I was all set to record my thoughts on imperfect hospitality when I logged on to my computer to see that my real-life friend, Ginger, had already expressed many similar thoughts here. When I consider hospitality, I can come up with a list of excuses:
I have a baby. My house is too small. No one wants to drive to our house 15 minutes outside of town. Our dining room table is already at capacity. I'm not a great cook. I don't know how to start small talk.
Don't we all have a list of reasons why it is easier to say no to hospitality?
The Lord has been showing me more and more the need for and the importance of relationship. I want my children to grow up knowing people, loving people, ministering to people, and simply sharing life with people.
Over several posts, I want to share what I'm learning about hospitality, not because I've got it figured out and have no insecurities, but because I am still stretching and learning myself.
I'm going to begin with a few ideas on timing.
Weeknight vs. weekend
I always thought entertaining was better on the weekends, but when Brian pointed out that our weekends were booked through October and partly into November, I had to think outside of the box. In September, we had a dinner guest on a Monday evening. After dinner, he played chess with my boys over dessert. This week, we had three people over for soup and bread on Tuesday evening. One friend brought a salad and another brought dessert. After dinner, the ladies and kids chatted in the living room and played games with my kids while the men continued to talk at the table.
I only mention the minutiae because it proved to me that we can have a regular school day, welcome people into our home, go to bed, and get back up to another regular day. It also proved that we can eat simple food and do simple things and still have a good time because the people are more important than the details.
Planning vs. spontaneity
Sometime it requires advanced planning to get people in the same place at the same time. Other times, a last minute gathering is best. I am a planner by nature and I love penciling things onto the calendar weeks ahead of time, but at the end of the summer, my kids wanted to have a big group of friends over for a movie night. I texted a few moms early in the week and was pleased that almost everyone was available on Saturday. The kids played a bunch of Twister tournaments in the living room while I prepared a super-easy meal. Then they watched the movie and we sent them all outside until the party was over. It was a blast!
|10 of the 12 kids in our living room|
Next up: How can I feed these people?
Do you have any thoughts on hospitality? Share them with me!