Living the Sticky Life

We spent three days preparing, ignored our children all day the day of the party to get ready, spent more money than we expected, have enough left-over food to have party number two tonight if we wanted to, stayed up about four hours later than we usually do, and I, being an extrovert, couldn't sleep when it was all over and done because I was so wound up.  And now every floor in our house is sticky.

It turns out pink punch is a lot like the spot in The Cat and the Hat Comes Back that just wouldn’t go away.  After our first Christmas party in our new home, in which children were welcome, there is now sticky pink punch in every room of my house.  And the pink cream cheese mints?  I just realized I’m sitting on a smear and am looking at another blob on the coffee table.

We spent three days preparing, ignored our children all day the day of the party to get ready, spent more money than we expected, have enough left-over food to have party number two tonight if we wanted to, stayed up about four hours later than we usually do, and I, being an extrovert, couldn’t sleep when it was all over and done because I was so wound up.  And now every floor in our house is sticky.

So was it worth it?

Was it worth our neighbors coming over who we have talked to only once in seven months, who suggested we do a babysitting swap as they left?  Or two carpenter friends who didn’t know each other before discussing their passion for woodwork?  Was my college friend meeting my friend who just moved here from Chicago, two beautiful lovers of Jesus who didn’t know each other before, finding that they have certain people and places in common a waste of time?

Or my three-year-old son, watching a movie with the “big” boys (the oldest who is about 8), trying to put his arm around a six-year-old from our church–my son, who is not physically affectionate and will only sit in our laps about twice a week?

Or my friends who have taken in their troubled teen-aged niece, who secretly indulged my one-year-old daughter all night with chocolates, punch and cookies, delighting in holding her and drinking in her baby-love cuddles?  Or the couple that came by after all the families with kids had left that we got to talk to on a heart-level until late into the night?

We could have skipped the mess, saved money, spent a quiet Saturday as a family, and gotten more sleep, but in avoiding the inconveniences, we would have missed out on real, sticky, tired, rewarding life.

It is always easier to do nothing.  Don’t have the party, or whatever the party stands for in my life:  joining something new, taking a step of faith, or choosing to engage in a new relationship that may not have the promise of longevity.  But what might I miss? 

And the spilled punch acts as a litmus test for what I worship.  Do I care more about relationships with real people or about having nice things?  Do I want a home that is immaculate, or a home that is used and truly lived in? Do I want a place where people can gather to laugh, connect, and share their lives, or a quiet home that insulates the people that live there?

Fear of losing control keeps me from throwing the party (whatever that party may be).  I can’t control every person at every time and that scares me.  If it were just my kids and my family, they know we don’t eat in the living room, so we don’t have pink smears on the couch.  But as soon as I let new people into my home–into my life–who don’t abide by my rules, I may find my house sticky with pink punch, toys rearranged or broken and everything just slightly askew. 

But God is calling me to do life and to do it with people.  And that means stickiness–not just in some rooms of the house–but in every room of the house.  It means engaging with people even though I would rather not because of selfish reasons.  And it means giving up control because I don’t know who God will bring or what He will do, but He guarantees that people are worth the mess because they are made like Him.  And it is in the stickiness that we find life, because that is where Jesus lived, too. 

Previous post~Sabbath Rhythms {7 Days of Soul Rest}
Next post~Keeping Secrets with God

14 Replies to “Living the Sticky Life”

  1. I have found that social interaction and having the opportunity to connect with others is so important and a great way to re-charge. I am definitely loving this post because I agree that the loss of control is my problem too but in my opinion, it is worth it in the end.
    stylebyliv.com

  2. This is nice post. I still need to improve on this. I'm an introvert person who prefer spending time with closest friends, or books and its companion. Especially since I moved to England, i became more reserved. If there's party, i love prepare foods or set the decorations..then leave :p
    But you have a good point there.. engaging more with people. Thanks for the reminder!

    Fillia {www.womanofcourage.net}

  3. I LOVE hosting parties. This post is exactly where my heart is. I live to have community parties as frequently as possible and with as many as possible…although, it must be noted, all my floors are tile. 😉 All it takes is a quick mopping after every party, no risk of stains there. 🙂
    Sure, parties take work, but they are worth it, because of the joy of everyone who comes and just gets to spend time together.

  4. Good job choosing to have the party! We've had a lot of people at our house in the last year, and sometimes when I'm tired and washing dishes in our tiny sink at midnight, I am tempted to wonder if the parties and dinners are worth it, or at least I have to revisit the reasons why I know they are worth it… when I have or overhear meaningful conversations, especially about eternal matters, happening in our home, I know every late night and dirty dish is worth it.

  5. You must be an extrovert like me:-) I definitely get recharged by people, but my husband is just the opposite! And loss of control…so difficult, but so necessary for relationships to happen. Thanks for reading!

  6. I'm sure people are so thankful to have someone like you who genuinely loves doing it. I think I used to love it more than I do now (maybe it's the children factor…), so I hope you keep the love! It really is worth it in the end;-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *