Friday, January 9, 2009

At the Heart of Hospitality

I've been meaning to talk about hospitality but I haven't gotten around to it. Just like I haven't gotten around to inviting the neighbors, the new couple from church, the family that had us over for dinner, an old friend from high school and his new family, or even our closest friends over for dinner. Yikes!

I think a lot of it has to do with my perceived view of hospitality, no matter how wrong it is. To me, everything has to be perfect: the toys are put away neatly, the papers in the kitchen are all filed, the dishes are not piled in the sink (clean ones are NOT still in the dishwasher), the new paint job in the living room and kitchen are perfectly touched-up, I have an extravagant meal planned, the dining area is perfectly decorated, there's no dust, no spills, blah, blah, blah. How realistic is that...really??

I'm coming to learn that it's just nice to be asked over to someone's home. When our family gets invited somewhere, I'm not looking for dust. I'm not looking for a beautiful meal prepared by Martha Stewart or for a home decorated by her either. I'm looking for conversation, connection, love, a sense of belonging, friends, laughter... So I would hope that those are the things people feel when they are invited into my home.

Today, I came across Sandy Coughlin's blog entitled 4 Reluctant Entertainers. It has been a great reminder of what hospitality is all about. She even posted her ten commandments and they have been a great inspiration for me.

I decided that I'm going to do a little series called At the Heart of Hospitality and reference Sandy's Ten Commandments (found in the right-hand column of her blog) while writing some thoughts of my own.


Live.Love.Eat said...

This is SO funny. As I was reading what you were writing and agreeing with you, I was going to point you in Sandy's blog but then you mentioned it. Hah. So true on all of it but I still don't think I will ever stop wanting everything to be just right for when people come. I do enjoy it though and have people over often.

lisa said...

Wow-that is exactly how I am when I entertain. Everything has to be perfect. I don't want my guest to see even a dirty knife in the sink or see have them see me prepare food. I like to have everything as ready as possible. You are not alone. I have a friend who is a great entertainer and I need to relax like her. She makes everything look so easy.
I have to remember to focus on the just enjoying my company. So now I am in a bad habit of catering food.