Preparing For Company
February 24, 2020
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."-- Hebrews 13:2, NIV
Preparing for Company
I learned about hospitality from my mother. I'm the daughter of a preacher man, and growing up we lived literally next door to my dad's church, which meant constant visitors. But what was a constant thing I observed, no matter who the quest(s) was or when they were to arrive, my mother would prep our home to be ready for any visitor coming through our doors.
Depending on how long she had to prepare would depend on the depth and scope of the preparations - but even on the days where we were given just minutes to prepare for a last-minute spur-of-the-moment guest, my mother would still manage to whip through the house with expertise, somehow managing to pick up clutter and even clean before they rang our bell.
For the times we had advance notice - especially if the upcoming visitor was arriving from out of town - my mother would not only get to work on the house, she would get my brother and I to work as well. (And my dad too, I'm sure...my mother is never shy to shell out tasks to anyone within earshot, ha!)
There would be vacuuming, dusting, de-cluttering, window washing, laundry, the WORKS.
But there was something else my mother would always do for guests that stayed with me, and I like to be able to offer my guests the same when I'm able: My mom would always personalize her prep work to cater to the PERSON who was to be coming to visit our family. She'd think about who was coming and make sure to have things available to offer them based off of there specific likes and interests.
I lived in Chicago for many years, and would come back to Michigan to visit my family often. No matter how often I came to visit, or how close I was in-between visits, my mother would call a couple days in advance of my trip to double check on what she could get from the grocery store for me. She'd buy my favorite coffee cream, white grape peach juice (my favorite juice), and be sure to grab any specific food or snacks I was into at the time.
She also knows how much I love LOVE a cozy bed, so she would always offer me a bed with freshly cleaned sheets and extra pillows and blankets.
She'd offer ME these things. Every. Time. Her plain ol' daughter got my mother's prime hospitality treatment, and it always made me feel so special, like I was a special guest that she worked extra hard to make feel at home.
It still makes me feel special.
And I'm proud to say that my mother's hospitality rubbed off on me, and I am now a grown-up girl-woman who preps as much as humanly possible for any upcoming guest who is brave enough to come to our home.
I use the word "brave" mostly because I only just very recently completed a MAJOR overhaul re-organization project of our entire home, which meant that our ~1000 square feet of living space was in a constant state of disarray and organized chaos. (The "organized" of the organized chaos was at times only visible to myself...but I promise that no matter the chaos, most to all of it was organized...just chaotic.)
We moved into our apartment four years ago, so I was working on four years' worth of throwing stuff on top of other stuff and into other stuff...needless to say, I had my work cut out for me. And I was beginning to worry that I would never finish.
But I am a proud adult girl-woman today, because today we are having guests over...and instead of me rushing around, fast-cleaning our home and throwing all the organized chaos and clutter into the master bedroom and shutting the door tight, I am able to spend time preparing food and snacks for our guests AND I have the time to get MYSELF ready.
Getting ready - and getting ready on time - has been such a frustrating challenge for me for so long now...but I'm starting to find victories in that area of my life, and oh my GOD does it feel good!
And on that note I will end this post with a smile and a pat on my own back for finally being able to be prepared, on time, with time to spare, even.
Wow, spare time is lovely! And thanks to my mother, that time will be spent delightfully preparing for today's company.