“Planning a dinner party in a way that you’re actually capable of getting it done without panicking is important. It’s bad hospitality for the host to be freaked out.” ~ Ted Allen
When I think about having friends over for dinner some night, I’ll admit that I get a little freaked out. After all, that means picking up all the clutter left around by a busy family with three kids … and actually dusting areas I haven’t felt inspired to reach in far too long. Not to mention menu planning around our budget restraints … and searching for enough plates and glasses that actually match each other.
But this week’s character quality of hospitality has far less to do with a Martha Stewart presentation and much more to do with opening my heart and home to others. Hospitality is cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and friendship with others. It’s being kind and friendly with my visitors. Spending time chatting in the living room rather than frantic preparations in the kitchen. At the heart, hospitality is being real and open in relationships rather than putting on a show.
If I wait until everything’s picture perfect, I’ll never extend my hand in friendship. Rather than trying to put up a facade (as if our family actually eats off the wedding china in a sparkling house every night!), why not invite others into the reality of our crazy household?
After all, they may live like we do!
What about you? Do you struggle with hospitality? Why or why not? Is it okay to serve pizza from a box on paper plates or do I need a three-course homemade meal?