I used to be the most hospitable person I knew. I had people over to my house for dinner 3-4 nights a week. I baked a new dessert every night. I always tried new recipes, became excited to clean my house, and treasured catching up with people and what was happening in their lives.
I recently ran into a friend who knew me at that period in my life and said to my daughter, “Your mom is the best cook and entertainer. Don’t you just love that?” Well thank goodness my daughter just nodded and smiled. And of course she brought it up to me in the car, 2 days before my 38th birthday, “Mom, Can you be like that again? It sounds like you were really good at it and people loved it. And I could tell by your smile, when that lady was talking, that it made you really happy.” Leave it to a child to convict you of what you know is right.
I lost my way. I became consumed with an attitude of discontentment and got lost in the busy-ness of life. I was concerned that people would think my house was too small, that my counter tops were out of date, and that I didn’t have the pretty dishes that I really wanted. Then with the financial hardship of cancer, the discontentment was off the charts. What I really lost though was my gift of hospitality and more importantly, the gift of relationship. What a tremendous gift I lost.
Then once we were building our dream home, I would constantly say,
“When we get into the new home, we will have people over”…
“When we get a bigger kitchen and kitchen table, we will have everyone over”…
“When I lose weight and feel better about myself, we will have so and so over”…
Well the wait is over. We lost our dream house. We are still in our less than 1500 square foot house and I’m not waiting anymore. So on my 39 list, I want to host 52 different families over for dinner. I have a few criteria for my dinners:
I want to try different recipes.
I want to invite different families over – include the kids, mix couples that don’t necessarily know each other, and include all. (For example, I’m going to ask my UPS man and his family over for dinner. I met his wife in the bagel store and thought she was darling. So the man in brown is probably coming over for dinner! )
I want to have dessert. Sometimes first.
I want to be focused on building relationships with real people. No frills. No petty talk. Real, genuine people living life together and supporting each other during the good and bad times. I love REAL, AUTHENTIC people. I don’t have time in my life for any others.