Entertaining with Elegance and Ease

Prepare HIM Room! I treated our daughter, Kristen, who is a Pastor’s wife and busy mother of five to this incredible church event. It was a special mother/daughter time.

 

 

Prepare HIM Room

 

As Kristen and I entered the banquet room, we were greeted by my precious friend, Barbara Haegele. As table hostess, her centerpiece was a tall white vase filled with curly willow branches. Attached to the branches were the Names of Jesus. I love studying the Names Of Jesus to know Him. I am so grateful that Jesus is my Beautiful Savior and Glorious Lord!

 

Of course, we signed up for Gwen Brodd’s workshop! Gwen is a delightful hostess, and has a way of making everyone who enters her home feel special and right at home.

The following is Gwen’s workshop on “Entertaining with Elegance and Ease.”

As I was preparing for our time together and had finished the written part of my

Speaker: Gwen Brodd
Speaker: Gwen Brodd

workshop I thought “I really would like to change the name of the workshop to “Open Heart Open Home” but programs had already been printed….. (sigh)

The reason I would have changed the title is because I realized that for a lot of years what I have been doing falls under hospitality and not entertaining. Stick with me for a moment and let me explain. There is a difference between hospitality and entertaining.

  • Entertainment is a show place.  Hospitality is a safe place.
  • Entertainment focuses on things. Hospitality focuses on people.
  • Entertainment is host centered. Hospitality is guest-centered; their needs and comfort are priority.
  • Entertainment is meant to impress the guests.  Hospitality strives to empower them.
  • Entertainment host guests.  Hospitality serves guests.
  • Entertainment showcases houses and decor.  Hospitality demonstrates love and honor.
  • Entertainment is based on a budget.  Hospitality is based on generosity.
  • Entertainment is exclusive; some belong and others do not. hospitality~Hospitality is inclusive; all are welcome.
  • Entertainment is something we do.  Hospitality expresses who we are.

Here is a portrait of entertaining:

  • What can I do that will totally knock the socks off of my guests?
  • How beautiful can I make the table settings?
  • What delicious gourmet dishes can I serve that will totally impress my guests?
  • What outfit am I going to wear that will make me look great?

Years ago when I use to just entertain, I would obsess over my house and how clean it was, how beautiful it was, and how great the food had to be. I would get so grouchy preparing for an event that my husband didn’t want us hosting anymore. Then something changed in me when I began walking with the Lord. I wanted to use my home and gifts and talents to minister to others.

Entertaining is about impressing. Entertaining gives the glory to the hostess. The hostess’ intentions are to totally impress her guests with her amazing culinary abilities. She wants to put forth the notion that she is pretty close to perfect and so is her home. I was there way too many times. Anyone else?

I learned entertaining is so superficial.. How can you be real with your guests if you can’t even let your guard down for them to see your imperfections or weaknesses? If you’re so worried about what your guests are thinking about you and your abilities, how can you even begin to truly focus on them and their comfort? You might think that you are, but as long as your attention is focused on yourself, there is little mental energy left to really devote to your guests.

Romans 12:13 “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”

Here’s a portrait of Biblical hospitality:

toysI’m in the midst of a pretty typical day. The kids’ toys are scattered throughout the house. The kitchen counter is cluttered and there are way too many dirty dishes littering the sink and counter-top. Maybe I didn’t even have a shower that morning. Then the doorbell rings.

It’s a girl friend or one of my Bible Study students. Oh no. If I invite them in, they’ll know that I don’t always have it together like I want everyone to think. What to do?

Well, if I practice Biblical hospitality, I invite them in, even if I have not showered, and for those who know me….probably still in my pjs at 1:00 in the peanut butter sandwichafternoon…. and maybe the house is a mess. I serve them lunch, even if it’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper plates. I don’t apologize for the toys or the dirty dishes, because that puts my guests on the spot and probably makes them feel just a bit uncomfortable. But instead, I invite them into my real, imperfect life and treat them like a friend.

That looks a lot different, doesn’t it? Hospitality is not at all about “me.” It’s completely about others. It’s about opening myself up and being real with others. It’s about taking the time to love others with my time and resources (even if they’re limited), even if I haven’t had hours or days to clean and prep.

Biblical hospitality is not about cooking out-of-this-world dishes, setting a beautiful tables, or having a perfectly in-place home. You don’t even have to be a good cook to practice Biblical hospitality!

cleaning kitchenBiblical hospitality is about focusing totally on our guests and their needs. It’s about being okay with leaving the dishes in the sink until later, so that we can linger longer at the dinner table and talk with our guests.

When I finally realized what God expected of me as far as having other people into my home, it was really rather freeing. I didn’t have to make everything perfect. I just needed to make things nice and comfortable. And I just needed to stop being so uptight, let go of my obsession of what others thought of me, and show Christ’s love to my guests by opening my imperfect home and family up to them. ([1]http://makingahome-pa.blogspot.com/2011/06/biblical-hospitality-vs-entertaining.html)

Part 2~ Next Post: Biblical Hospitality

Amber Wheeler

Thank you for this, I am expecting my first child and I feel like I have failed in the perfect house keeper department since becoming pregnant and i never want to have people over or in the house anymore. My house really isn’t that messy but I’ve always felt if every “T” isn’t crossed and every “i” dotted don’t invite guest over. I needed this reminder so that I can show true biblical hospitality and allow people to see I am not perfect. THANK YOU!

Linda Hoover

Amber,

I am so very thrilled about you expecting… and so grateful to God.

The most fun time we had in our family with hospitality was when our kids could help. It was a family ministry. It was especially a pleasure having others to our home who could never repay us. One time, I counted 5 different countries represented in our home. Praying for you and your growing family, Amber. Thank you for writing.

In Him,
Linda Hoover

Annette McEndarfer

LOVE THIS!!! I never thought I realized with “image” in having people over until we moved here. A very old farmhouse in need of a lot of work. The Lord in His graciousness pounded me over the head in His usual gentle fashion and basically said to me “who do you think you are, I’ve given you this place”. I got the point, I hadn’t been inviting people over because of my SELF. He’s so good and we pray often that our place will be a blessing to all who come in.

Linda Hoover

Annette,

A very old farmhouse sounds lovely. I always have fond memories of going to my mother’s home-place when I pass an old farmhouse when driving down the road. You have such a heart for others and always point people to Jesus. I know they would be blessed just walking over the threshold of your home and seeing your smiling welcoming face. God is so good. Yes, counting our blessings should be a daily event.

You sure have been an encouragement to me, my friend. I don’t know if I would have kept blogging if it were not for you encouraging me on. Hugs sent your way.

With love,
Linda Hoover

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