Last week I had four adults and one baby stay with us. We didn’t know them when they arrived (they had come up for a week of Mission with our Church) but we quickly realised that we were like family to each other and had a fun time together, though it was very busy with comings and goings of their programme and our regular life. Having people in my home, where you put on a ‘hospitality’ hat, often challenges me to how I treat my family on a day to day basis. Familiarity breeds – maybe not contempt – but certainly blaséness. Here are some thoughts I’ve had about showing hospitality to my family –
1-I spent more time preparing meals than I usually do for my family. Admittedly, I was preparing for 10-12 people every night, but I was struck by the joy I had for cooking a nice meal, of setting a full table though they weren’t complicated meals. More often than not, family meals are more focused on being quick and easy.
My challenge: Find the balance cooking interesting and different food for my family and the necessities at times to be quick and simple.
2-I was more aware of the time, and the commitments I had connected to time – eg morning routines / evening routines, because people were depending on me.
My challenge: Aren’t my family people who depend on me!!
3-Because I was conscious of being organised my evening routines were more consistent – I checked food for the tomorrow, I tidied up so breakfast could be calm, and I had clothes ironed ready to wear.
Challenge: Continue with this habit because it makes my mornings so much smoother.
4-I found myself grabbing 5 minutes before dinner to freshen up.
Challenge: I’m sure my family would appreciate that too! I am more focused on dinner time conversation if I have taken those few minutes.
5-I set breakfast up outside every morning – it was very pleasant to sit and chat even if it was for only 10 minutes.
Challenge – even though we don’t usually have breakfast together maybe setting up outside would still be nice – we could still come and go as we need to but maybe we would occasionally share breakfast with someone.
6-I placed flowers in the bathroom – though we don’t always have flowers available and we just happened to have them this last week. I love flowers in the bathroom.
My challenge – do I look for ways to make my home extra nice just for family?
If I really think about it there are probably other situations where I show hospitality to my friends and even acquaintances but don’t show the same level of willingness to my family. eg. I will stop doing what I’m doing to receive a phone call and have a chat. I will tidy up to have someone over for a cuppa, and give them my undivided attention. … Challenging thought!
Hospitality: Cheerfully sharing what I have to meet the needs of others (adapted from Character First)
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