28 September, 2011

Being hospitable

Let's just say that hospitality is not one of my gifts. I love hanging out with friends, but having people over and cooking for them etc, is just not something I thrive on.

Rebecca's post struck a chord with me though. I want to be more hospitable. I want to have the type of house that my sons' friends WANT to be stay at.
Warm, friendly, welcoming.

And that's wisdom! What a great way to watch over my sons and know who their friends are.

I kept saying to myself that when we have a bigger house, we'd have more people over. Hmmm. Hasn't happened. It does cost money to have people over, but surely friends wouldn't mind a bring and share type evening?

Anyway, the other night I put my hospitality into practise. A twelve year old girl was waiting for our neighbour's daughter after school. The neighbours weren't home. So she walked over and starting talking to me as I was playing with the boys outside.

Half an hour later and still no sign of the neighbours, I invited her in to watch a DVD with my boys as I started to prepare dinner. She showed no signs of leaving as dinner was cooking and half an hour later, I had to make a call about the situation.

The usual Penny would have said in a very nice way that it was time for her to go home now because I needed to give the boys dinner...which is reasonable enough. 
Instead I invited her to join us. It was pancakes after all and I quickly made up some more batter. She ate four pancakes with lots of banana and syrup and Mr Samoa made her a cup of Milo.

She still showed no signs of leaving so I just got one with bathing the boys and making biscuits. She happily joined in and made biscuits with us. The first batch was done and we put in the next. By now it was nearing my boys bedtime so I gave her a stack of biscuits and sent her on her way.

I felt good about it, though.
I had stretched myself and extended hospitality when I actually just wanted to get on with looking after my own family.
I can be so task-focused and all about achieving the desired result...which is good sometimes. But other times it can cause me to miss out, to overlook the needs of those around me.

I'll keep you posted on my hospitality journey.

How is your hospitality?
Do you have the kind of house where people can just drop in?
Do you love entertaining at home?

1 Pet. 4:9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal

Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it


tea said...

I can identify. Hospitality is something I do want to work on. Thanks for sharing how you took a step in the right direction! :)

Cat said...

What a wonderfully kind thing to do Penny.
I was a little concerned as to where the adults for this girl were though ;'(
I am the complete opposite of you LOL
I LOVE having people in my own home! LOVE entertaining LOVE LOVE LOVE - summer bbq's - BYO - winter pot lucks - BYO -
Looking forward to following your journey

jacksta said...

I love having people over...but usually need a text first...so I can make sure the place is clean and tidy. I would feel mortified if someone turned up to a messy house...which seems to happen with kids around. I also like to make sure theres something yummy for them to eat too.
Good on you for taking time out of your jungle hour...so true about the thought of entertaining angels...that always freaks me out

Elizabeth said...

I am no cook and do not bake - but I LOVE having people over... as long as they're 'happy to take us as we are', it's all good to me!

Even when I was flatting one of the 'golden rules' was always that we didn't turn people away... and many's a time we had friends crashing in the lounge for a night or two!

Have slowed down since having Lydia, but once we're over the 'there's a baby in the house' phase, I'll be getting back into it!

Nikkey said...

Well done Pen what a lovely thing to do - she may become a regular visitor with special treatment like that x

Rebecca said...

Awesome Penny, the sound of your pancakes and bikkies made me want to stay for more too x hungry now!

Anonymous said...

I think you summed it up really well when you said 'warm, welcoming, friendly' that is what hospitality is to me not actually having the baking tins full, a desginer house and everything clean. I love what you did for that little girl and I think that's just how God would do it - come in, participate with us, be at home. Thanks for your encouragement on my blog too. Miriam

Sarah of 'Catching the Magic' said...

Good for you x It's not always easy to be so open, but having children in our lives encourages us to be more so. I used to be more hesitant, thinking, 'I'm not very good at this...' but in the end thought, 'Well, if I smile, be welcoming and friendly, then I'm not doing too bad - no matter I don't bake the best cup-cakes or serve the best coffee'...

My house is getting busier as two of my girls are at school age and often have friends over. I'm getting a lot more used to the extra business - but it's often a happy busy (just busy in the kitchen for me!). xx

Little Gumnut said...

I grew up with an open house in Pakistan - people would just drop in and stay for lunch or dinner so that we never knew how many people would be there for the next meal. But living in the West now for the past 20 years, I have grown self-consciousness which I'm not sure is a good thing. Now I have to work at opening wide the door when the hoovering hasn't been done and when I'm tired and the house is a mess. But I realize how people value the welcome, how precious it is to them, how worth it in the grand scheme it is to forget that the bathroom isn't pristine.