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Week 46 is titled "Company's Coming! Hospitality". Lynn, the author, shares an excerpt from a book Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner. "Well, now. I probably shouldn't have curdling milk in the fridge if I'm inviting someone over for tea, and it might be nice if I emptied the kitchen trash can and didn't leave dirty clothes all over the bathroom floor. But to be a hostess, I'm going to have to surrender my notions of "Good Housekeeping" domestic perfection. I will have to set down my pride and invite people over even if I have not dusted. This is tough: My mother set a high standard. Her house is always immaculate, most especially if she's expecting company. But if I wait for immaculate, I will never have a guest."
Is it worth fussing and fitting with your kiddos to get the house perfect? Can we just tidy up a bit and call it a day? "Hospitality is not about trying to impress or compete to see who's the best housekeeper or the best cook. It's simply about opening the home God has given us, grand or humble, and welcoming others in."
Lynn reminds us of the story in I Kings 17, "...where a widow in the midst of a drought, down to her last bit of oil and flour, reluctantly opens her home to a hungry house guest. "I can't feed you," she tells Elijah at first. "In fact, my son and I are about to eat the last of our own food, and then we're ready to die." "Don't be afraid," Elijah answers. "God says your bowl of flour and jar of oil won't ever be empty until we have rain again." The widow did as Elijah directed, making him a bread cake and then asking one for herself and her son. And "the bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah" (I Kings 17:16)."
Whether we enjoy hot dogs and macaroni and cheese or a roast and all the fixings the attitude makes all the difference. We need to pray and ask God to show us how to have a servant's heart.
With Thanksgiving near I thought I'd share with you some easy ways to make your guests feel welcome.
*It's a great idea to have a basket of toys that little ones can play with. Some books and board games for different ages are a great idea, too.
*Make sure you have a place to put coats and such...squeezing them in a coat closet can be cumbersome. We have a mudroom but not a lot of extra hooks. Hubby's to do list now has this suggestion. We often us the master bed as a place to throw coats if there's a large crowd.
The following tips are geared toward those having overnight guests:
*If you have overnight company make sure the room they are staying in has proper window treatments. Especially if you have a yard light outside the window. They may prefer total darkness.
*Then again, they may like a little night light. Have one plugged in and on. If they want it off they can turn it off.
*Make sure they have proper bedding and some extra blankets in case they get chilly. An extra set of sheets on hand is nice, too, in case little ones have accidents at night.
*Have a snack basket in the room if the kitchen is far away. Fill it with granola bars, pretzels, crackers, and a few chocolate treats. If you like you can add a small cooler with bottled water and juice. That way if they get up early they can snack and not starve until breakfast.
*Make sure their room has a place for clothes storage. Even if they are living out of their bags they are probably going to need to hang up some shirts. An over the door hook might be a nice addition.
*Have towels and washcloths handy so they don't need to search for them.
*Also make sure the bathroom is fully stocked with toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and other toiletries you think they might need. They would feel embarrassed if they had to wake you in the middle of the night because they had no toilet paper. And I'm sure you wouldn't want to be wakened for a TP call at 3 a.m.. *wink*
For more on hospitality Rhonda has great advice over at Raising Homemakers HERE and HERE.
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"Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people have
for by so doing some people have
entertained angels without knowing it."