Thursday, April 24, 2008

Entertaining

Do you like to entertain? Or, do you put it off because your house isn't perfect or you don't know what to serve? I was talking with a group of ladies the other day and mentioned that someone is at my house EVERYDAY to eat. A lot of times it is different groups of my kids friends of all ages. My friend said that she never has her child's friends over because she always stresses over what to fix to eat. Why??? The kids, or anyone else for that matter, don't come to your house to eat. They come to spend time with your family and be a part of whatever is going on. They really don't care if your house is immaculate and perfect. In contrast, they feel like they can relax better if they know that it is okay to make small messes.

Think about it... when you visit with someone who's house is perfect are you relaxed? Or, do you feel like you need to be really careful to watch your crumbs and straighten after yourself? When they have shoes piled by the door, or laundry to be done, or dishes in the sink you just feel like they are allowing you into their life the way they are. No need for make up and fancy clothes. No need for perfect, made up manners. Relax, and be yourself. One of the biggest compliments you can give me is to walk into my kitchen and open my refrigerator or pantry and grab what you want. I know that you feel comfortable here.

I have had friends with beautiful homes that I covet. Everything looks like a decorator came in and found just the right pieces to go with the house. I have had friends that have houses that need painting, with carpet so full of stains you wouldn't let your baby crawl on it. What matters is how you make people feel when they are there. Do you let people past the "parlor" of your life where everything is clean and always ready for the outside to see? Do you let them into your "kitchen" to sit and tell about their day over a cup of tea? Do you let them lounge in your "den" where they have taken off their shoes and have their feet up? Do you even let them past the "door" and into your home at all?

I love to have people over. I have long gotten over a perfect house. I can't keep it perfect with 5 kids. As soon as we eat one meal and clean the dishes someone is back for a snack. As soon as I get all the laundry done, someone brings two more loads that they "found" in their room. The work never will end. We live here. I don't work and the kids don't go to school, so my home is active 24/7. When you come I want you to be fed. But, not just food. I want you to feel fed love and warmth. I want you to know you don't have to call -just stop by. I will find something to feed you if it is mealtime. I will stop my day to sit and talk to you. You are more important than my laundry or my cleaning.

What do you convey to others? Are they important? Or, are you too busy "doing" like Martha? Mary stopped to spend time with Jesus. Do you stop to spend time with your friends and your kids friends? They may have parents that are too busy to listen to them. They may not get a home cooked meal at home. They may be on the verge of going the wrong way in life. You can make a difference. Entertain. Today is the day, not tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late.

8 comments:

Marva said...

Amen! So well written. I love to entertain. We have two very active two year olds, the thought of a magazine home is long gone from this Mommy's mind.

My tipical look in ther house these days is clean laundry on our bed, usually partially folded, ironing board is always out, toys are usually hanging from the ceiling, always a pot on the stove with something cooking, sometimes just tea making.

I too hope everyone feels welcome at my home. I always ave goodies baked and ready for the first and last guest and our door is always open.....except at naptime. ;)

Great job! I know I would feel welcome in your home. Blessings!!!

Tracye said...

I LOVE this post!

I have a couple of friends whose houses are always immaculate, and no, you don't want to drop crumbs or leave a drink ring.

I've been keeping my house really super clean lately, but I'm trying not to lose sight of what's really important.

This was really thought-provoking.

Tami said...

I used to think that my house had to be perfect to have people over but when we moved into the house we are in now and we had more room, we started entertaining a lot. It seems everyone wants to come here for everything. I think it is great because my mom kept tons of people fed and entertained when we were growing up. EVen when we weren't home, our friends came over to eat and hang out with my mom. I hope that I turn out to be that kind of mom and all the teenagers want to hang out here. Thanks for the comments you left today. That has never happened to me before either. Most people usually say they don't know how I do it with 4 kids and all the things they are involved in. That's why it caught me so off guard and it really kinda hurt my feelings because this kid comes to my house a lot and plays with my kids and his mom is one of my best friends. So I know she would be horrified if she knew he said that to me. But I do not regret my decision at all. I am very blessed and thankful to be able to stay home with my kids. Thanks again for your comment.

It's All Good! said...

Wow, thank you for sharing this. I feel totally welcome in your home! If you don't mind, I'd like to send people over to read this.
God bless,
Brenda :)

Southerner said...

Thank you ladies for your sweet comments. And Brenda, I would love to have other guests visit. Tracye, will you come keep my house really clean??? Doesn't it seem as some seasons it all clicks together and some are such a struggle? I guess it shows this is a passion of mine, I was sparked by someone telling me they don't have people over. I wish everyone could catch it to let people into their lives and not worry about the worry over looks and what to eat.

linda said...

Just came by your site via Brenda...hope you don't mind.

We used to entertain ALOT and have wonderful memories of sharing our home with others but lately...lately we've become loners...and for no apparent reason. It's just the season of our lives right now.

But...I was just thinking today that when I do this...and when I do that...then we'll start entertaining again. Your post just reaffirmed what I already know...thank you!

I think I'll plan a get-together!

jennifer said...

Yes indeedy, I love this. I am a Lousy house keeper my dear, and it really does keep me from inviting the kids friends over more. I want to get control of my housecleaning, but I HATE it and I tend to follow my bliss - creativity.

I like the way you laid this out in such a thoughtful and straightforward manner.

Be blessed.

Jennifer

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Great post!! My parents always did a great job of this! We lived in a very old house and a budget that was enough to survive. Somehow, my parents always found a way to feed the endless stream of kids that would come through their home with myself or on of my 3 siblings. They knew how to make people feel comfortable. Most of our friends referred to them as "mom" and "dad". It's great memories for me and I plan to pass it on with my children.
So far it is not all of my kids friends coming through (the oldest is 8). Right now, it is my friends and family and I love it!