Hospitality

Don't ask me why, but I usually don't like to cook on Saturdays. I admit, it's a mindset thing. My honey is off of work, so I'm off work too, right? :-) It doesn't quite work that way, but oftentimes it's nearly suppertime before I clue in, "Oh yeah, we need to eat tonight." So it happened again this last weekend. 

I had just bought kale and Italian sausage, so Zuppa Toscana Soup (yup, an Olive Garden copycat recipe) came to my mind immediately. It was late afternoon, so I quickly got it simmering, and about half-way through Joel has the idea to invite his parents over for supper. That idea was scrapped when we found out they were busy, but by then I was in the "have-company-over-for-supper" mindset. My mind raced through the ingredients I had in my fridge, and we quickly decided to invite a young couple over that lived just a couple blocks away.

Now mind you, it was 5:15, and this soup was all I had to show for a meal. It hit me all of a sudden how much God has changed my mindset over the past few months. 

First off, this was a very unusual scenario for me. I'm the type that likes to know about company at least a couple days in advance, and plan, plan, plan. It's not beyond me to spend half a day or more cooking for the event. This partially stems from my love of cooking and creating, and halfway, (gulp) from the desire to impress.

Yes, I said the ugly truth. If it's not restaurant quality, there are times I'd just rather not have someone over. If I can't set a 3-layer cake on the table afterwards with my homemade lattes, well...something just doesn't feel right. I think, nope...I know, this all very nicely fits into the pride category... :-(

Lately, God has been really convicting me with a statement a woman of God said recently. She first talked at length about how high the Bible up lifts hospitality, and then spoke these words that have burned themselves into my heart. 

"Hospitality is meant to bless, NOT to impress." 

I think God is slowly changing my heart. A salad was quickly tossed, some butter and garlic salt sprinkled on some store bought bread and popped into the oven, and dessert thrown together, and we had guests in our home 30 minutes after that phone-call. I found myself so relaxed, and able to just sit back and enjoy my visitors. Wow - thank you Lord.

The very next day we received an invite for lunch after church. I was amazed at our hostesses' attitude. She wasn't planning on company, and had nothing prepared, but the simple lunch of delicious home-canned soup and taco salad we prepared together was scrumptious. It's been a long time since I've been so blessed with an afternoon and evening of visiting. 

So, I think God is slowly teaching me what it means to reach out with a heart of love and true Biblical hospitality, looking to minister into other's lives, instead of focussing on my menu or lack of it, and even the condition of my house at that moment. In a very "Martha Stewart" and Pinterest inspired world, especially in the area of domestics, I think it's time that some of us step back and face the reality of what Biblical hospitality really is.

And just to clarify, there's absolutely nothing wrong with going all out with a meal, and I still love to do it when given the opportunity, but it's the motives behind it that God has been dealing with me about. 

Is my focus on blessing, or impressing?

P.S. Oh, and by the way, if any of you are wondering what I threw together for a dessert in 10 minutes, here's a little recipe for you. No fancy ingredients involved, but super easy, fast, and delicious! Maybe it will be an inspiration for you to start off with an impromptu dessert, coffee, and invite the neighbor over evening!


Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, divided
1/2 cup milk
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used 2/3 cup and it was plenty sweet for us)
1-1/2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 1/4 cup cocoa. Whisk in milk, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Spread batter in a greased 8" square dish. Combine brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Pour the boiling water over the batter. DO NOT STIR! Pop it into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm with a nice dollop of ice-cream. Yum!

4 comments:

  1. Oh yes, that hot fudge pudding cake! I have a similar recipe and I realized last time I served it to guests that I'd only just barely made enough. It's always a hit and it's time I remember to double the recipe. To bless, not impress. I like that a lot. Only I don't hang up about food so much as how clean and tidy my house is. :( Alas, I have friends who have been teaching me more about this, even without me knowing. At my stage of life with two little ones, the house is rarely, maybe even never, "company clean." So the neat-Nick in me is learning to sit back...

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's just lovely! I love hearing your honesty in all He has been doing in your heart in this area. Great job! And that dessert looks scrumptious.....I wanna try it!
    blessings,
    Allison

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for sharing this! It was a blessing and convicting for me... your transparency in writing blesses me! Thanks for pointing me to what's really important... I needed a reminder! :) Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That looks yummy!! =) I am so glad to be able to follow you here...keep the posts coming! =)

    ReplyDelete

 
Manitoba Musings Blog Design by Ipietoon