July 18th - Entertaining

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"Hospitality is one form of worship."

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Like other simple pleasures in our lives

many of us put off entertaining 
because we make it such a big deal.

We fix more elaborate and expensive meals for guests 
than we do for ourselves, 

taking both extra money and extra time 
to plan, shop, and cook.

We make a special effort to create the perfect atmosphere,
beginning with a blitzkrieg of housecleaning 
and ending with a table setting worthy of a photo shoot. 

The family rhythm is often disrupted for days 
and includes everything from moving furniture 
to abandoning regular routines. 

I have known women who get so rattled that they're swearing 
"Never again" 
as they open the front door. 

It's no wonder that the thought of entertaining overwhelms us. 

And so it often remains just that
-a thought-
until a special event is thrust upon us
and we must rise to the occasion.
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Sarah tells us about the Great Depression and how 
instead of canceling parties altogether
"parties were [just] pared down."

Instead of many courses, they focused on one. 

And then the potluck became fashionable.

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Potlucks are a marvelous simple pleasure worthy of revival.

When invited to a party,
most people will ask if there is something they can bring.

When everybody brings a special dish, 
time and cost are kept manageable
and the menu can go gourmet 
even if the party is down-home...

One of the most important lessons 
is that the bounty 
was shared. 

We need to remind ourselves that 
good times need to be shared as well, 
especially if we want more of them in our lives. 
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"Your family and friends will sit at your table 
exalted and firmly convinced 
that while the cloudy future may be in the laps of the gods, 
the glorious present is happily on their plates. 

And they will leave reassured by the knowledge 
that the energy and grace, 
the carefree laughter, 
and stimulating smells, 
the power of these great simple dishes

-all of these miracles and more 
can be summoned up again at will."

I love entertaining.

I love throwing parties.

I love having friends over.

I love being hospitable.

You should give it a try.

Gratitude Journal

1) My niece. I don't know if it's because she's here, or if my kids are just on a nice streak, but the last couple days have been heaven.

2) Cooking. Sometimes you make things and they don't taste as good as you hoped. Like apparently I don't like dried fruit in the granola I made...but dinner? Yum.

3) The car was an easy fix! I should only be home bound another day, it's hard not having a car...or car seats...and it's too hot to walk anywhere.

4) I love my dog, I'm so grateful for her.

5) Three words, whole house fan.