I know I say this often, but “one of my favorite episodes of Andy Griffith is” when Aunt Bea is out of town and Andy and Opie are bachelors. The chicken burns to a crisp, filling the kitchen with smoke. Just when everything is at its worst, Peggy (single, attractive Peg) drops in. Andy’s afraid she’s trying to wedge her way into their lives to become his wife, so he is reluctant to accept her offer to cook them something decent for supper.
Andy – “Oh, we wouldn’t want to impose.”
Peggy – “You’re not imposing! It would be fun for me.”
Opie – “Let Miss Peggy have some fun, Pa.”
The episode ends with a lovely meal fixed by Peggy in an atmosphere that creates a desire for talking and music – unlike the bachelors had had before she stepped into her apron in their home.
This episode reminds me how much our presence does for our home. We create an atmosphere there. That atmosphere is what most homes need, and it happens just because you and I are present. A man can light a candle or cook a meal, but it’s usually the woman who sets the tone and setting at mealtimes. If she’s not there it’s just food. If mom’s there, it’s an event.
I recently posted about dressing ourselves, but you know, we should also be dressing our dinner table. Simply put, we should make the dinner table attractive. I post lots of ideas for recipes here on RefreshHer, but it’s only a means to get you to gather around your table. That’s where the connections happen. That’s where communication, love, relationships and nurturing thrive. There’s just so much to say about the gathering around the table. Since it’s so important, we should put some thought into making it welcoming. It isn’t stuffy or pretentious, but simple and inviting. How can we do that?
Who doesn’t LOVE going to Pigeon Forge in the Smokey Mountains?! Last weekend we were blessed to gather there for a family vacation. After all the restrictions, I have truly rejoiced each time a planned event actually gets to happen! This time away was our 2020 Christmas gift to our children and their spouses, so we’ve been planning this for many months. What a precious time it was and how full our hearts are after four days and three nights together! This is hard, but I’m just going to share five highlights of the many fun moments we shared.
We opted to have all but one meal in our condo. We divided up the days and mealtimes and each contributed food for that meal. The first night we made it easy and brought pizza in since we had just checked in an hour before. I added a salad to round out the menu. Here is everyone (except my husband who’s taking the picture) at the table. We were a happy clan!
Whitney and I both have September birthdays, so we celebrated with a delicious Lemon-Raspberry Cake from Blackbird Bakery in Bristol, VA. How special to have the whole family there to celebrate with us! That in itself was a precious gift!
For a little added fun, we had a game competition that lasted the whole weekend. That was Whitney’s idea and it turned out to be a great plan! We played Sorry, Dutch Blitz, Spot it, Miniature Golf, Scrabble and Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. That last game is hilarious and great for a crowd!!!
I loved our game time because it kept us connected even at hours when we were really tired. Instead of scrolling on our phones, we were playing games, laughing ourselves silly, and pushing up our competitive sleeves to gain more points on the scoreboard! Whitney kept an ongoing tally of the winner and second place contestant of each game, and then awarded the first and second place champions on Monday morning. Who do you think won???? Keep reading!
it was really great that the condo has a putt-putt course on site. Beside it is a playground, and just up the way was the pool. It was all literally outside our door! Our little guys enjoyed all of those fun activities and the Lord was gracious to give us beautiful days in which to enjoy it all.
We had several special times in God’s Word and prayer as a family. How sweet to gather together to thank the Lord and also leave our burdens and requests. I’m so thankful for a family who loves Jesus. Equally special was seeing individuals open the Bible in their own little space and spend time with the Lord before our day began. Yes, my heart is full.
I’m not boasting and don’t desire to make you envious of our family time. It was truly a gift from the Lord and we praise Him for it. There are heartaches and burdens, needs and concerns in our family, just like in yours. How precious to be reminded even this week that as the Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayer and told him that He saw his tears, our God hears us and sees our tears, too.
Whatever may be grieving your heart today, refresh your spirit by remembering that the Lord cares and is at work in your life. Cry to Him as Hezekiah did, then watch to see how He will comfort you.
I pray your weekend is refreshing as you fellowship with believers and worship our great God!
Oh, wait…the first place winner of our game competition was Alli, and anyone who knows our family will not be surprised at that! Second place was awarded to her equally competitive mother!
What are some ways you keep everyone connected during family times?
Last weekend our sweet daughters planned the most lovely early 40th anniversary celebration for my husband and me! Their gift to us was a family photo session with some great photographers from our area.
Plan A was to go to a park in our area, but the day turned out very wet. Enter Plan B! We used our newly decorated family room’s lovely blue wall as our backdrop! It ended up being really great (God’s interruptions always are!). I’ll share just a few of my favorite photos from the day.
This next photo is from our wedding day, June 20, 1981!
Lots of things have changed, but Dale’s fun-loving spirit is not one of them!
After the family poses were all taken, the photographers invited each couple to come outside and stand in the rain under their giant umbrella for some really great rainy day shots! I love this one of Paul and Whitney!
And Alli and Andrew…
Here are the “Oldie-weds!”
After a delicious lunch at Carrabba’s, we went to Alli and Andrew’s for dessert, consisting of a scrumptious Strawberry Cake. Whitney decorated for the party in her typical flare. It was so much fun and so pretty!
We can hardly believe we are staring 40 years in the face, but we are so thankful. God has been faithful, spite our old sin natures and imperfect love, He has guided us, provided for us and grown us. We pray that the years we have remaining will find us pointing others to the glorious Gospel where Jesus demonstrated the perfect sacrificial love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, and submission.