In 2014, we created You’re Invited Magazine, an online magazine which focused on seasonal entertaining, themed events, beautiful tablescapes, homemade recipes, and editorial content to entertain and inspire our readers. Although, our faith always played a role on the back-end, we really wanted to bring it to the forefront. We wanted to use our gifts and talents for God’s glory, but we weren’t sure exactly what that specifically looked like for us. So we placed our dream on the altar and prayed about it.
The idea actually began years ago…
Making the study of God’s Word fun and memorable.
In 2004, I (Sheri) was asked to teach a bible study during the summer. This tends be a tricky time to teach. Calendars fill up quickly, due to kids being out of school, family vacations, BBQs, trips to the beach or lake, tickets to a ballgame, etc. Although some might be eager to join a study, to be honest, it can be tempting to skip out when something far more exciting comes up. Pool party or bible study? …um! Knowing that, I decided to try and make our time together in God’s Word fun and memorable, so women might think twice about missing out. At least, that was my goal.
The book was Traveling Light by Max Lucado. In his unique storytelling voice, Max showed how many carry problems around like baggage and how the words of Psalm 23 could help them release those burdens. Since the book had a slight travel theme – and who doesn’t love a good theme – I decided to run with it. Over the course of nine weeks, we visited nine different countries around the world. Well…no, not literally! Boy, would that have made for a memorable bible study! Instead, using various country décor items and some coordinated fabric, I transformed our meeting space, so the women felt like they were stepping into another country. At least, for a few hours. Even the ladies got into it. When it was their turn to bring refreshments, they’d inquire which country we’d be visiting. English tea and crumpets, anyone? Or another week…how about Horchata and Mexican wedding cookies? At the start of the bible study, God laid it on my heart that we should pray for each country showcased. And we did. God blessed our time together and the ladies really enjoyed the study.
Designing a beautiful environment to make others feel welcomed.
In 2016, I (Linda) was asked to assist the church with their new members’ class. Every month, the church hosted a luncheon for the group, so the pastors could personally meet their new members and get to know their needs. The food was catered from a local restaurant, but the church staff wanted to make it special, so one of the gals asked if I would be interested in decorating the buffet table for the luncheon. I always enjoyed decorating my dining room table each season/holiday, so this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. At the same time, we were also working on the magazine, so it was a great way to utilize some of our table designs along with my personal collection to create a themed luncheon. Whether it was a baseball or travel theme, it provided a creative outlet for the pastors to converse with their new members. It truly made the lunch special and all who attended felt welcomed to their new church family.
Creating special memories that last a lifetime.
I (Cindy) have always loved to cook. At a young age, I was nicknamed Suzy Homemaker by my friends. In 1987, one of the couples in my college youth group at church got engaged. An idea came to me to create a cookbook for the new bride and groom. I asked both moms for their favorite recipes and many friends in our group for their family recipes. I received so many, I had to limit which recipes made it into the cookbook. I planned and selected dishes to complete a themed meal: Breakfast in bed egg casserole with cheesy hash browns and fresh squeezed orange juice, South of the Border chicken chilaquiles with cilantro lime rice and refried beans, and Italian stuffed manicotti, caprese salad and cheesy garlic bread to name a few. Buon Appetito! Translation: Enjoy your meal! On the weekends, I would cook, set the table around a particular theme, while a friend took pictures of each meal for the cookbook. With so much food, I invited other friends to come over and sample the fare. We made a party out of it and had a blast!
Once the cookbook was completed, I wrapped the book along with some cookware and non-perishable ingredients and presented it to the bride at her bridal shower. Let’s just say, even the moms were impressed and I lived up to my nickname. Since then, I have fed my themed meals to small care groups, bible studies, and 70+ leaders at our annual Vacation Bible School (VBS). I love to use the talents God has given me. When I see people enjoy not only the food, but the creativity, it truly fills my heart.
Based on our past experiences, we decided to step out (once again) in faith, and walk, as the Lord guided us. With our hands firmly in His, we set out to create uniquely themed bible studies (more products to come later), which incorporate our love for God’s Word, creating beautiful tablescapes, preparing delicious food, and planning themed events. Our desire is to encourage women to come to the table, sit with Jesus, and find nourishment and sustenance in His Word.
After all, you’re all invited to His table.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 4:10-11
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WHAT WE BELIEVE