What Flavor Is Your Hospitality?

Beefburger --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I walked into a baby shower this morning, and it was a living Pinterest board. Bright cloth banners lined the windows. A table was set with fresh roses lining the center. Each place setting had a glass bowl of layered yogurt, fruit, and granola, as well as a mason glass with layered sherbet punch and a fun paper straw. Behind me was a small table with stacks of dollar-sized pancakes skewered by a cheerful flag and flanked by homemade whipping cream.

I had two feelings. The first was that feeling you get when you slip down into a bubble bath, with candles aglow along the edge of the tub. It is certainly medicine to a woman’s soul to be offered beautiful things (in stark contrast to the Little Caesar’s pizza box sitting cockeyed on my counter when I left the house).

But I had another feeling, and that was raw failure.

There I was, in the middle of a delightful party, feeling like a loser because never in a million years would I be the one pulling off this kind of a party. It would never have occurred to me to work on all those charming details. I probably would have burnt the pancakes, and those adorable flags would have had to be pounded through them. And I can promise I am way, way too lazy to make cloth flags to hang from the windows.

But let me tell you that on Friday I had lunch with a college student so we could talk, and I listened to her boyfriend struggles and her desire to grow in her relationship with Christ. We went to Five Guys, and I’m not a total loser, girls, because I did offer to be the one to go get the ketchup. And I was thoughtful enough to get her a cup of ketchup and me a cup of ketchup so we could double dip. (Please tell me that’s almost as good as a personal glass of sherbet punch served with an adorable paper straw.)

pancakes

I conclude that there are different flavors of hospitality.

I will never have the Pinterest kind, but I thank God for those of you who do. And if you would please invite me to parties to enjoy your giftedness, I will say, yes, I am free that day.

But if someone is just lonely and needs a friend to talk to about life and God, I am all over that. Name the day, time, and fast-food place.

Because I care about you, and that’s what hospitality is. <click to tweet>

It’s just that some of us have less work to do when our hospitality is over. (Oh, let me get that for you. I’ll crumple up the burger wrappers and throw them in the garbage on our way out. . . .)

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Christy Fitzwater (22 Posts)

Christy is a writer and pastor’s wife in Kalispell, Montana.  She is also the mother of a daughter in college and a son in high school.  Read her personal blog at christyfitzwater.com.


Comments

  1. Pinterest can apply some serious pressure to make everything look perfect. Thanks for sharing this encouragement that hospitality can be simple. 🙂

  2. I love this Christy! I had the same exact feelings at a few parties. I’m all about the people … but I love a pretty party, too!

  3. You nailed it! I love to throw parties and I do aspire to the Pinterest level of craziness. While they are fun to plan and play lately I have had more joy with the simple coffee date, or the quiet hike or the easy knit circle. Gathering with friends one-on-one or in small groups with no planning just a love of being together and really taking the time to connect. Both have merit but I can do quiet more often.

  4. I love seeing a pretty party, but I also find that I really enjoy the simplicity of a party that is just people enjoying time together, and the host or hostess is not as stressed about everything being just so. I think it is good to remember while there is time to make your party a living Pinterest board, there is a time when Little Caesars pizza and salad tastes awfully good to someone that needs it!

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