Or, Do Ahead and You’ll Be Relaxed.
I’m convinced people don’t host or won’t host because it’s too much trouble. Part of the trouble is not being prepared. The more prep–the less trouble. Boy Scouts come into play here: anyone can “Be Prepared.” It just takes a little preparation – or, a lot — depending on the crowd.
Here’s today’s “Hospitaliday Motto” – Do Ahead (whatever you can) and You’ll Be Ahead, and hosting becomes easy. Or, easier.
Mark and I hosted our eldest last weekend – a blast, naturally. She was happy to be fed, dined, laundered (her clothes), shopped and pampered. I knew she was coming so I baked a cake (as they say)–actually, Ghiradelli brownies with Easter M&M’s on top. She made swift work of all, expressed her thanks, and I cried in the closet after she left. All these comings and goings wring the heart.
Part of the joy in hosting Bonnie was the prepping. I knew she was coming. Of course, so were 28 others for Easter Brunch. To make it manageable, I worked ahead: made lists, checked them off, lost the lists, made more, shopped again, and again. I baked and cooked–with Fernando Ortega’s music in the kitchen. All the prep made it easier to host.
I didn’t panic (mostly.) Everyone got fed. New friends were made. Jesus was celebrated. Old friends became better friends. And, Bonnie (the Queen-Bee Eldest Child) received her due: love and attention from a pair of adoring progenitors.
Hesitant to host? Be a Boy Scout. Get prepared. What can you do today to be ready for tomorrow? Choose one thing. Honest. Just one. Jesus knows who needs to be at your table. Next time He prompts you to invite, you’ll be ready. Even for Him.
Now a man named Zacchaeus was there; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.” So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully. Luke 19:3-7
Mrs. Zacchaeus kept her pantry full–or, told the short man to stop at the market on the way. Note the joy in spontaneous hospitality.
Who knows who needs an invite to your table? That’s right, God knows. Be prepared–less trouble.
Pampering the Pretties. I prep by putting aside a twenty dollar bill here and there – hosting can be costly when you have daughters. Envelopes work well. Always a pleasant surprise when I find them.
Queen Bee Bonnie on our last trip to SF.