Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Specializing" at a Special Time of Year

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away and I'm sitting here working on our December calendar and oh my goodness it is filling up quickly. Your calendar is probably just like mine. Not many free evenings.  Parties, family gatherings, office socials, church Christmas programs, shopping, baking, making crafts, etc.  How much can you cram into one month?

A precious family in our church always provides lunch for our church staff during the Christmas season and the lady of the house called today to schedule the day and time. I couldn't believe it had been a year since we were last there. Time is flying by.   

Lois is a wonderful cook and makes us feel so special and appreciated.  She and her husband Ben open their home to us, feed us a wonderful home cooked meal but they give us so much more than that.  When you walk into their home you don't feel like a guest. You feel like family. That is a gift. Some people work a lifetime to make that happen and never accomplish it. To some it comes natural. Lois is one of those. You know that she has prepared the meal with love and it comes from her heart. There is no doubt that she is giving of herself.

I have found that when I do something for someone, from my heart, without stressing about whether everything is just perfect, that somehow it all just turns out better. It took me years to figure this out. I used to stress for days about having people over. Was the house good enough? Did we measure up to the way other people hosted gatherings?  Did my table look as good as the next persons? Then the light came on.  I might not host the fanciest party in town. I might not have the biggest, brightest Christmas tree on the street.  I might not have the best dishes on my table, but I can make someone feel at home. I can make a simple home cooked meal and invite someone over. In the words of Barney Fife, I can "specialize" on someone. That's what Lois has done. She has perfected the art of "specializing."  

I would rather perfect the art of specializing than perfect the art of setting a table. I would rather perfect the art of making someone feel loved than perfect the art of folding a napkin. I would rather perfect the art of spending time with someone than perfect the art of spending time making sure my house is spotless. All of these things are great but people are more important. A blog that I love to visit Living Well Spending Less  (Click on the link) has great tips for being hospitable without breaking the budget or  stressing  yourself out  in the process. She has party planning ideas, recipes, budgeting ideas, decorating ideas, etc.  You can pick up great ideas from Ruth.  

The Bible says in I Peter 4:9:  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As we prepare for family and guests during the holidays lets do so with a different  mindset. Let's "specialize" on people as opposed to perfection. 

Until we meet again, Fifi

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