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)

Are there ways you think you show hospitality to your friends more than family?  If you scroll down a bit you could leave a comment.  Love to hear from you.

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