I’m excited to be partnering with Stephanie, an independent consultant with Mary & Martha for this post, opinions are mine.
Gathering together. Saying grace. Savoring the moment. Sharing joy. Are these the keys to contentment? Simple words but not simply done. These words take commitment, they take intention. They say “Do the simple things and you will feel content”. How did I find these words – these simple, yet powerful words? On a set of plates. From Mary & Martha.
On a quest for contentment I continue to journey. It’s an elusive, hard-to-catch goal that comes and goes. I find it when I peak outside at the spring sunshine or I whip up a batch of cookies for my kids, fresh from the oven. I notice it when I have a smile on my face for no apparent reason. But there are times it’s not there. Many times. Especially when I see beautiful pictures of homes in magazines or when I compare my kids to other people’s kids on social media. Or when I see the accolades someone is getting and ask why I am not in the spotlight more often? But then I remember. I remember the keys to contentment. The simplicity of knowing that my path is created specifically for me. The path that is filled with gatherings, gratitude, moments and joy. Why these plates, they are a blessing.
A few months ago, I came upon a home-based party company called Mary & Martha, a division of Dayspring, which is owned by Hallmark. I’m not so sure if I found it or it found me. As I flipped through the pages of the online catalog, I sensed a theme that spoke to me…meaningful entertaining, made simple. The message of welcoming, connecting and serving, the products, the words…they all drew me in like a fly to honey. I was completely mesmerized. You know the times where things feel meant to be?
I love their founding story:
“MARY & MARTHA ARE OUR FOUNDERS. Over 2,000 years ago they began serving in their home. They learned through their experiences that having people in your home isn’t about the act of entertaining, but it is the method by which we invite Guests into our homes to Love on Them. In fact, the greatest Guest felt so welcomed in their home, He was entertained there many times. This is where you enter the story. We are inviting you to join us. See your home transformed. Let us show you how easy it can be. We have created products and tips to give you the confidence that you can have people in your home without it being perfect, complex or routine; so you can focus on the main thing. The guests that enter into your homes. This is your invitation to join us.”
So, in the brisk air of winter, I decided to host a gathering in my home. I invited a few friends, yet the night before my party I was contemplating on whether or not to even host this gathering. Only a couple of friends had said yes…was it worth it to have the party? Should I have a party that has messages of faith wrapped into their products? What will my friends think of this idea? Will my friends even come? I started down the road to self-pity. But then the next night I heard…a knock at the door. And friends entered, more than I thought would come. The smell of fresh-baked brownies (from a brownie mix!) filled the air welcoming them into my home. Soon there was the sound of laughter and catching up on life. Hot and soothing apple cider filled mugs. Friends and neighbors. I was grateful for each one of them. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed having people over. Welcoming them into my home. These were treasured moments.
My independent Mary & Martha consultant for the evening, Stephanie, surprised me as well. She pulled out a wooden chalkboard tray I had my eye on in the catalog and she asked all my guests to write a word they thought of when they thought of me. Completely unexpected! While my friends rattled off words like laughter, welcoming, healthy and sweet or perky, fun and helpful; what I was most taken by were the reasons behind these words and they will forever be treasures in my heart. Thank you friends and neighbors…I savored that moment.
Hey wait a minute, is that contentment I was stumbling upon? Gathering my friends together, feeling thankful, savoring the moment and feeling joy? All from hosting this little gathering?
That’s one reason I adored Mary & Martha, for this simple gathering and the sweet messages that came with it.
That’s why I’m celebrating my host, Stephanie, today hoping that you pop over to her Mary & Martha website and maybe you will find something that speaks to you. Maybe you will flip through the Mary & Martha catalog and see something that perfectly fits (like those beautiful dessert plates). Maybe you will stop by the Mary & Martha outlet for the sale items. Or maybe you want to host a gathering. Even more, you can join her team too!
I must say the melamine plates are the heaviest duty melamine plates I have ever seen. Gorgeous designs and beautiful colors. Using them to share a meal or dessert with three of your friends or family members around the table. I also love the placemats underneath each place setting, they include special reminders…to say grace and savor the moments of family mealtime. And the apron…to help you accomplish the simple act of celebrating life and cooking with love.
Contentment. It’s my wish for you. I hope today is a day of contentment. Where you are gathering family or friends around the table, where you are just sitting and savoring those moments, where you say grace and share joy. These words remind me of what true living in contentment really is…an ease of mind, pleased with things as they are and complete acceptance of what God is doing in our lives. I hope you consider visiting Stephanie’s website and seeing all of these beautiful products. Whether for you or someone you know, the simple meaning behind it all will carry more than your good food. I hope that these words inspired you. And I hope you join me on this journey to contentment. Share with me in the comments.