My first blog GIVEAWAY!! New Post: God is having a dinner party...

My first GIVEAWAY!  I’m so excited! You’ll see the giveaway items and more details at the end of the post.  Random computer generator will pick the winner – one entry for SUBSCRIBING to this blog (see right column for signup), one for leaving a COMMENT, and one for sharing on FACEBOOK.  So, you can enter up to THREE times!

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved throwing parties. 

My parents’ door certainly was swingin’ with kids from youth group, New Year’s Eve parties, random ol’ friends dropping in, bonfires, and birthday “slumber” (a.k.a. staying up all night) parties of 20 kids or more (praise the Lord for my fun-loving parents... more on them and the adventures they took us on HERE) among other events.  Even as I write this, my own 5-year-old McBaby #1 is upstairs taping streamers to her walls and ribbons across her closet.  She plans a party nearly nightly for dinnertime.  Everyone has a gift awaiting as each person prepares to take a seat at the supper table and sees handmade bracelets or necklaces she’s crocheted, pictures she’s drawn, designs she’s beaded and glued, and love letters she’s written.  With surprising assertion good management skills, she makes her demands loving requests and tells everyone where to sit and when to talk.
(Above pic of McBaby #1... my kids are with me in the kitchen constantly... more on that HERE.)
In between my parents and my daughter, of course, there I am.  (Lovable, huggable, me… as Elmo would say, right??…) I don’t know that I could even begin to count the number of baby showers, baby sprinkles, bridal showers, bachelorette nights, birthday parties, half-birthday parties, Pampered Chef-Arbonne-Thirty-One parties, welcome-home parties, going-away parties, tea parties, parties because it’s snowing, parties because it’s sunny, parties because someone is getting baptized/sprinkled/Christened/dedicated, or just-because parties that I’ve hosted.  (I know somewhere around halfway through that list, many of you would say “just-because” parties kind of covered the titles I gave the rest.)  The apple does not fall far from the tree.
(Above pic from "The Giving Tree" themed baby shower.)
And, nine times out of ten, I like to do it the “right” way: get out the china (that’s what it’s for, after all), real napkins, ball jars full of lemonade and sweet tea, from-scratch-everything, etc.
(Above pic from "Hello Kitty"-themed bday party... or at least our vintage-inspired-non-boxed version of it.)
So, perhaps it’s natural that I have begun to think of worship leading in these terms.  Someone recently asked me what I feel the role of the worship leader is versus the role of the worshipper.  It suddenly dawned on me - a new perspective. It feels that my role is to help God host a dinner party.  It’s His house, it’s His guest list; I’m simply the hostess for the evening.  My role is to help create an environment where no one is confused about what fork to use or when to use it.  No one wonders if they’ve taken the right amount of food – they are ensured that the feast is plentiful and satisfying.  Everyone has someone to help refill his or her cup. No one questions if he's truly welcome, but is assured by his individual, customized invitation to the community - his rightful place.  This table is a place of freedom, of candor.  This is a place of safety and ease.  This is a place of rest and of renewal.  This is a place to both toast wine glasses and cry over beers.
It has been and continues to be my immense honor and joy to serve various places in this capacity; to cry around the table with folks - some of whom I've only met hours prior; to help encourage and be encouraged; to share about our bright spaces, dark places, and, even, blind spots; to remind that nothing is too small or too big to bring up in the conversations. 
Friends, cheers!

(Above from a baby shower... see post HERE)

(The above pic is from McBaby #1 & McBaby #2 joint "Tangled" bday party.  See post HERE.)

 (Above pic from an annual half-birthday celebration... I know, I know, I'm crazy... below pics from various other parties.)

Being that today is a post about worship leading and I am, in fact, a worship leader myself, I am going to make this first giveaway a bundle of all of my projects and a shirt. Not a huge surprise there, eh??  That’s 4 CDs, a live DVD, and a "Sarah t-shirt" bundle for you or as a gift for someone!  Thanks so much for reading/posting/sharing!

 (Ends Friday, May 3 @11:59 pm.)