As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

{31 Days of Hospitality} Day 2 ~ My Hospitality Journey

Not to Impress, But to Bless.

One Sunday afternoon while playing our almost weekly game of Apples to Apples, it was my turn to lay out the green category card and be the "judge."  The category was excited  (or happy  or something like that), and one of my fellow gamers played the red card that said party.   An obvious choice, and an easy win for that person, because they knew that planning and hosting a party does make me happy.

I was a new bride of four months when I hosted my first Christmas party.  We invited a group of family and friends from church to come over after the Sunday evening service for a rather impromptu gathering.  I knew so little about the "right" way to entertain, but I set the dining room table with some Christmas goodies, including some holiday Little Debbie® cakes, still in their wrappers.  Ack!  Let's just say that Martha would not have been impressed with my party. Most of what I remember about that evening, however, is that it was lots of fun, that we shared some special time munching and laughing and talking.  

When we bought our house, a Handyman's Special if I've ever seen one, we had many, many years of repair and remodeling before all the rooms were functional.  (More of the grisly details ~here~.)  Even so, we invited people over for meals and hosted many family gatherings during those years.  

But even though I have always loved to open my home and share it with others, I must admit that it was not always easy.  There were lots of things to learn, most of which had to do with too much stress, too much perfectionism, too much worrying about what other people thought.  I doubt that my family enjoyed the days and hours before a gathering when my expectations were high and so was the tension.

These days (after 34 years of marriage), we still host lots of events.  We have my married daughter and her family over almost every Sunday.  (For glimpses of our Sunday afternoons, visit Sunday Snapshots.)  We celebrate oodles of birthdays.  Our home is the spot for holiday dinners.  And we have friends over for dinner parties or outdoor gatherings from time to time throughout the year.  But now, I have learned to relax and enjoy my guests, as well as the time spent preparing for them to come.  

It was a slow journey from enthusiastic-but-stressed-hostess-who-was-worried-about-making-an-impression to enthusiastic-hostess-who-hosts-to-bless-others.  

Are you on that journey?  Are you there yet?


  1. we live on the mission field in Uganda, and are constantly hosting youth group, out-of-country guests, small groups, prayer meetings, etc... and I've worked from the start to open our home as-is. to serve simple and delicious food. and to welcome people into our ordinary life. it is a joy and the blessings outweigh the work!

  2. No. I am not there yet and, quite frankly, may never be.
    I'm sure that I should have arrived before you given my age, ahem, but no. So I am eager to see what you are going to share here in that regard and how you went from stressed to relaxed in three easy steps. ☺

  3. I'm with Vee. I have never figured out how to do this and so generally just avoid it. I find it easier to go to others, rather than have them here. I'd be interested in hearing how you managed it in the years before your home was so beautiful.

  4. Growing up, my family did not host frequently, but on those special occasions my mother always loved to use her "good china." I never understood why we would dress things up like that. Now I host much more frequently than my parents ever did, and don't have any "good china" but do my best to at least provide napkins instead of paper towels. Work with what you've got?

  5. I fantasize about it, but haven't really done much entertaining, other than holidays, and between my sister and my mom and me, splitting it 3 ways, we usually do Easter, and used to do Thanksgiving.
    But it is a dream of mine.
    So I am looking forward to your posts!

  6. I also hosting a Christmas party when I had only been married 4 months. I'm sure you remember we had "extra" guests and someone said they couldn't bring cookies because they didn't like them, but I do have fun memories of that party. In fact, I saw pictures of it today when I was going through albums and there were lots of smiles.

  7. I love to host parties, any kind of gathering really.

    I used to get overly stressed too, and would 'ride' my children all day if we were having company. Sigh. I'd like to take those days back if I could.

    However they all like having company so I must not have scarred them to badly!


  8. i love you outlook, your learning so much from you! thank you!!
    Nancy, (In Georgia)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...