It’s One Word Friday!
Like I wrote recently, part of “Choose Life” means choosing to exercise our gifts.
And you’ve got ‘em! You’re talented and capable and you’re gamers.
Hospitality seems to be one of mine, (although it’s easy to see how others are doing it so much better). Some of you may have this gift too. I hope you’ll add your ideas in the comments.
For others the thought of guests ringing your doorbell makes you want to hide under your bed.
Whether hospitality is one of your gifts or not, it’s a reflection of God’s welcoming heart that we’re all called to live out. I hope this post will give you some resources and encouragement!
4 Suggestions if you’re new to opening your home:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Potlucks take the pressure off and this is about community not performance. Everyone has a recipe they’d like to try or time to pick up a bottle of wine. Before or during the evening, people feel good when they’re asked to help.
2. If you have an extra fridge/freezer, or a little extra room, keep some some basics there so you can pull them out in a pinch. (Twice this year I’ve had people who said they’d bring a dessert forget, so out came the homemade brownies I had in the freezer) And pick up a bag of ice every time you get gas. You ALWAYS need ice.
3. Do everything you can ahead of time. I will set our dining room table even a day or two ahead (I know this may not work if you have tinies at home, but…). This also gives me the freedom and space to be a little more creative with a theme if I want.
4. Keep it in perspective. I do this by making of point of stopping to pray for the people who will be coming to my home. This is about THEM – making them feel welcome and valued. I also matted and framed this great free printable I got from Myquillyn at the Nesting Place
Hospi-phobics are you feeling a little better? Deep breaths.
Veterans, want some more ideas?
In the summer we do a lot more entertaining because our backyard becomes a huge additional “room”. One of the best investments we made years ago, was to buy a “carport” tent on sale at Home Depot (I think) for about $90 and some 6 ft tables from Costco (also on sale). We use them constantly in the summer. Investing in some matching tablecloths also pays off over the years.
** Caveat! If what you have is a 500 square foot apartment, USE IT! Fill it up with people and good conversation and laughter. Reflecting the welcoming heart of God isn’t about size. For us using our yard and investing in some reusable pieces has just been helpful.
I often do a Tex-mex theme. I bought some red bandanas super cheap (I think they come in packs at Walmart) to use as napkins. If you want a cheaper alternative to tablecloths, get some of the stuff they wrap trees with to use as burlap table runners. Mason jars are fun for glasses. If you are smart, you can find pie tins at garage sales to use for plates (but I’m not that smart. Or committed)
We went to dinner at some friends’ house abut a month ago and she gave me this great idea. She got these marinated meats to grill from Trader Joes, and put out all the fixings for Tacos or whatever. This is great for a potluck too cuz everyone can bring a different topping.
- 1 can black beans (14 ounces), rinsed and drained
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels (I USED FRESH CORN OFF THE COB)
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (half a palmful)
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco (eyeball it) (I OMITTED)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil (eyeball it)
- Salt and pepper
- I HAD SOME CHERRY TOMATOES SO I HALVED THEM AND ADDED
The original recipe had this option (but I really like fresh corn): Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Let stand for at least 15 minutes for the corn to fully defrost and the flavors to combine, then toss and serve. The corn will also place a quick-chill on this easy side-salad as it defrosts – no need to refrigerate! Serves 4
We have a great family recipe for homemade guacamole, but an easier alternative is to buy some at the store and “doctor it” with some fresh cilantro and avocados.
Now it’s your turn! If you’re a veteran at hospitality, what works for you? If not, what overwhelms you?