Girl Talk is one of my favorite inspirational blogs to read and for the last little while they have had most of their posts focus on hospitality. I have really been encouraged and challenged to be more intentional with hospitality.

We face rather unique circumstances with Paul's work - he works almost every weekend and we rarely know much ahead of time which days off he will have any given week. And when he gets days off they are rarely back to back. He works long hours so the one or two days he does get off each week is usually him recovering from work. It isn't the most ideal situation for opening our home up to people, but we both enjoy having people in our home and desire to do so. I particularly enjoyed this post on Girl Talk entitled Hospitality Demands:

"All Christians are to practice hospitality but not all in the same way. “As each has received a gift” we are to serve one another, “as good stewards of God’s varied grace”
(1 Pet. 4:7-10)."

We rarely plan much in advance when we are going to have people over. In fact the greater majority of our company we invite a matter of hours before dinner. It is what works best for us at this stage in life - if Paul is rested, the house is in order, the boys and I have had quality time with him, etc. Paul will often say "What do you think about me inviting so and so over for dinner tonight?"

It is neat how God has orchestrated it as the friends we most often have over for dinner are single working men or single students - with no family obligations - and most of the time they are available with only a few hours warning to come over for dinner.

Unless there is extreme circumstances - the boys or I are sick or an event Paul didn't know about, I am all for the extra company coming over.

I learned early in our marriage that Paul enjoys the freedom to invite people over at the last minute, and the Lord really worked on my heart to make me make that possible for Paul. For the last couple years every dinner I make for us is planned out with enough food for an extra person or two to easily join us at the very last minute without it looking like we are scraping together a plate of food for them. It hasn't happened often, but maybe a handful of times someone has come over unexpectedly right before supper has been served and Paul has invited them to join us for dinner. Making sure there is an serving of food doesn't take much extra effort, and if no one unexpected shows up the food is used for lunch for myself and the boys the next day. But on those few days when people show up at dinner time to drop something off or to ask Paul a question or whatever other reason they may coming knocking at that hour it makes it easy to be hospitable and gracious because of the preplanning of dinner portions.

What about you? Is hospitality something you enjoy? Something that is hard work? Have you found a way to make it work into your schedule?

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