Hospitality is a command; being Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker is not. Romans 12: 13 states it plain and simple, “Practice hospitality.” In I Timothy hospitality is listed as a “must” for an overseer and the “good deed” of a woman. No excuse will get us off the hook, so let’s look at some practical ways of living out this command.
My husband and I make a good team in obeying this command. Todd is bold and spontaneous in inviting people over, while I enjoy opening our home. I have made it a bit of a goal to always be ready for someone to stop by. Obviously this doesn’t mean living in a spotless Ethan Allen house with a turkey dinner waiting to be served. It means having the attitude of stopping what I am doing, offering a soda (juice, lemonade) with a snack and chatting with our guests. The truth is we tend to have a lot of company and overnight guests. I’d like to share some tried and true tips that work for me.
I am a true believer that food makes people feel comfortable. With that as my basis, in the summer time I have plenty of ice cream and toppers on hand, and in the cooler months there is a bowl of cookie dough in the fridge on alert to provide those yummy, warm cookies at a moment’s notice.
We also have an extra fridge in our basement that is brimming with a variety of sodas (waters) to meet most every taste. I also try to keep a few snack foods around the house like cheese and crackers, chips and dip, tortilla chips and salsa (not my favorite so easy to keep on hand without being tapped into), add some melted cheese and this snack has multiplied its appeal.
For overnight or meal guests the biggest thing is to do as much ahead as possible. The extra fridge and freezer really help. I can often store meals right in their cooking container. For those things that can’t be done ahead it helps to have a plan, a list to mark off, so I don’t have to use up my energy trying to think of all the details.