As I plan out my daughter’s party, I see myself looking back to my grandma’s expertise. I hope to be organized enough that I can watch my baby light up when she sees her first candle on her first cake and watch those who love her light up when they see her smash her little hands into the icing. But, I hope to be relaxed enough to not worry about small details and willingly shove them in the washing machine out of sight.
I can’t believe I am already starting to think about my baby’s first birthday! Whew, time flies. I might still have a month and a half to finish birthday party plans, but it seems that I am behind according to most of my friends, family and online resources.
Whenever I am in party planning mode, I think about my grandma. In her hay day, my grandma was the master party planner. In fact she still has the notebook documenting all of the parties she planned. This well-loved book is stuffed full of lists upon lists with neat little check marks noting completion of each to-do entry. I can remember some of those lists from the major holiday dinners she hosted at her house each year. She planned out each and every minute of the days leading up to the event. I laughed at the the fact that she would write 10:53AM, turn on oven. 10:57AM, put ham in oven. She was so precise and so intentional about every minute of her preparation that during the party she was able to be present and enjoy everyone’s company and what was happening around her.
But the best part of my grandma’s planning was that she was not fussy about the overall state of her home. She definitely followed a strict cleaning schedule each week, and her floors were immaculate, but she didn’t get upset if something was too out of order. When I spent my spring breaks with my dearest cousin with my grandparents at their Florida condo, she was always insistent on celebrating our birthdays with a party with their friends. She would invite them over for cake and coffee and we would always be talked into showing off our recent shopping trip purchases. In the 15 minutes before everyone arrived, my grandma shuffled around the condo fluffing a few pillows and happened to notice a few miscellaneous papers and items on the counter top. She looked at my cousin and me and said, “Girls, watch how to pick up quickly.” She scooped up all of the items and shoved them in the washing machine. I loved her stress-free attitude about life’s daily clutter.
As a Christian, aren’t we called to open our homes and tables and fellowship with others? I want to presently participate in those times of deep conversation and joy. I don’t want to miss those life-changing moments by worrying about the perfect linens or centerpieces or that there are toys all over my floor.
Will you join me in shoving life’s distractions and clutter in the washing machine?