Easter is Sunday. Our homes will likely be filled with friends and family enjoying a meal together, one of the greatest ways to fellowship and share the love of Christ.
But for some of us, it brings about a sense of “not being good enough”, “not having the right dishes” or fear of burning the main dish.
Hospitality for some of us can be scary. But it is key to sharing time, building relationships and helping to expand God’s kingdom.
Hospitality is all about the attitude of your heart. If you truly desire to refresh and pamper your guests, there isn’t much else that matters. If your dishes don’t match – so what. If you forget to pick up the dressing for the salad – oh well. It can take considerable time to get away from the perfection attitude we feel we must display when we choose to entertain, but it really is all about being able to shower your guests and allowing them to feel deep down that you are glad they are there!
Over the course of a few years, I have had the pleasure to become involved in a ministry called Home Matters, which helps encourage women to develop peaceful and loving homes using biblical principles – based upon the book, “The Home Experience” by Devi Titus and Marilyn Weiher.
What I love about this ministry is that we actively help woman with practical steps that are realistic and manageable – and most of all based on God’s word. So I thought I would share a few ideas that have helped me over the years overcome my anxiety of entertaining and hospitality.
Use What You Have
This is a major principle covered in Home Matters, using what you have and making do – instead of feeling like you need to have better things, a bigger home or an exceptionally decorated home. When you can get to the matter of the heart, using what God has already blessed you with using it in the best way that you can. For example, instead of feeling like you must go to the florist and purchase flowers that really aren’t in your budget, you find greens and other items in your yard to use on your table.
Find ways to be creative with what you have.
Invite a friend over to look through some of your standard items, like glass bowls, candle sticks or decorative items and perhaps with fresh eyes you will discover new uses for items that you already have.
Greet Your Guests
It can be difficult when everything is coming down to the last minute and your guests are arriving, but make sure you step away from your duties in the kitchen to physically greet each and every guest as they arrive at your door. You are telling you are letting your guest know that they are important to you. Another tip, always have the table set when guests arrive – it is one way that shares “I was expecting you and am so glad you are here.” You can then visit and finish small preparations instead of frantically rushing about.
Just as important as a welcoming greeting is an equally heartfelt goodbye. If you can, send something home with your guests – an extra piece of dessert or flowers from your garden. What a treat and pleasant surprise for them. In addition, walk them out to their car if at all possible. These extra gestures will show them how much you care and how much you enjoyed their company.
It is amazing how just small changes to our heart and attitude while hosting people in our homes can impact the result of how they feel when they leave. I would rather know I made a guest feel ‘over the top’ special rather than just average. If it takes just a few small tweaks to my normal tasks as a hostess, why not do them. This extends from another principle shared in Devi’s book called, “The Also Principle.” Going just a little behind what is necessary or expected to glorify God and build your character. It can be exhibited in all the areas of your life – I guess I have another blog post topic! Sharing ways to use ‘The Also Principle’ in your daily life.
Do not allow the hesitation of fear rob you of the ability to extend hospitality to those in need. There are so many people just waiting to be asked and made to feel special. Who can you extend an invitation to your Easter table this Sunday?
I pray that your family enjoys a time of celebration this weekend in remembering Christ’s death and resurrection. He is at work today and in the business of restoring and redeeming lives.