Search This Blog

6.16.2011

Hospitable Thursdays: 5 Common Scenarios to Show Hospitality

I am trying a new format to help me keep up with blogging. I am attempting to have certain themes to certain days of the week/month so that I can be more organized in blogging. Who knows how this will go, so bear with me,...please. I hope you like it, and let me know if you do.

 First, let me say that I am NOT the best example of hospitality in the sense that I have people over at my house all the time. We do have guests from time to time, and sometimes weekly, but I don't feel as if I have to have someone all the time in order to be hospitable. Instead, we kind of look for opportunities to be hospitable and offer hospitality as they present themselves.
There are some very practical things that I've had to learn in order to be ready to be hospitable, and I am starting this series in order to become better at it, and I'm really hoping you'll share your experiences and tips with me.
Just to be clear, I am NOT a good example of hospitality. I am endeavoring to be better at it, and I am hoping this series of posts will help me with this. These are simply a few things that I know work and I have done, but don't do regularly enough. You don't even want to know the state of my home right now, seriously inhospitable.

Here are 5 common scenarios that come up for us regarding hospitality.

Scenario #1: My husband calls and says he's invited someone he works with to come over tonight.
Noooo!!! It seems that, at least in this stage of life with little ones, this always happens on those really bad days where nothing has went well and as a result our home looks like it's survived a natural disaster. First, it's probably not as bad as it seems, and everyone, especially who has kids, should understand that on short notice things can be a little messy. Second, my mother taught me a great rule for housekeeping. You always keep the living room, kitchen and bathroom/guest bathroom able to be ready with just a little picking up. I must confess I really do try to do this, but sometimes things just get out of hand so quickly that I have a hard time doing this consistently. I have also told my husband that it really helps if he can let me know as soon as possible when he has invited guests (you know, if he asks them at lunch, please text or call me then, not come home and say they are right behind him). He doesn't always remember to do this and that's why it's so good to keep the rooms they are likely to see somewhat clean.

Scenario #2: My in-laws/any relative/friend calls and says, "Can I stop by for a little while?"
We actually live both of our parents and most of our siblings and fairly close to many in my husband's extended family. While the extended family are not likely if ever going to just come over except for rare occassions (i.e. birthdays and after baby's birth), our immediate family does come over sometimes without much notice. I probably shouldn't, but do have a little bit of a double standard when it comes to our parents. I have the most amazing in-laws, but still feel less comfortable with them seeing my home messy than my own parents. I guess I rationalize that my mom and dad know I do clean and don't want them to see a mess, and I still think in the back of my mind that my in-laws will think I'm not taking care of their son or grandkids. I know it's silly and they would be the first to tell me so, but I still feel that way. I don't often get a lot of notice, but I've come to find out that as long as they get to see the grandkids, they don't care about anything being messy. As far as a friend goes, they're probably too nice to say anything about your housekeeping, and hopefully they understand your circumstances already. Still, I may have been known in nice weather, when I know someone's coming for a short visit to take the kids out to play when they pull up.

Scenario#3: Playdate!
Well, obviously, you would know about this ahead of time and can schedule it, so this one's not too hard to prepare your home for. I do have trouble getting my daughter to see the value in keeping her toys neat, because I guess she figures she needs to have everything out so her friend can see it all and play in the piles. I do think that it's okay to have dishes in the sink or laundry needing to be folded in a basket when the mom comes over. After all, she should understand better than most people exactly what you're doing. Plus, it may encourage her to come over more often (she won't think you're this depressingly non-human super housekeeper) with her kids and help you get stuff done at the same time, and don't worry too much about the mess the kids are making let them help to clean up afterwards. I am a fan however of outdoor playdates and wish we had more people to go to the park with, not cause I don't want anyone in my house, but because they're a lot of fun for the kids. *sigh* I do need to initiate playdates more often (insert horrible mother guilt trip).

Scenario #4: "I need to talk to you. Can I come over?"
This doesn't happen too often, but it's nice to keep your home ready for it. The good news is that because of the nature of this visit they probably don't really care much how things look. Even, so, I like to keep some easy to bake or cook or just to eat things, so I can offer them something to eat (i.e. cake mixes, muffin mixes, brownie mixes, popcorn, chips and salsa, etc.). I also like to keep some soft drinks, which we don't drink often or try not to, so I have something other than water, juice, and milk to offer, but we've also made coffee for guests if they want it (keep a powdered creamer for coffee enthusiasts). We also have a tea pot and tea bags if they would prefer hot tea (I'm not good at making iced tea). The hardest part with this scenario is what to do with the kids. Sometimes it's something that can't be discussed in front of them. My husband has often taken guests to the porch or basement or even just the yard while we're inside and having something for the kids to do to occupy their attention helps.

Scenario #5: We want to be a witness of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We do sometimes invite over people we know aren't Christians in the hope that we can share the gospel with them. It's not that we can't share the gospel with them anywhere, but we want to show them how much we care about them and their eternal destiny. We don't just randomly go up to people and say come over and talk about eternity with us, but we do make a point of reaching out to those who are unregenerate around us and  offering them a home-cooked meal or just to visit with us, because we feel the obligation to tell them the truth and warn them of the wrath of God (Romans 1:18).
This is a completely unrelated picture of my kids. Yup, he's a thumbsucker ;)
So, how do you show hospitality?

5 comments:

Green Bag Lady Teresa said...

Sarah--

Cute blog and CUTE kids!

Teresa

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

Aw, thank you Teresa! I'm on a bit of a hiatus from blogging for now in order to keep my priorities straight, but hope to return again. I've been enjoying your blog, too :)

Anonymous said...

dear Sweet Sister,
Just want to encourage and let you know you continue in my prayers - daily, whether or not you blog. I prayed for you and your son throughout your pregnancy and God has called you to my heart everyday since. We may never meet til we meet in heaven, but I am standing with you.
Love your prayer warrior sister, praying for you.

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

Thank you so much for the prayers!!! Love in Christ!

Abby said...

Great post and certainly something I need to work on! I am not very good at being spontaneous at all!