Monday, August 31, 2009

Come on Over! Really!

I'm not good at entertaining. Truth is, it's just not my gift. As soon as the invitation is sent, I notice the dirty finger prints on the glass doors, and the dust on the baseboard, and my goodness, how long has that stain been on the rug?

I've told you before, I'm more like Biblical Martha, than Martha Stewart. And because of that, I get all panicky because I can't get all the hot stuff to be hot at the same time, or I forget and leave the potato salad in the garage fridge, only to find it after everyone leaves.

But I still do it. The Bible calls us to be hospitable, and so I try to be. The last hour before guests arrive, I'm usually running around in a panic, throwing things in closets, raising my voice at anyone in the way, and generally freaking out. Then I paste on a smile when the door bell rings and entertain.

But today I read a verse that stopped me in my tracks. 1 Peter 4:9 says, "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." What? Did you catch that last part. It's not enough to just offer hospitality, you have to do it WITHOUT GRUMBLING.

See God is always looking at our heart. He doesn't care one iota that I am being hospitable, if I am doing it while grumbling. He wants my heart to be pure. That's what it all boils down to. So I'm going to stop grumbling when I show hospitality. And who knows, I just may have a better time myself because of it!

Romans 12:13 -- Practice hospitality.

Philippians 2:14 -- Do everything without complaining or arguing.

2 Corinthians 9:7b -- God loves a cheerful giver.

Chatty Kelly


B His Girl said...

Now that's the spirit! I think you described many of us. The baseboards, the dog's nose prints on every door, dust on the ceiling fans....clean what we can and enjoy friends. B

Bonita said...

Kelly, one other thought on your account. I can't imagine that anyone who has the privilege of being in your company even notices if your house is clean or not or if the food is wonderful. I'm quite certain they are simply delighted to spend time with your lively little self! If I was coming to visit I'd have one thing on my mind, "I get to fellowship with Kelly! Yippee!"

Leslie said...

Boy, you and I are a lot alike in this area! Gee, thanks for finding THAT Bible verse!! Now I can't even grumble in my head as I'm smiling at my guests!

Love and Hugs, Leslie

Sue J. said...

"The 'hospitality' of today, by which is meant the entertainment of friends or relatives, hardly comes within the Biblical use of the term as denoting a special virtue." [ISBE]

Interestingly, the hospitality of old was this special virtue that some individuals had in regard to caring for the traveling missionary. In the day, missionaries would take up "residence" within a church and work with the church through various challenges. If folks didn't offer hospitality--providing all the things the missionaries needed--it would be more uncomfortable for missionaries to stay.

Looking at the Greek in this passage, hospitality means "fond of guests." It's a totally people-based concept, with which, agreeing with Bonita completely, you have no issue. (Which then means you have other issues--HA! HA! Don't we all!! Ceiling fan dust, indeed, B--about the condition of your home at the time you share hospitality.)

Beverlydru said...

Your honesty is always a comfort to my heart. I used to freak out when preparing for company but somehow I've gotten over that. I think. LOL

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Thanks for the invitation. I'll bring dessert. :)

Anonymous said...

Perfect timing with this one! How did you know I needed to read this today? I woke up this morning knowing that I will spend all day CLEANIING for a party on Wednesday evening. Of course, there has been a bit of grumbling already. Thanks!! VSK

Tammy said...

A great post!

I guess that's why I don't have people over much.

On Purpose said...

Do you have cameras in my house? I love to have people over...but I too stress about silly and insignicant details...when I truly desire to be in the moment with the people! Thank you for this it reminds me this morning that my God is VERY personal...and desires to purify all things in my life...even my grumbles!

Runner Mom said...

I needed to hear this more than you will ever know!! Thank you!!
Love ya,

Greg C said...

I didn't catch that part either. I have decided that it is time to read the Bible completely again.

Edie said...

That grumbling part has stopped me in my tracks on a few occasions too. :o

Hospitality is not my gift either and insecurity compounds the problem. *sigh* More work to be done in this heart.

Billy Coffey said...

You mean we have to do that without grumbling? Grr...

T. Anne said...

Ah yes... the battle with the grumble. Grr.... I so hate it when I grumble. lol but true!

Andrea said...

