Thursday, October 22, 2009
Hospitality at the Zoo
Every once in awhile, you get a glimpse of how God has changed you. For me that glimpse came last night.
Busy, crazy day. Clap much too loud for Darling Little Redhead at his end of school program. Grocery shopping. In and out of the car with one functioning door. Lunch, naps, and "what? the groceries still aren't put away?". Off to a friends for tea. Hurry home to start dinner for company. Realize I have a text message saying nephew is in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Kick into overdrive making phone calls and sending emails. Hubby picks up other two nephews and niece.
Chop, chop, dice, dice. Stir fry ready to hit the pan. Put kids to work making lemonade and setting the table so they don't worry about their brother. Company arrives. Sit down and enjoy scrumptious Teriyaki ribs. Power goes out halfway through serving dessert. There are officially two usable candles in the house. We laugh. "Oh well. That's the stuff memories are made of, right?" Nephew 2 starts an asthma attack so he and hubby run home to get inhaler. Guest washes dishes in the dark while I put food away. Hubby and Nephew 2 return.
Nephew 1 comes through surgery fine. "Praise God!" Parents at home while grandparents with Nephew 1 in hospital. Hubby runs kids back home. Power returns. Visit with our guests for a bit before Hubby runs them home. Call it a night.
Are you getting the sense that things were rather a zoo at my house last night? And yet, I was surprised that the chaos didn't settle down into my heart. Granted, I was a bit distracted and my nephew had to ask for the lemons four times, but I wasn't franticly worried about how it would all turn out or if I had enough food for everyone. Strangely enough, I was happy (though obviously concerned for my nephew) and at rest.
And that's where the glimpse of growth came. I used to be so worried about perfection and everything being just so, that I missed the joy of just BEING with our guests. I rarely let people help and often was snappy with my hubby right up until the moment company arrived when I pulled out Little Miss Perfect. Hospitality back then was at the expense of the peace of my home.
What freedom there is in recognizing that we are imperfect and yet, God can redeem all our chaos and bless us...and hopefully make us a blessing as well. I'm not saying Little Miss Perfect never rears her ugly head...but thanks to His grace there is usually true hospitality...even at the Zoo.
Photo: Blue Skies Inn