Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I don’t usually have a Valentine’s story. Things change. I began attending The Journey United Methodist Church in Buda, Texas, which sponsors an annual ladies’ Valentine’s brunch. Never having been to one, but loving fellowship with like-minded Christians, I registered to sponsor a table. Sponsoring involves decorating a table, providing scrumptious food and inviting seven ladies to attend. This event included food, fellowship, a inspirational message and silent auction on Saturday, February 11.

I had trouble keeping the invitation list reduced to only seven ladies. I wanted to invite 50, to bless people who had been a blessing to me. Domesticity is not my area of giftedness. I am more of a Mary than a Martha. I opted to pay for the food I needed rather than to cook. So, with the invitations and cooking taken care of, all I had left to do was to decorate. Easy, peasy, right? Wrong! For me, that is. 

The church has all of the table leaders to decorate their own tables. From table to table, there is a mismatch, but within each table is a beautiful opportunity for self-expression and creatively creating a masterpiece table setting. Except for me. As I mentioned before, this is not my gift. I was assured by the leadership that the tables are all different every year, running the gamut from tables with paper plates to tables with fine china and silver. I was assured that paper plates would be just fine. 

I arrived on Friday night empty handed to see what was being done in preparation before I went to get my supplies for decorating. I had received a text earlier in the day from a friend who offered to supply her grandmother’s dishes for the affair. I kept that in my mind as a possibility as I arrived to survey the scene. Much to my surprise, what I witnessed was some serious decorating. Ladies had fine china, with matching crystal, centerpieces of crystal vases full of an array of sweet-smelling, colorful flowers on tablecloths color-coordinated with the cloth napkins. Shocked at the beauty that I beheld, I uneasily left to do my paper plate shopping, and called my friend who had texted earlier. 

At first, I was rather shy about allowing her to help me. Then she explained. She said, “Kathy, I have attended these things every year, because I have always been invited by someone else. I was excited that you had invited me to sit at your table this year because I love coming to these brunches. Then, in the middle of the night, I awoke realizing that you may not have attended one of these events before and are not a ‘foo-foo’ person.” (Translation-we all know that this is not your gift.) “ I didn’t know if you had any idea how these people decorate these tables, so I want to offer to help. I have these dishes and vases and cups, and glasses. I would love to offer them, because I never get an occasion to use them.”

Now, I am thinking, this is a definite heaven-sent phone call. My friend was right. I am not a ‘foo-foo’ person to use her term. Not that there is anything wrong with people who are gifted in this area. This is just not my area. And not only did I know it, apparently everybody else did too. Lol! I am glad we got that out of the way.

She explained that she wasn’t available to decorate that evening, but would be there in the morning to rescue me. I went forward decorating with my paper plates and Styrofoam cups, just in case something fell through in the morning. I wish I would have taken a picture of my table when I was finished. She asked me which table was mine, and I assured her that she could walk around the room and would be able to know intuitively.

I arrived early in the morning to meet her, and she had already decorated my table. I was amazed at the transformation from the paper of the night before to the matching plates, saucers, coffee cups, water glasses, cloth napkins and water pitcher. She created a flower arrangement from an assortment of colors and flowers. They had a definite engaging scent. I was amazed at her gift. This was a natural for her. I had been blessed beyond measure by her. We discussed what a beautiful thing it is that we don’t all have the same gift. That enables us, through God’s grace to bless one another.

This was truly faith in action. She expressed her love for me through her actions, utilizing her phenomenal God-given gifts in an area that I needed help. Amazingly, I never had to go to her to ask; she knew the need was there and stepped up to meet the need. I, who had tried to invited her in order to bless her, received the blessing.

Approximately 150 women arrived on scene ready to enjoy the fellowship and food. One of the ladies at my table won a door prize. The same lady won the silent auction for a portrait package. We listened to an inspirational speaker who very creatively explained to us that The Holy Bible is a love letter to us from God. She said that the love story is still being written. 

Indeed it is. It is not only being written by God but by his saints who use their gifts to do his will.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Thanksgiving Challenge and Joy Dare

Today, I am thankful for:

53. My friend, who rescued me from paper plates.
54. My friends who joined me at my table.
55. The wind blowing the smell of rain outside.
56. That God first loved us, so that we can extend this same love to others.

Linking up today with Laura and Jen, Jennifer Lee, and Ann :
holy experience

copyright 2012 by Kathy Robbins


  1. I. Love. This. Post.

    Kathy, it is so fun when you share from your heart like this ... and when you share your quick wit and humor.

    And the tables were beautiful. Was the very first one yours?

    I attempted my first table-decorating brunch last fall. I was sort of nervous, but we had a lot of fun. And it turned out great!

    You are such a delight, Kathy. Reading your words brought back some of those fun times at Laity Lodge, when you had us all rolling with your great sense of humor.

    I'm so delighted that you linked up at Getting Down With Jesus.

  2. Jennifer, thank you soooo much for stopping by. You have the gift of encouragement. The first table was mine, after my friend finished decorating it. I was so proud to have a beautiful table. It was so not like me. I have been wanting to link up with your "God-bumps" series; just kind of had to wait for the right story.
    Blessings to you my friend!

  3. What a neat way to celebrate love! And what a gift to have such a friend who is willing to share hers. That says so much about you, Kathy--how you are loved. I'm a little ate this week, but Happy Valentine's Day, friend.