I feel strongly that we are a people called to be hospitable. We should be having people in our homes, sharing life with one another. I’ve spoken about this before here and here so I’m not going to rehash the importance of friends and being hospitable. (Sidenote: Funny how life works out. 5 years ago I wrote about how to make friends when you’ve been relocated. Plot twist – that’s where I am now!)
However, planning your meals makes it easier to be hospitable. Once you decide to have company for dinner, you don’t have to worry about fretting about what to fix because it’s ALREADY planned. Just make sure when you do your shopping that there’s enough for a little extra. Or if you’ve already shopped, you can just go grab a little bit more of whatever to prepare. Some meals even lend themselves to having leftovers or extra food already – so when you’re looking at when to have someone over, just consult your plan and offer up those days as options for company.
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to impress people. You don’t want to have people over because our house is a mess, or you want to have the perfect meal and don’t feel like you’re a good enough cook. What matters isn’t the house or the food – what matters is the conversation and connection. Don’t let those things hold you back. Last week we had some friends over for dinner. I fed them what was already on the menu, which was “breakfast for dinner”. They asked what they could bring – I told them mini-donuts and orange juice. I bought an extra pack of bacon and made a few more pancakes then I normally would have. Scrambled some eggs in the bacon grease, and done. We ate off paper plates, had a simple meal, and great conversation. Once you let go of things having to be perfect, you can have a great time just hanging out with people.
So, my encouragement for you today is to find a meal on your meal plan that is big enough to share – or that can be adapted to share, and then to invite someone over to share it. It can be anyone – a friend, a neighbor, a church member – even family. The point is just to have someone over and share life because you’ve planned ahead and you CAN! Isn’t that an awesome feeling?