Preparing a Place

September 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Janet Morris Grimes –

I love parties, but I knew this party was a bad idea from the start. Still, that fact did not keep the idea from snowballing into an even bigger bad idea.

Most people cautioned that there were too many variables to hold an outdoor party at the end of December. No matter what, the weather would be a factor even if it chose to cooperate. The amount of work this event would require was daunting. Many friends offered their homes.

But I had a vision of how I wanted this 18th Surprise Birthday Party for my daughter to be. The vision included a covered picnic pavilion, the wind somehow blocked off with plastic walls, a fire roaring in the fireplace, friends and family sipping on hot chocolate while huddled around a heater if necessary and white Christmas lights stretched across the ceiling, creating an unforgettable Winter Wonderland. A unique night that would be a complete surprise.

Some of my friends warned, “This has never been done before.” But that only fed my desire to see my plan to fruition.

It truly took a village to pull the party off, with setup beginning several days in advance. Our entire family, and some very special friends, worked in shifts wrapping the pavilion from pole to pole in thick plastic sheets. By the time the party started, there was a black light room curtained off with balloons, glow in the dark notes, and decorations. We found creative ways to keep the food warm, including the stubborn liquid chocolate of the chocolate fountain that preferred to clump together at the first sight of nightfall. With a photo booth in place for funny photos, the party blowers and confetti ready to celebrate, and fun music forming the soundtrack, we awaited my daughter’s arrival.

I snapped a few pictures between the “set-up” and “party” and could not help but think that preparing a special place for someone required a great deal of love. If we put so much effort into creating a place to be used for a few hours, what must Heaven be like after God has been working on the preparations for so long?

Eternity will be perfect for me—I have no doubt. The work required comes from a direct outpouring of God’s love for me and I can almost see the twinkle in His eye as He anxiously prepares for my arrival. I think our mansions will be unique to each one of us, because He created us so uniquely.

And the best part is that in Heaven, the party continues on forever!

About Janet Morris Grimes

Janet is the author of The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in April of 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. She launched Abbandoned Ministries in 2010, which leads others through her writing and speaking to seek God, as Abba, during times of abandonment. She currently writes monthly for Christian Woman Today, the grief website Open to Hope, and Mamapedia. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at or
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2 Responses to “Preparing a Place”
  1. Robin Steinweg says:

    This is a great illustration of Jesus preparing a place for us!
    But how, Janet, are you ever going to top this party? Wow. 🙂

  2. Alan Mowbray says:

    As a habitual host of parties, the second I read that you had a vision for this party, I knew it had to be a success. Then I read further and it was!
    What a great parallel to how God has a special vision for each one of us!
    Nothing good can get done without vision.

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