As I’ve shared before, when I was newly married I was an out of control hostess. My poor husband had to weed through an ambitious plan that involved hand embossed menus for each guest!
Somewhere in that same season of life, I heard a sermon that challenged me to my very core. It was the first time I ever heard someone differentiate between being a hostess and being someone who entertains guests.
As a hostess, my job is to create an environment where people enjoy each other. The focus is on relationships.
As someone who entertains guests, my job is to make sure everyone has a good time and enjoys my house. The focus is on entertaining.
The problem, at least according to my priest at the time, happens when we get so focused on making sure that people enjoy our HOUSE that we let it get in the way of people enjoying RELATIONSHIPS.
The words of my priest have stuck with me through the birth of two children, through several moves and a major remodel. Those words have stuck with me through a season of depression and the year of the endless flu in our home.
I’ve decided that he was wrong.
His basic premise is correct. There’s a huge difference in my heart when I’m a hostess versus when I entertain.
When I’m a hostess, I’m not stressed out. I’m happy just to be with people I love and to foster growing relationships. It really is about the people.
When I entertain, I am a miserable ball of stress. NOTHING is good enough. It’s not clean enough, pretty enough, or fancy enough to satisfy me. Even if my entire home looked like my Pinterest Boards, I would still find things to stress about.
My priest erred because he didn’t take the message far enough.
The problem, at least according to ME, happens when I let the desire to entertain get in the way of being a hostess.
I’ve lost count of the times we have failed to open our house to others because it didn’t live up to my standards for entertaining guests.
I CAN count the times we’ve opened our home (and our hearts) and just let people see the mess of our daily lives. I can tell you the stories of friendships built and lives changed when we dared to be real enough to stop entertaining and start hosting.
I can’t tell you what I served or how the house looked when I entertained at that impressive holiday dinner early in our marriage. Not without looking at the photos.
I can tell you the stories of meals stretched, laundry piles moved, and messes ignored. I can tell you the stories of the times I walked away from entertaining and impressing to sit down and just focus on the people in my home.
No matter what your holiday plans for entertaining look like, there is still time to become the hostess you always dreamed of being.
Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker writes at ThisHappyMom and has a passion for encouraging weary worn out moms to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder.
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