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

11 comments:

Brenda said...

Oh Shilo, you really described me there too. I always want everything to be perfect when I have company over. And sometimes it just takes a tiny thing for me to go crazy. As I get older and hopefully wiser, I see that the guests feel the most comfortable, if I'm at ease and "tranquilo". The friendship is more important than a trifle looking like something a toddler put together. God bless you, and I love being at your zoo!

Ellie said...

I think people are more relaxed around us when we aren't perfect, and they realize they are not that abnormal.

glad you made it through that day.

jennykate77 said...

That's awesome! I definitely need to learn that lesson. I'm trying and I'm getting there, but when life gets crazy I tend to follow suit. I'm learning to just breathe and trust God that everything will work out.

Hope you're having a great week!♥

Betty said...

It´s great to experience God´s help and know that He is there through it all. I´m glad you felt at peace and hope your nephew recovers soon!

Susie from Bienvenue said...

my oh my... are you sure you dont live in this house. Sounds like one of our nights. So glad that you take life with Gods grace....one day at a time. Glad everyone is doing well now and you have power back~

Liz said...

What a touching post! I'm so glad the Lord is working in your life this way. He's been working on me too, trying to get me to worry less and live more. It's been a good month. :)

Becky said...

Thanks Shilo. You are SUCH an encouraging (i.e. - REAL) mom with amazing insight into what the Lord is doing in your life. This is me to a "T" with perfection and possessing an "if only I could..." mentality. The Lord is working in my heart as well and I'll be excited to see how He continues to change me on my journey!

Ashley L said...

Wow! What a night! Praise God for the great growth that He has enabled in you! I have been mulling over God's desire for us to practice hospitality along with the reality that life with little kids is just darn chaotic sometimes! I am learning to embrace the chaos that are these years and welcome others to join in on the fun! =) It's hard though! Thanks for the fun, real-life encouragement!

Sam & Dawn said...

Thanks for your encouraging post! I too enjoy hospitality and have felt bad at the end of the night for how snippy I was with my family right before guests came. I am well aquainted with "Little Miss Perfect". Thank you so much for sharing what is truly important and always being an encouragment to so many of us! Love you, friend!

Belinda Chaplin said...

what a night! But glad that you can see how far the Father has brought you on the journey!
bless you!

Julie said...

Boy can I relate to that...chaos, that is! So glad for God's grace, a sense of humor and perspective on what's really important.

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