One of the most fun things we do is to have lunch together to celebrate each woman's birthday. We used to meet at a restaurant and give one another elaborate gifts. This year, we've scaled back a bit--we're now meeting in one another's homes for salad potlucks and we're sticking to a spending maximum of $5 for gifts. The scale-back is good for our wallets, and we have just as much fun as we used to.
Today I had the chance to host the group for lunch. As I was setting the table for the six of us who could come to today's luncheon, I was whining to myself that I don't have any pretty fallish napkins. My dishes are white, and my best napkins are white, and I had myself a little pity party as I looked at all that whiteness. I even thought briefly about running out to see if I could find some inexpensive seasonal napkins. And then it occurred to me that although my napkins were white, I had plenty of colored ribbon. You know what I mean. I know that y'all have a stash of ribbon, too. So I cut lengths of pretty green ribbon and tied some around each white napkin. Each place setting looked like this:
Actually, the green ribbon looked kind of nice with the silk flower arrangement I had made:
This photo shows the whole table:
You can probably guess what happened. As my friends and I were taking our places at the table, one of them exclaimed: "Look at these napkins! How cute!" There followed a conversation about what I had done with the ribbon and just how I had achieved that look.
It surprised me that the thing about which I was complaining and with which I was just "making do" was one of the hits of the party. Later, as I was washing the dishes, it occurred to me that I was looking at the napkin situation all wrong. And I wondered how often I do this with other things in my life. How often do I grouse and complain about all the things I want but don't have? And while I'm complaining, am I stopping to be thankful for all the wonderful things I DO have?
During this season of giving thanks, I think I need to change my focus. I think I need to change the lens through which I'm viewing things and choose to be thankful for all of God's abundant provisions rather than focusing on the things I don't have. So I'm going to make a concerted effort to do just that. Here's a first try:
"As I was setting my table for today's birthday lunch, I was reminded how much I enjoy my versatile white dishes. They truly go with anything! And I just love to use these snowy-white napkins. I received this as a gift several years ago, and they're so luxurious. . . and, as an added bonus, I can always bleach them if they become too soiled! So they're practical as well as pretty. To make them a bit more fallish, I tied a bit of green ribbon around each one. My guests loved the look, and the honoree of the lunch told me that the table setting made her feel special."
How's that for looking at the same situation with a little different focus?
How about you? Is there anything in your life that you need to view a bit differently? Join me this month as we try to do that together.