Have you ever walked into someone’s home and instantly felt “at home”? Have you ever thought about what it is about that home that makes it feel that way? Is it the way it’s decorated, the smell, or the way the hostess presents herself and her home? Do you consider yourself to be hospitable?
I’ll be the first one to admit that when it comes to entertaining others in my home, I shy away. It’s not because I haven’t had good role models of what a good hostess is! Both my mom and my mother-in-law are wonderful hostesses.
My biggest excuse has been my pride and the fear of being judged by others. (How’s that for honest?) My house is cluttered and packed with 7 people and too much stuff. My kids can’t seem to leave any area that is clean alone for more than 3 minutes. Our furniture has stains on it. So does the carpet. I am in no way close to Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart! My flower beds have weeds in them…the list goes on and on.
I’ve really had hospitality (and my lack there of) on my heart lately and I’ve discovered a few things.
- Opening your home to others is not about having a perfect home. No one has the perfect home (especially if they have young children).
- You don’t have to be Betty or Martha to be hospitable. What makes an inviting environment is the hostess. If she is relaxed, it’s easy to be relaxed as well.
- If you are opening your home to friends, (and they are true friends) they really don’t care if you forgot to dust the piano, or that the kids left Legos in the middle of the living room.
- Real friends don’t come to see your stuff, they come for you.
- If you invite people over and all they can talk about is your clutter, those people may not be the ones you want to entertain again. You might also want to check your friends list!
- We are meant to serve others, not boast about how great our stuff is! People come for the fellowship they get with you, not for the meal or your home.
So how do we overcome our fear and pride issues? Here are a few tips to help us all welcome others into our home:
- Focus on your guests. Let the attention be on them and not on you or your home. Don’t apologize for your home. You live in it, and you are trying to be a blessing to your guests by inviting them into your home and your lives.
- If you can’t get over your house, have a gathering outside. Another option is to clean the main rooms that people will be in and leave the rest. You could also entertain on your porch or deck.
- If you’re worried about food, host a potluck! Grill hotdogs and hamburgers and have your guests bring the side dishes and desserts. If grilling won’t work due to the weather cooling down, how about soup?
- Try a brunch instead of entertaining in the evening!
- If food completely makes you uncomfortable, host your event mid afternoon and try crackers and cheese, a decorated cake, a bowl of popcorn, chips and salsa, or no food at all!
- Inviting others over doesn’t have to be expensive! Keep it simple! Most people are just happy to be invited and really don’t care about the menu or the decorations!
- Ask for help! If someone volunteers to bring something, let them! If your family wants to entertain, have them help get your home ready!
- Keep it simple. You will have less stress!
Your Challenge: What is holding you back from letting others into your home and heart? Could you take any of the above tips and apply them to your fears? Start small! Invite a friend over for a cup of tea or coffee! For those of you who regularly entertain others in your home, do you have any tips?
Have you enjoyed what you read here today? Do you have friends or other women you know that could benefit from this resource? If so, please do me a favor! I have included the links below to share with other intentional women! They’ll be glad you did!