Friday, February 4, 2011
Come on in and sit right down!
As you can see from the picture above, we had dinner guests this week. My husband invited six new church planters to come for a week of training (Boot Camp, it's called), so they (and two of their wives and two kids) came to our house for dinner on Tuesday night and I was reminded again just how good it is to connect with people in your home. We had lots of laughs around the table and then a sweet time of praying for each other afterward.
But it also reminded me of the many excuses I can come up with about having people over.
Can I share a few tips that help me to overcome my hesitation?
Relax. Nobody really notices the stains on the carpet or the wall that needs to be painted or how badly the cabinets need to be wiped down (or at least I hoped they didn't - smile). I can see all the flaws in our house and worry that things are not nice enough or fancy enough or ________. Do you care about those things when you're invited to dinner at someone's house? Probably not - so just relax.
Have a few simple meals that you know how to prepare and repeat those. If you've ever eaten at my house, I've probably served you lasagna, spaghetti (if you came on the spur of the moment) or cornflake chicken and cheese potatoes - with an easy dessert. That's my repertoire! I could probably make those simple dishes in my sleep. I know the ingredients I need and how long it takes to cook. (Although, did you know that it takes chicken thighs longer to cook than it does the breast pieces? - I found that out this week when I cut into my chicken thigh.)
Let others (and the grocery store) help you. You don't have to be superwoman. You can find lots of great desserts and rolls and other yummy foods at most grocery stores. And if people offer to bring something, say yes.
Fill your sink with hot, soapy water and drop the dishes in to soak. When I clear the table of dishes before dessert, I drop them in and let them soak. After my guests leave, it only takes minutes to finish up - to load the dishwasher or wash by hand.
Enjoy your guests. Take time to get to know them and hear their stories. It will bond you together in a new way.