“Summertime… and the livin’ is easy….”
Ahh another long weekend in paradise! The temperature soars to 37 degrees, a glistening lake beckons, work is on hold, we find ourselves with an open house, surrounded with friends and family- if only I could make time stand still!
Don’t you just love the summer? Schedules are screwy, time is approximate, and everything slows down to accommodate the blissful heat (unless you live in the U.K.- sorry guys!)
You finally catch up with people you have been “meaning to have over” all year, the outdoors is your new indoors, and thoughts of snow shoveling are the furthest thing from your mind.
I always have huge summer expectations of having a ton of extra time to write a novel or two, clean out scary closets, and make major inroads in the gardening department. Of course that doesn’t happen EVER, but I do make an effort to at least entertain more in the summer. Have people over, hang out on the deck, and crank up the BBQ.
Hospitality is not really something that comes naturally to me- I wish it did. I remember falling in love with my current house ten years ago, and sitting on the top stair promising God if he let me live here, I’d use it for Him. Yes, that was a bit of an ambitious one… but I’ve tried (sort of), and we really have had some amazing times with guests over the years!
But I truly love and admire those wonderful individuals with the natural, God-given gift of hospitality! They are unfazed by surprise guests, always have more than enough food prepared “just in case”, have a permanently “open house”, and make you feel warm and fuzzy and part of the family just entering their home. It’s what I strive for!
At least I’m a fairly chilled individual. It takes a lot to get me overly stressed. I was remarkably cool, calm and collected on Saturday, when our youngest accidently smashed a window, spraying shards of razor-sharp diamonds in every possible direction. Did I mention it happened just as I was preparing dinner for sixteen?!
My husband instantly created a work of art with miss-matched plywood and duct tape- a real winner with the guests! Just added to the frivolity of the evening.
Then we thoroughly enjoyed having three beautiful young couples over for dinner on Monday night, taking us back to our youth! It was refreshing and invigorating to hear everyone’s plans, hopes and dreams for the future. Plus there were no smashed windows. Plus my experimental dessert worked out! Thank you Pinterest…
I came across this verse recently:
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9
Good grief- as if we’d ever grumble? As if we’d ever complain about having too many guests, not enough good plates, no time to clean, no cash for extra groceries, the wrong shaped dining table, too hot outside, too hot inside… as if?!! Wow, it’s like God knows us really well or something…
This verse appears in the section headed “Living for God” which sort of caught my attention! There’s just something very special, very intimate about having people into your home for a meal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full-on feast or coffee and a cookie, inviting a person into your home is inviting them into a personal part of your life. And that’s what God wants- for us to be generous and open and real and vulnerable with others.
To encourage, to listen, to share.
I’ve got a long way to go- lots to learn in this area for sure. But I have NEVER regretted opening my house and my table- it’s always a blessing to me. In these bizarre times when face-to-face socializing is slowly dying out and being replaced by social media, hospitality is a conscious choice to be made. Without grumbling!
It’s not rocket science, it’s simply having an open heart and an OPEN HOUSE.
Here’s my brownie recipe- get those oven mitts on and have someone over soon!
CHOCOLATE CRAVING BROWNIES:
1 cup butter/ marg
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Melt butter, add sugar then eggs.
Combine dry ingredients, add to mixture with choc chips.
Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan; bake for 25minutes at 350 degrees.
* I used this recipe, then followed the instructions for the following “COOKIES & CREAM BROWNIES” recipe taken from Pinterest: