When my family and I watch those HGTV house-hunting shows, we play a little game.
We listen for the words view, flow, open-concept, and entertaining.
Why? Because every house hunter in America seems to be looking for those things. And while I can appreciate an open layout and a fine view, I can’t relate to purchasing a house primarily because it has space for entertaining. (Ballroom, anyone?)
As you may have picked up from the title, hospitality just ain’t my thing.
Not that I am radically anti-social. I truly enjoy having people over, and I love cooking and baking for them. But there have been a few times that the preparation has stressed me out. A little.
(My husband would say, a LOT.)
I clean house and do as much cooking prep as possible, so that the day of goes smoothly and I can hang out with my company.
But I don’t seem to have enough time to fit in all the normal stuff of everyday life, never mind extra cooking and cleaning, without feeling pressured.
Some believe hospitality to be a spiritual gift, implying that certain people naturally welcome one and all into their homes, and others have to purpose to do so.
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. – Romans 12:13
Ask me to teach a class full of wiggly grade-schoolers for an hour? Happy to do it! Teaching is my spiritual gift. But host a get-together? Ugh.
Case in point. One of my husband’s best friends from college, whom we hadn’t seen in at least fifteen years, dropped by for a few hours on Tuesday evening. All day, before he arrived, I cooked and cleaned and worried and snapped at my family.
In the end, I had nothing to worry about. My husband’s friend and his family were absolutely delightful, like-minded Christians. They were, well, just like my husband and me: the same as we had been in years past, only all grown up with children. We had home schooling and many other things in common, and we didn’t stop talking for their entire visit.
I don’t know why I get so worked up when I host a party, but I do know that my Lord asks me to cheerfully open my home to others. To me, that means that I should not only invite others willingly, but prepare happily.
Use hospitality one to another without grudging. – I Peter 4:9
And for my family’s sake, who bear the brunt of my pre-party stress, I’m going to purpose to do just that.
Do you have the gift of hospitality? How do you prepare for a party and stay stress-free? As always, I welcome and appreciate your comments.