Tuesday, February 5, 2019


I had thought, when I turned 50, that I'd love to have my best friends come to join me for a real life, grown up, tea party. I envisioned women coming out from all over, my sisters from wherever they were living at that time (I think it was CA, AZ and AR) my oldest girlfriends from California, some of the dearest friendships I'd made in Missouri, and a few that were scattered around, having moved a bit themselves.

But earlier that year, my husband changed jobs and went to work with a new company. We no longer lived in Missouri, and I was just finding my feet in our new home in Kentucky. I was really glad to see what God was doing in me there, and super excited to have moved, but I wasn't very secure in my girl-friendships. I felt like the new girl still when my birthday rolled around, and I don't remember doing anything special with new friends, like a party. But that's ok. Birthdays have never been very celebrated in my family as I grew up, and I knew better than to pin my happiness on whether this party ever happened or not.

If I was to be able to throw such a grand party, I would want to invite EVERYONE, and to be sure not to leave anyone uninvited. If they couldn't attend, but wanted to, I'd try to do everything I could to be sure they made it there. I wouldn't want them to miss out, and I would miss them if there was a small boundary standing in the way. I've always believed, whether a meal or a party, the more the merrier!
Family in the kitchen at our last Family Reunion

My husband jokes that in my Armenian family, we throw great parties for many people and tons of food... enough food to feed a small army. The doors are open, and even at family gatherings there are always new friends and extended family members invited to attend. He says that someone could say "Uncle Nick sneezed!! Let's have a party!!" and people would come, with enthusiasm and plates of food. He compares it to the family in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," and to be honest, my family was like that. Many people have passed, and we're all spread out, but I think it would be easy to throw a party and get the remaining distant cousins to come, carrying plates of food and sharing lots of  loud laughter. We are all accepted, despite our differences.

My sweet (late) Auntie June... she became as much a
friend and sister in Christ as she was my aunt.

When I look back at the days we celebrated, whether it was an Easter at Aunt June's, or the family reunion at my sister Nancy's, we were always so happy to see who came to our table. Whether it was the neighbors, or distant friends visiting from the other side of the country, they were ALL welcomed. When it was a new friend, or the friend of a friend who didn't have a place to celebrate, they were included and filled in on all the family traditions and explanations of foods and games.

The gang's all here! 

I always imagine that will be a bit like heaven. Jesus will welcome us, and as in awe as we are to be in His presence, He will be sure that we know that we have been invited. He desires for us all to be there! I think that's why I can't imagine not sending an invitation to everyone I know for any party I'd ever throw... He would not leave anyone off the invite list... why would I?

So much fun when we're all together...
My 2 Aunties and brother in law have passed... gone, but not forgotten.

I will turn 60 in a few years, and I wouldn't know where to begin to plan a party for that birthday. I've moved so many times, I can't imagine where would be convenient for friends to attend, and there are so many MORE friends I'd want to invite, because of those moves. I'm thankful for social media and the technology that allows us to stay connected online, whether it's to cry and pray, or laugh, or testify of the many good things God has done... and continues to do. Perhaps for my 60th we can gather online with our tea cups and cupcakes, and simply gather online to celebrate together. Let me know if you'd like me to send you an invite! 

#invite #marinaskitchentable #hopewriters #februaryfreewrite

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