Maybe it would help if you did not worry so much about the fingerprints. I, too use to get all worked up about everything being "perfect" and would be miserable trying to make it that way. I am at a different place now. I try to make everyone welcome and I do not worry about the dust (sitka) bunnies or the dog hair. We try to keep it clean, but we live here and that comes with a certain amount of dirt and chaos. I feel so much freer since I learned not to get cranky and grumble, but go with the flow and fret not. Blessings, andrea

KrippledWarrior said...

God wants us to treat others the way we treat ourselves. We forgive our selves. We entertain ourselves. We feed ourselves. We clothe ourselves. We shelter and defend ourselves. And we do all this without thought or reservation. Teach on sister. I'm feeling it.

Heart2Heart said...


You know most people don't even notice the little things that bug us. They just want to come in and enjoy the fellowship and time with us.

Love this post as it speaks volumes to someone like myself that is so much like you.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

My ADHD Me said...

You'll definitely have a better time.

And, to anyone reading this comment, she wasn't exaggerating.

Funny thing is, every event or party, big or small, that I have ever been to at CK's house has always been terrific.
(even the time the turkey was still raw on Thanksgiving at dinner time, haha)

Seriously, even then there was enough food for an ARMY, everyone had a blast AND even then (more importantly) it was at CK's house and NOT MINE!

Carmen said...

I had to laugh...that's what I go through too. My mother never entertained much, and when she did it was always PERFECT. Ugh! So I never entertained, until we moved. Now I have people coming and going every weekend--mostly family, but it's taken away that fear. Truth be told, I still run around looking for spots, dust, etc., but if I don't get it all...oh well. your honesty!

Jane In The Jungle said...

No grumbling!!! My children wouldn't think I was really having people come over if I weren't running around like a banshee yelling to hide all the "stuff", LOL!!
But hey, His way makes a whole lot more sense!!

Pinkshoelady said...

Beautifully put!
So true for all of us.
I too worry so mmuch about my house that it drives my family nuts.
Truth is: Guest are not worried about our house, just the company inside it!
Love ya my friend

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Thanks so much!! I do get frenzied before a party, unfortunately for my family. Truth is, no one really does notice the messy details that I do. And if they did, they usually feel happy and comfortable, like they are part of the family, not an intruder I have to spruce up for.

Julie Gillies said...

Oh Kelly, I laughed so hard when I read this! I USED to be exactly like this--uptight and practically killing myself to make everything "just right" before anyone came over.

God has SO changed me that now our pastor and his wife come over and I don't even run the vacuum. Seriously. I still clean the house every week, I'm just not hyper-crazy before someone comes over. What a relief! (For me AND for my family!) LOL

Lois Lane II said...

I love hosting things, but my house is really small, so it's hard to cram everyone in...and then I feel discouraged and I think about how clean and perfect all of their houses are so right, though. What a great perspective!

Laurie said...

"I'm more like Biblical Martha, than Martha Stewart." Wow, that is funny and often true to me, too especially when you add in I Peter 4:9. Do everything without complaining or arguing:) Ouch!
I will put that into practice more... Good words sis.
Love ya, Laurie

Irritable Mother said...

Oh, Kelly, you and I are much alike.
But that grumbling thing kinda takes the joy out of having guests over. Yeah. I think "without grumbling" is the way to go!
This is my favorite house-keeping/guest-having quote:
If you're coming to see me, stop by anytime. If you're coming to see my house, please call ahead!
I think that's the perspective we really need to keep - it isn't all about the house!
Love you,

Ronel Sidney said...


Just what I needed to hear... that you for sharing your heart!!


Beth in NC said...

Kelly, I could have signed my name to this post! Are we twins? lol Seriously, I do the same thing. Freak out and take off everyone's head that dare mess up the guise of perfected "mess" that I'm attempting to present to my guests.

Now that scripture is convicting me. Sigh.

Susanne said...

I think we put so much pressure on ourselves when we actually have people over. And yes, I squarely put the blame Martha Stewart for that, LOL. Jesus never asked us to "entertain", he asked us to be hospitable. Most people don't care one iota that the house or meal is in perfection, they are just happy to be asked over. Good for you for making the decision to relax about being hospitable.