Within the church we talk about something we call the "gift of hospitality." It's never put quite that way in the Bible, but it is a quality that is valued.
1 Peter 4:8-10
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
I used to humor myself believing that because I enjoyed entertaining this made me hospitable. Then I began to realize that the fact I become a crazy person for a week before entertaining probably disqualifies me. True hospitality doesn't make your home and family miserable up until the party begins.
Today I want to introduce the FlyLady at www.flylady.net. I love this site and email service because she recognized how our unreasonable compulsion towards perfection keeps us from accomplishing things and making our homes lovely places.
I threw a shower this weekend for a fellow contributor to this blog and took a few tips from the FlyLady, planning the menu a week ahead of time, creating a schedule for what I would prepare each day, not trying to do too much at a time and generally allowing myself to enjoy the process without the stress.
I didn't accomplish this perfectly, but it was a major improvement. Tuesday I did a basic cleaning of my house. Wednesday I baked, Thursday I cooked these beautiful quiches. And Friday I decorated, set out all my dishes, did a quick clean up of those things that had collected mess through the week and did a final check for all things I would need the next morning.
I have taken another tip from the FlyLady making sure my kitchen is clean, dishwasher empty and lace up shoes are on my feet before I start cooking. Everything moves smoother. This was my kitchen the night before, ready for the morning and giving me plenty of time to spare for a shower that started bright and early at 9:00am!
So here is to learning not to make blessings to others a curse to our own families!
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.