them thinking, oh yah. God sent me the best of his people.
It totally felt like home.