my first IF:Table

first if table titleRead more about my IF:table and year of engage here.

For my first IF:Table experience, I invited seven ladies in my community to lunch on a Saturday.  Last weekend, four of them joined me for the inaugural meal, and I can already tell you that I cannot wait to do it again!

First off, I served pork tenderloin with a balsamic/orange sauce, rosemary baby potatoes and this Greek farro salad.  There was hummus and pita bread and bruschetta to munch on before, during and after.  We ate my version of Shauna’s blueberry crisp with coconut sorbet (omg…will post later this week!) and sipped sparkling wine with raspberry sorbet.  And it was delicious.  If you’re looking for a menu, this one worked well for a ladies’ lunch – leave a comment if you’re interested in recipes.

Beyond the menu (and the peonies!), there were five of us at my table. Four of us are married, one is single; the youngest being 22 and the oldest 31.  Two are from our couples’ small group and I’ve known them for about a year and a half to two years.  One is a close family friend I’ve known since we were 14 and one was my manager when I worked in retail.  Each of us were born in different states and arrived to Las Vegas for different reasons.

Each woman at the table last weekend loves Jesus.  Each strives to be the best version of herself.. we all do, don’t we?  And each of us was totally hungry.  I love hungry friends.

Since I prefer to let things happen organically and let conversation flow from topic to topic naturally, I have to admit that I wasn’t completely confident in using the cards,  but this is my year to engage and I committed to having this IF:table that included written questions.  In the end, I loved it!

We didn’t touch the cards until about an hour into being together.  I mean, you bring five women together, and we are going to talk.  Exercise. Food. Diet. Work. Church. Family. Shopping. Grocery shopping. We talk about it all, over and over again.  There’s laughter and encouragement and a lot of “oh my gosh, me too!”  It’s good stuff.  I like it and I want more of that in my life.

Sean and I have parties often.  We’ll take any reason to celebrate (even a new piece of furniture…) and invite anyone we know.  But there’s something brilliant that happens when you bring the ladies together and dedicate time to them in a more intimate setting.  And even more magic happens when you invite girls that don’t really know each other.  I was totally reminded how totally blessed I have been through friendships, each as uniquely woven as the women themselves, and yet so powerful together in the most graceful way.  And when I say powerful, I mean uplifting and joy-filled and satisfying.  Life giving and refreshing.

When we finally started the questions (I chose a total of four from the past three months of conversation cards from the website), it was a casual, natural thing.  There wasn’t any awkward silence or forced responses.  It was fun and interesting, and yes, gave me a deeper appreciation and love for each of the lives around the table.  Between a prayer, bites of meat and veggies, drizzling of more sauce and sips of bubbly, I learned new things about them and got to know each a little more.  Which is exactly what happens when you create a space like the table.

All this to say, if you’re thinking about doing anything like the IF:Table, please do it.  Invite some girlfriends.  If you don’t have many, invite a couple of girls and ask them to each bring someone with her.  Then cook some food, chill some bubbly and open your door.  Toast to your guests, pray for God’s favor and blessing on your conversation and let the good times roll.

I’m planning on having my next table in a few weeks, probably another lunch on a Saturday.  And I can’t wait!

Talk Back: What should I serve at my next table?  What will you serve?

xo, mh

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