Before you think I'm being falsely modest, I'm not joking. I'm sort of infamous for being difficult when it comes to mercy.
|It's always crowded.|
So, I blame personal failure for what most would call happenstance. It's why that mercy thing is so hard for me. But the weird exception in my life has been twofold: teenagers and dogs. (Maybe God thinks it's funny.)
|Regular day in my kitchen.|
He grunted and said, "Sure we are."
Then he cooked ravioli and homemade sauce and mozzarella bread and made sure each of those kids had two helpings.
|Where would we all sit to eat?|
Now, keep in mind that we have eight people in this house already. Eleven are rolling around here tonight. My mother lives next door, but she comes over for laundry and eats all of her meals with us. She's come over tonight, because she doesn't like to stay alone in the "weather" (if it sprinkles or f5 tornado it's 'weather').
We have five kids. We have four (FOUR) dogs (some of them are actually ours and some of them transplants aka neighbor dogs that came and never left). We have one misbehaving cat. We have boyfriends who visit and family friends who come to fellowship weekly. It's like a circus all of the time.
|What it looks like when only seven of us travel.|
My washer and dryer have never been idle more than six hours at a time in two decades. I have four large stock pots and we always serve buffet style, because that's what it takes to feed a dozen people at every meal. We have two refrigerators and two freezers and have to set a shower schedule to get everyone cleaned up.
|My living room is always this full|
Loving people is going to cost you something. Be careful that you aren't talking about living a Christ-following life and then shoving your family into a bubble, not allowing other people to participate in the party. You need to have open doors, open heart, open life.
|What it looks like to feed the whole show.|
If it's only "your four and no more" you have missed out on the best parts of fellowship. The messy parts. The real parts. The scary parts. The damaged parts. The fun parts. The lovely parts. The best parts.
Invite people in. Let them see you as you really are, not as you want or hope to be. And you'll be surprised at how God moves in those relationships. How He is revealed through your love and open, unprotected sharing. Don't be afraid. My unmerciful heart can do it, so I know yours can too.
|We love Chinese food. Man at the take out place asked, "How many people do you feed with all of this?" The Husband responded, "All of them, Buddy. All of them."|
|Regular nightly meal.|
|Always room for one more in the house. Sometimes you have to get friendly, but we'll get you in there.|