Welcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage. My post last week about being Given to Hospitality sparked a lot of questions about the practical aspect of being hospitable. So today the 4 Moms are sharing some tips and recipes for practicing hospitality. **Link up your summertime company recipes below**
Americans are quite proud of their rugged individualism and yet God commands fellowship, service and ministry.
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 2 Cor. 8:4
Many are left feeling alone.
I want to extend a challenge for those who are willing to take it. Look for and embrace all of the hospitality opportunities that God brings into your life for a full week. You may be amazed at the blessing, joy and richness it adds to your family and the lives of those around you.
Here is a quick overview of some different types of hospitality with tips for each.
Since hospitality is sharing what you have with others; your home, your food, your time, your life; it can take many different forms.
Invite company. This is what we generally think of when we think of being hospitable, calling someone up and inviting them to come over for dinner.
- Serve your family first. You’re not communicating Christ’s love if you spend the day being cross with your family so that you can have everything nice for company.
- Schedule a time. In our home we have company after church each Sunday and for dinner on Tuesday. Everyone in our family knows that those times are reserved for guests and it makes is easy to offer invitees a time and day.
- Have a preparation plan. For example each Saturday evening we get the children bathed and fed, finish food preparations and clean up and set the table for company on Sunday afternoon. Everyone knows what to expect and how they contribute.
- Here is how we plan food and links to some of our company recipes.
Take food over. When a family has a new baby, is hit with an illness or unexpected trial bringing a meal to them can help ease the burden.
- Since this is often a last minute need having your freezer stocked with meals is a wonderful option.
- Have a plan for delivery. Don’t feel as if you have to deliver it right at dinner time with everything piping hot. You can take it over anytime, just include heating instructions.
- It doesn’t have to be homemade to be hospitable. Shortly after one of our children was born a dear friend brought over take-out, fried chicken, baked potatoes and hush puppies. It was a lovely treat and I didn’t have to cook dinner.
- If your budget permits use disposable containers.
- If your budget permits deliver paper plates, cups and disposable utensils with the meal.
- Plan some go-to menus, see how well they travel, reheat, etc. and then use them often.
Allow your children to serve. Sometimes people just need a helping hand to get it all done, so as your children get older be aware of families who could use the help of an older child.
- Be diligent to train your children. If they haven’t learned to be helpful at home then don’t expect them to be helpful elsewhere. Luke 16:10
- Don’t over schedule your kids.
- Explain what your child is capable of doing and how they can be asked to help.
- Don’t send them with just any family.
- Ask for honest feedback from the family that your child is helping.
- When our girls go to be a momma’s helper, we usually plan a meal that they prepare while they are in that family’s home. Sometimes they take ingredients over and sometimes we give the family a list of ingredients to have on hand.
Share what you have. Friends stop in unexpectedly, there are visitors at church, your husband is embroiled in a conversation with another husband and the kids are hungry, there are times when you will literally have no preparation time and will simply offer to share what you have with no warning or lead time.
- Be humble. I’ve ‘entertained’ more than one time in paint clothes with my hair in a pony because I haven’t yet gotten my shower.
- Don’t apologize. You want your guests to be comfortable and pointing out how unprepared you are won’t accomplish that.
- Share what you have. Offer a cup of cold water, tea or coffee.
- Stock up. We try to keep several simple, nearly instant meals in our pantry all the time.
- Extend the offer.When we feel that someone is in need of hospitality we offer and then figure out the details later. There is almost always a way to make the food stretch.
- Remember it isn’t about you. Demonstrate Christ’s love to your guests and everything else will fall into place. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Accept the hospitality of others. We show love to others when we make time in our lives for them whether we get together in our home or in theirs.
- Be available.
- Teach your children how to be guests not just hosts.
Now it’s your turn to share your favorite summer recipe to serve to guests. Please link directly to your recipe post and not to your homepage and include a link back to one of the 4 Moms for the benefit of readers.
Check out what the other 4 Moms have to say:
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