I love having friends over. I find so much life and joy in creating a welcoming environment and inviting women and their families into my home. For me, it's about creating a space for friendships to form and fellowship to take place. It fills my heart. But do you want to know a secret? I am NOT a girl who loves being in the kitchen.
I don't like making food for others. In fact, I dread it.
So how do I marry those things? How do I marry my desire to have people in my home with the fact that I don't like preparing food, when they seemingly go hand-in-hand?
I work within my gifting.
I don't like to spend time in the kitchen. I get anxious and distracted and I don't like feeling like my attention is split between the kitchen and my guests. I want to give my friends my undivided attention, and I cannot do that with food needing to be prepared. I admire anyone who can do both! So, in order to work within those parameters, I plan events, gatherings and parties, that allow for me to be fully present. Everything must be done beforehand in order for me to fully give of myself to my guests while they are here, and so...that is exactly what I do!
This was the third year that I've hosted a Ladies Wine & Chocolate Open House. It absolutely fills my cup with joy, and it's SO SO simple! I don't try to make a three course meal or bake warm appetizers. I don't try to pair food with the wine. I stick with what I can do...and I work within my gifting. I spend a few hours the week before baking some special treats (usually simple recipes I've used before), and I purchase some other chocolate treats from a local bakery I trust. I send my man to get us a few bottles of wine, and I ask my friends to bring their favorite bottle to share. Then I spend most of my preparation time on my favorite part, creating a beautiful table and environment for my friends to mingle and indulge, relax and connect.
It would be easy for me to focus on my inability to make amazing food. It would be so easy for me to focus on what I'm not able to do and how I'm not able to provide my guests with the food experience I would love for them to have. It would be easy for me to compare myself to those friends I have that are INSANELY gifted in the kitchen and who whip together a 5- course meal with zero sweat or effort. Even the idea of that makes me want to cry! But instead I've chosen to lean into hosting events that fit my gifting. I don't have to be someone else, I just have to be me.
Gathering friends and family isn't about being anything or anyone different then who you are. It's about opening your home and more importantly - your heart - to others. Maybe you are an amazing chef and greatly enjoy making meals for friends, that's fantastic, lean in there! Maybe you don't enjoy decorating a table and paper plates are all you can do, that is perfectly wonderful. Hospitality isn't about what you have or what you can physically offer, it's more about who you are to those who come into your home - how you love them when they are in your presence. Hospitality isn't about you, it's about how you make others feel in your home and presence.
“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”