Every day at Lydia’s House is one of a kind. One of the pivotal rituals in our life together is our celebrations. We celebrate in copious amounts; we celebrate birthdays, moves, achievements, graduations, and milestones. Sometimes there might be several celebrations in one week! Here is how a particularly eventful evening at Lydia’s House might go.

After coming home from our long days of work, running errands, school, and daycare, we gather to share our nightly community dinner. One of our lovely volunteers, called “meal angels”, prepares us all a delicious meal. We set the table with napkin rings that display the names of each guest. A bell is rang loudly to let everyone in the house know it’s time to eat. We kneel our heads to lift up one another’s petitions and thanksgivings in prayer. The kids yell, “KIDS FIRST!” and run to get to the front of the food line in the busy kitchen. We feast.

If this dinner is a special celebration, we share affirmations and hopes about the honoree. We ring bells as the Church has traditionally done for centuries at celebration upon celebration. Meridith, our resident liturgy expert, will lead us in a special prayer. We laugh, cry, and share memories.

After dinner, the adults linger at the table to chat, even when bellies are full. The kids, feeling exceptionally energized, will play around, laugh, run, or scream at the top of their lungs. Or if the adults are lucky, they might turn around to see them peacefully reading a children’s book together.

If it’s a particularly eventful evening, a special surprise might pop up out of nowhere like a neighborhood fire truck visit.

There might even be a dance party!

As the evening comes to a close, we share deep conversations, stories, or even just simple presence with one another. As we linger on the porch or in the living room, we give great thanks for the unique life we get to live together.