Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Which Fork Do I Use First?

Hospitality. It sounds so simple and yet this very thing can cause knees to knock and stomachs to turn. Why does the thought of having guests arrive send some of us into a frenzy while others joyfully sing as they are setting the table? Could one reason could be that you have a 3 year old following you around and an infant in your arms? How could you possibly think of entertaining?

On April 14th we had a mother and daughter team up and share their passion for welcoming and ministering to those that enter their home. This is truly a gifting that they have been blessed with and I appreciated the heart in which they shared with us - regardless of what you do, the key is to love and honor your guests. It really isn't about entertaining at all. Rather it's about serving and blessing those that enter your home.

This dynamic duo offered sound advice on how to practically serve others as well as how to incorporate details that add a special touch. Here is a sampling of the goodies we received:

  • Seating Cards - removes the confusion that can ensue before people are seated. This also allows you to place people in such a way that conversation is able to flow more easily. Cards can also be decorated by your children if you trust them with crayons and/or markers.

  • Centerpieces - keep them low so it doesn't prevent conversation across the table. These can also be themed according to the meal or the season. They suggested the use of branches, flowers, leaves, small candles, etc.

  • We learned that the napkin is one of the most important parts of your table. It is the one item that your guest will be in contact with throughout the meal - either in their hand or on their lap. Hmmm...I'm thinking of investing in some soft cotton napkins now!

  • When guests arrive, have tasks for them to do - let them be part of the evening. They also encouraged us to allow the guests to bring something if they ask.

  • Consider incorporating a palette cleanser before the entree. This could be a sorbet or mint ice cream. Who wouldn't be thrilled with two desserts?!?

I was inspired and although we didn't have any guests arriving yesterday, I wanted to bless my family last night. So I set the table for dinner yesterday afternoon. Guess what happened after dinner? My 5 year old couldn't wait for us to clear the table so he could prepare it for breakfast! He even put away the place mats that we had for dinner and chose four new ones for our breakfast. The guide for an informal place setting was not followed but that didn't eclipse the blessing and joy the emitted from his action of service and love. Another reminder of how our actions are powerful communicators.


The Gang's Momma said...

It sounds lovely. I wish I could have been there to enjoy it. The two of them are among the most gracious women I've ever met!

And good for your boy, learning to "pretty up" the table as a way to bless those he loves the best. You're doing a good job with them, obviously.

Natalie said...

Oh man, I wanted to hear them but I really apppreciate the great recap.