People ask a lot how our small group works. I’ve blogged before about the miracle of our 16 kids, six years old and under, somehow managing to all go to sleep while we meet, then when we get ready to leave at midnight, we wake them all up, take them home, and they go back to sleep.

Seriously cool stuff.

But, in case you wondered what we did between their bedtime and midnight, here’s a typical night – which happens to be last Thursday night.

7pm – arrive, enjoy the chaos of the screaming, playing, running gaggles of kids.

8pm – put the kids to bed, all settle back in the living room, marvel at the sudden quietness, eat desserts and appetizers that we all brought but hid from the kids.

(Which, this week, included my favorite seasonal treat, a King Cake.)IMG_7088

(Yes, the naked baby seemed to be very rudely mooning us. Yes, I might have chosen that particular King cake because of the mooning baby.)

9pm – since it was our first “real” small group of the year (our New Year’s Party and our National Championship Party didn’t exactly count), we all shared our annual prayer requests – what we wanted the whole group to pray for each person individually for the whole year.

(Which, by the way, was how Ali came to be – after two years of trying, we made “get pregnant and have a baby” our 2006 prayer request. Within three months, I was pregnant. She was a week off of actually being born that year, but nonetheless, annual prayer requests are powerful stuff.)

10:30pm – Prayer requests finished and thoroughly discussed; New Topic of Conversation: What our spiritual gifts are / where we feel led to serve.

11:15pm – completely downshifted into laughter and casual conversation, when the hostess, Lydia, says, “Okay, Ladies… and Men… and David…”

(laughter followed as we tried to figure out how David managed to get a category of his own.)

Lydia regains control and asks, “I need to know if any of you have any ideas about how to rearrange this room to make it more functional.”

11:30pm – The whole living room is in shambles as all of the men are moving furniture,

making spur-of-the-moment decisions on what works best,

And the women are telling them whether their decisions are right or wrong.

11:55pm – complete rearrange is complete, so we get our kids, pack up, and head home.

And, depending on how much Lydia liked our design aesthetics, we might or might not get a repeat next week. Because that’s what happens at midnight.

17 thoughts on “When the Clock Strikes Twelve…

  1. Don't you love friends like that? Who don't think you are nuts for rearranging at midnight? Sounds like you are blessed!

  2. It is nothing short of a miracle from God to get 16 children to sleep at one time! Your small group's prayer is definitely working.

  3. Uhm…. I have no idea how you get so many kids to sleep at once. But kudos to you! Oh ~ and love the mooning baby.

  4. I love that you guys do that…it looks like so much fun!

    What the heck is a King cake??? And what is with the naked baby??

  5. LOL!!!

    I guess you live WAAAAY too far away from New Orleans to get any Mardi Gras stuff up there.

    A King Cake is a Mardi Gras cake – it's kind of like Cinnamon rolls, except with the very recognizable Mardi-Gras-Colored Sprinkles. It's supposed to be significant to Easter somehow, but I'm sure you could guess that Mardi Gras has VERY little to do with Easter anymore.

    The naked baby is supposed to be hidden inside the cake, and whoever gets it has good luck or something for the rest of the year.

    Weird, huh?


  6. I'm glad somebody already asked about the King Cake….had no clue! Ha! (well, maybe kinda guessed about Mardi Gras because of the crazy decor and colors)

    Your small group meets until MIDNIGHT!?! Oh my goodness, I don't know how you all stay up so late mid-week. That's a long small group, but if you can all make it to midnight, good for you! Sounds like you all have a blast and love each other! Yay for God and yay for awesome small groups!!

  7. Our small group has been such a blessing to us, it's hard to imagine what life was like before we met you guys!
    I thought re-arranging Lydia's furniture was so much fun (even though I had little to do with the planning or actual moving), maybe we should do a little rearranging project at each couple's house :)

  8. Rachel,

    Having grown up in South Louisiana, with the tradition of the King Cake, let me explain a little about its history because it has more to do with Christmas than Easter (sorry!).

    The history of the King Cake began in 12th century France where the cake would be baked on the eve of January 6 (Epiphany) to celebrate the visit to the Christ Child by the three Kings. It was later brought to South Louisiana by the French settlers and eventually developed into a Mardi Gras celebration. However, what would happen is if you found the baby in the cake, it would be your turn to supply the cake the next week at the next party. This would go on each week throughout the Mardi Gras season until Fat Tuesday (which precedes Ash Wednesday).

    There is ton of information about the symbolism of the colors of the cake, the reason for the baby vs. the silver or gold bean, braided or unbraided, etc. As with any tradition, things evolve and change over time.

    For our family, we enjoy a cream cheese stuffed King cake that is made at a local bakery in south Louisiana….one that when you take a bite, it tends to just melt in your mouth……..yumm…..debra

  9. Your small group sounds awesome although I have to agree with the posters that wondered how you manage all that on a weeknight!
    It does sound like y'all are tremendously blessed.

  10. You guys are so funny doing a room re-do close to midnight. Hey, if all that muscle is in the room, why not use it?

    Your small group sounds terrific. We are part of one also, but in England they might find it out of the ordinary, to say the least, if we asked for interior design help. It's just how the British are. They are a very by-the-book kind of people.

    What's a king cake? And, yes, kudos to you for getting all of those children to sleep when the adults are having all of the fun. It will not be long before they are on to you guys.

  11. We love small group so very much! It has brought such a feeling of community and family into our lives. It is so incredible to have a group who can laugh hysterically, rearrange furniture maniacally, and pray fervently together. We are blessed, blessed, blessed, and we thank God for each of you everyday!

  12. How cool! I love the idea of small group. The power of group prayer always amazes me.

    I am salivating for King cake. I want some now. I don't think bloggers should be allowed to post pictures of food because it makes me drool all over my keyboard at work.

  13. Sounds like a blast! We have a great small group, as well…Although we have never re-arranged furniture together! I have never heard of a small group where the kids are put to bed. We hire a sitter for ours…the sleeping thing sounds like a good idea.I'll have to look into that.

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