I am extraordinary at some things, but hospitality is not one of them.
I’m the one who arrived at a friend’s house with a warm salad because it had sat in the car during church. I stuck it in her freezer for a while to cool it off. I guess for too long . . .
I’m the one who had my husband’s family over and pulled the homemade pizza from the oven, promptly dropping it upside down on the floor. We bought hamburgers.
I’m the one who invited a family over and didn’t make enough food. (I should have served dinner on dessert plates—then it would have seemed like enough.)
At some point I stopped trying to be hospitable because I gave myself the label of “failure.” But when I read novels set in Amish country, I see how the Amish women gather people around their large tables and feed them delicious, homemade meals. I want to be a person who creates that kind of environment.
So I recently determined to spend an entire year learning how to pull off hospitality without using training wheels.
I began with the purchase of a $30, twelve-cup coffeemaker (quite an upgrade from our $2, four-cup garage-sale coffeemaker). In Costco I looked both ways, laid my hands on the box, and said a blessing over it. Lord, may this coffeepot serve many people in my home, and please protect me from messing up everything that happens in my kitchen. Amen.
I ran a mock-up hospitality exercise a few weekends ago.
I got on Facebook (how do Amish ladies get the word out?), inviting the women who attend our evening church service to come on over for a hot drink and some cookies. I asked them to bring their own mugs because I didn’t have enough and refused to buy disposable hot cups. A few ladies offered to bring cookies, which eased my anxiety. (I was confident that at least their food would be edible.)
Thirteen women showed up at 2:00-ish to my humble home. I burned nothing. The coffee tasted great. And my heart rejoiced as I caught snatches of conversations—women encouraging each other in the Lord. Success!
Lord willing, throughout the next year I’m going to change my self-made label of failure to a label of successful hospitality. I’ll let you know how it goes along the way, because sister, if I can pull it off, you’ll know the ice is safe for you to come on out and give it a go.