Every year for about 10 years, I have delighted to decorate a table for our church's annual Ladies' Christmas Breakfast. This event is our largest one of the year, and is always filled to capacity, with over half the ladies coming as guests. Some are churched, some are not, some are believers, some are not.
There are about 30 tables and each one is uniquely decorated as a woman sets her own (or borrowed) dishes, napkins, coffee cups, centerpiece, and (if she wants) gifties up the day before. It's a huge undertaking administratively, and I'm glad that's in the capable hands of other people who've been given that gift. Any time a function has more than 12 people to it, I'm overwhelmed. So I enjoy being 1/30th of the table decorating team.
Normally I get inspired for the next year's table right after the current breakfast has ended. If so, I go on a hunt for low-cost elements to pull it together. By June or July, my table is pretty well "set" in my mind.
This year has been altogether different. I wanted roses. That's all I knew. Roses are in my china pattern, but I wasn't sure they were exactly Christ-centered.
Instead, I reasoned, maybe do a nativity scene. Can't beat that for a simple, all-about-Christ table theme. But mine only nativity scene has a stall, which means a few guests would have to sit and stare at the back of a barn for two hours. Not appealing to most women. Without the barn, Mary, Joseph, the livestock, and the Baby Jesus looked completely dwarfed on a six-foot round table. "Lonely and Haphazard" was not the theme I was going for, either.
Back to roses, I was determined. I thought of Rose of Sharon. Isn't that a name of Jesus? I wondered, assuming I knew the answer. I intended to look up the significance a couple weeks ago. But did I? No. Life got busy with Thanksgiving and Daddy's party. So last night I decided to get serious. Found out it's not a reference to Jesus at all. "Rose of Sharon" is the name the Shulamite woman in the Song of Solomon goes by. Sharon is a fertile valley in Palestine.
Okay, so the research was...what shall we say...spicy? But hardly an index-card explanation I wanted to display at church. (Although, if conversation were to lag, it'd be quite a rebounder topic.)
So I prayed, "Lord, please inspire this table. Please be the Center of my table, no matter what. I want to use what I have to save money and so that, if I break something, no one but me will be upset about it." (I'm a klutz.)
The inspiration to be revealed in a future post, complete with pictures . (Maybe by May, knowing my track record.)