Monday, July 19, 2010
I like having people in my home.
That hasn't really changed much but the dynamic of life has changed a bit.
When I got married we were part of a church that showed hospitality in a way that I had never seen before. It was beautiful, generous, lovely... and, well... sometimes a bit intimidating. Not that any one of these families imposed certain expectations on my but they were my own self-imposed expectations and thinking that I needed some serious observation lessons before attempting any of these shin-digs. I would see women under such grace feed 15 people for a sit-down lunch/dinner and it seemed like it never phased them. Scary! At the time we also lived pretty far away from most people in our church family and in my mind I thought that it would be a great imposition for them to come all the way down to our home. Sigh. I think we had three households from church in our home. The rest were a fun family that lived relatively close, family, and a neighbor.
Now we live pretty close to just about everyone in our church, family, and other friends. In my expectations I didn't want people to see all of our moving boxes, then there was the "legitimate" excuse of morning sickness, or I want to get this or that project done. Well, boxes are removed, morning sickness gone, and projects completed. No more excuses. You can insert my anxiety sky-rocketing here as Husband talks about having this or that family over.
Again, it's not that I don't want to spend time with these people it's my own self-imposed, unrealistic expectations of what needs to be presented and done for these people. Yeah, no aroma of grace there!
This last Friday we had a lovely family over in a very impromptu manner for dinner. In the midst of my third trimester I am moving slow and trying to keep things simple and the oven off as much as possible. Let me note that this family is quite hospitable and the wife is a whiz in the kitchen. I told her basically that we were having pasta salad and I whipped up another cool salad type thing to eat with chips. The pasta salad was even from a box but we love it and I added a few extra things to make it a bit more "hardy." They brought a couple of things to share as well which was great. Husband bought a bottle of wine home which I think can make any meal better. ha!
We had a grand time in fellowship which is really what the evening was all about. The kiddos had fun playing and we let them all stay up after their bedtimes. While talking with the wife she appreciated the fact that I didn't put on any "airs" in creating my pasta salad. She got a good laugh when she inquired about the recipe and I told her, "It's my Aunt Betty Crocker's recipe." All with a smile.
We talked about hospitality and what it means to have people in our homes ever so briefly. I realized in our conversation hurt that had been extended to her because those who have been in her home and experienced her gourmet side think they have to return the same when they come over. NOT SO! Yes, she has special gifts in different areas as I have gifts in other areas. We learn and grow from each other. It's not about the food but what happens around the food.
It was a good learning experience for me on a variety of levels. Even in letting her help me in the kitchen while being 7 months pregnant I learned it really is okay to let your guests help. It was the least stressed I have been in a "hosting" situation in a long time.
So, with that we have another household coming next weekend for lunch... in the midst of a crazy, filling-up-fast, getting-ready-for-baby kind of schedule. Family and other friends, too.
Even while having an extra tabel in the front room while we are trying to sell it. Yes, the house was clean but there is grace even in that. Not everything was totally in it's place. A toddler lives here and it was obvious. But that's okay... we live here, it's not a showroom. More on these other aspects later. But I am not quite so hesitant a hostess anymore.