By Esther Hylden
continued from last week…………………………………..
Now…you may be saying to yourself…that is all fine and dandy…but how can I live this out in my life? I can barely get the breakfast dishes cleaned up before lunch??? Even though we all say that our house doesn’t have to be perfect…we know that we don’t want our home to be a health hazard!
So, here are a few things I have learned from 38 years of “being hospitable”
- Clean your house once a week…just do it! Then, don’t re-clean before company. ( OK…maybe you will have to spend a few minutes giving your bathroom a quick cleaning) If you don’t have time to dust…just leave it alone. Remember that dust is a protective coating for your furniture!
- Spend 10 minutes picking up clutter every night. One family I know puts on upbeat music, and everyone picks up the house together while the music is on. It can be a lot of fun!
- Wash the dishes every day (or use paper plates). Just don’t let the kitchen mess get too big, or it will become overwhelming!
- Unless you are a gourmet cook and love to make complicated recipes… have around 3-4 easy meals to prepare, that you feel confident making, that don’t take a lot of time, and that can be at least partially prepared ahead of time. My Go-To main dishes are Bar-B-Q’s, Esther’s Lazy Lasagna or Coleen’s Chicken!
- Being hospitable doesn’t mean you have to make a meal; it is a connecting of the heart! You can invite people over for popcorn and a board game or movie, you can meet in a park for a picnic, or you can meet for lunch.
- When someone says, “Can I bring something…say… yes!” Or if they don’t offer, just ask them to bring something. When the meal is over and someone asks, “Can I help you?” Say YES!!!!! Some of the best conversations occur while washing dishes together.
- Pray! Sometimes I get stressed and worried…and tired, my knee starts to hurt, and my heart is not very kind…or loving. At this time I often pray Psalm 51, starting with verse 10. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…” And guess what…God answers prayer!
- Even with all this talk of being relaxed, keeping it simple, I often find myself doing a million last minute things…and I look at the clock and it is 15 minutes until people arrive…at this point, I am usually in a dirty sweatshirt, my hair is uncombed, and I’m in mis-matched slippers! The Esther Rule at this point is to stop what I’m doing in the kitchen, go to my bedroom, change clothes, comb my hair, apply lip gloss, go to the bathroom and try to look presentable! My Rational: People like to feel needed, when they arrive they can help with any last minute details …and I will feel 100% better if I don’t look like a HooDoo!
As I was working on my WMF Bible Study, Following Christ, A Disciples Walk of Faith, I was struck by this verse from Ephesians: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us…” Jesus…did he have a house, did He have fancy company dishes? No…but He offers us the best example of hospitality…He fed the 5000, fed the 4000, he washed feet, he took time to listen, he had compassion, he ate with the sinners, He made breakfast for the disciples on the beach…He was hospitable…and He didn’t grumble. Therefore…let us…be imitators of Christ!