3/6/08

Make it a Priority!

I frequently hear people say that they don’t have the time to practice hospitality.

I wonder if they really don’t have the time, or if they just don’t know how to make it a priority?

My niece, who is a new mommy again, made it a priority with our family last week. I say a priority, because with a brand new baby and a two year old, you don’t just snap your fingers and have a perfect house and a beautiful meal to serve for your guests!

You might call our dinner last week a “spur of the moment” meal – but Addie made it happen, first by inviting us into her home.

We worked out a time (that very day), split up the meal where she made the roast beef and mashed potatoes, and I brought the salad and bread. We knew we didn’t need dessert, and we ended the night early because it was a school night. It was simple and relaxing.

What’s in it for us – to practice hospitality like this? By inviting people into our homes, we’ve taken our minds off of ourselves and put them onto the needs of others. It stretches us to ask others about their lives, and puts our own lives on the back burner. It helps fights against loneliness. Hospitable acts put our lives into perspective.

For Addie, last week was not about how well she cooked or how well-decorated her house was. It wasn’t about the table setting or how large her home was. It wasn’t about impressing our family or coming across as a spectacular hostess.

No, with two small kids under the age of two (oh, how I remember those years), our dinner was about sharing hospitality with family. While I was able to feed baby Jaxon - and burp, change, and jammie him up, Addie was able to finish her chores in the kitchen. We worked together!

After a night of playing with the little ones, we realized it was really a treat for our family. Because we know that it takes investment of time to build relationships, and the more we reach out and share, the richer our lives become. Not in material wealth, but in wealth that lasts forever.

Yes, our night was rich. And it all started by Addie making hospitality a priority.

(Photo: My great-nephews, Gavin kissing Jaxon, taken by Grama Di. You can read my previous, " I Didn't Clean my House" post here).

15 comments:

Christie said...

Thank you for this...still struggling to remember what entertaining is about (cough, sputter) and that it's not about ME and my stupid need to have everything in its place and perfect before even the mailman can come to the door.

You're an inspiration!

Mrs. Jules said...

My co-worker and I were just talking about this yesterday! "Hospitable acts put our lives into perspective." Well said. Thank you for such a great post. :)

Jen said...

Very well said. What a cute picture.

Andrea said...

Spur of the moment usually seems to work best for us too! We always say "Oh, we should have so-and-so over sometime" but then that SOMETIME never comes! So sometimes when one of us suggests that, we'll pick up the phone and invite them over RIGHT AWAY.

Jenny said...

I needed to read this today, we have a house full coming tomorrow and I struggle with hospitality!

Thank you for reminding me that the important part is building relationships not what my house looks like!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

It is daunting to entertain with a new baby! I know it has been holding me back some - I still have entertained but I feel exhausted by it. I think I just need to loosen up! :) I over think things and wish for perfection when that isn't a reality ever, but especially not with three small children!!

Dawn said...

Your right, hospitality takes our minds off ourselves and put it on serving others. I love that. My kids have been helping me get ready for a birthday party tonight- even the birthday girl is helping.

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Sandy,
Excellent post! I love this paragraph...

"What’s in it for us – to practice hospitality like this? By inviting people into our homes, we’ve taken our minds off of ourselves and put them onto the needs of others. It stretches us to ask others about their lives, and puts our own lives on the back burner. It helps fights against loneliness. Hospitable acts put our lives into perspective."

Thanks again for these excellent posts!

Nadine said...

As usual very nicely said.

Congratulations to your niece.

Kirstin said...

Hey Sandy,

Thanks for the tip on the Kirkland brand cookware. I have eyed that before...I am a costcoholic! So I'll have to keep that in mind when it's time to buy new pans.

Rhonda said...

Great words Sandy - well said!

I especially liked:

"What’s in it for us – to practice hospitality like this? By inviting people into our homes, we’ve taken our minds off of ourselves and put them onto the needs of others. It stretches us to ask others about their lives, and puts our own lives on the back burner. It helps fights against loneliness. Hospitable acts put our lives into perspective."

slouching mom said...

I couldn't agree more. Beautiful photo, too!

ValleyGirl said...

Oh Sandy, this post really gets to the heart of it for me. I too easily use almost anything as an excuse not to have people over and really what it boils down to is plain ol' selfishness. Ouch. I really need to work at changing my attitude about WHY I should do it more often.

TJ said...

Great post! I had many shocked when my son was just weeks old and I hosted Mother's Day at my house. It was a great time, and Mo enjoyed being passed from relative to relative after church. Hard to believe that was almost 2 years ago!

Katy said...

soo true! :) My son is named Jaxson! :)

I love all your canned good pics on your sidebar! You have a really cute blog! :)