Sharing your gift with others …Hospitality!
Written by: Pearl MacIntosh, Julie Hough & Jennifer Duncan
Part I – written by: Pearl
Hospitality was alive and well back in the 1960’s! Those were the “good old days”! Our Family had someone in for Dinner (noon meal) almost every Sunday after church. We ate at our Dining Room Table and used a fabric table cloth and our good china. One of our Mother’s specialties was a delicious homemade Roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, made from scratch, plus a delectable homemade pie for dessert. We would sit around the table and visit into the afternoon. One of my dearest and best friends, who she and her husband were frequent Sunday Dinner guests, still raves on about how much she learned about cooking from spending time in the kitchen with my mother and asking questions. Back then, after Sunday evening service, there would be more food and fellowship. This was usually at the kitchen table and as simple as Tea and toast with jam, or Tuna on a bun toasted under the broiler. But those days are mostly gone. We have our family over for food and fellowship for various occasions but it’s rare anymore to do like my parents did.
Being one of four daughters, we all helped Mom with the preparation. “Many hands make light work,” we’d say. In turn, as we got married and established our own home we practiced our own hospitality. Then when our family came along – I shared with them my “Fussy Skills”. Now they are grown and married with their own homes. They are entertaining and using those “Fussy” techniques and some of their own. When we are together, we combine our efforts, and we all contribute to make the occasion or gathering as much fun and delicious as possible. Sometimes we encourage someone else to do a job by saying “You do it – you do it so nicely!”
We use our “hospitality” skills on all those we entertain because that’s what Hebrews 13:1,2 says “Continue to love each other with true Christian love. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
My husband, David and I often talk about having people over for a good old fashioned home cooked meal and time of fellowship like we used to do. Life gets so busy and we find it hard to set aside the time to show our hospitality but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give it up as a lost cause. Maybe when we retire, life will be less hectic and we’ll be able to fulfill our dreams and wishes of sharing our hospitality with more than just our family.
Part II – written by: Julie
According to the dictionary, “hospitality” means the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers in a warm and generous way.
We grew up in a family where hospitality and fellowship were a big part of our lives. Spending time with our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we learned from an early age that being together and working in the kitchen went hand in hand. We would prep and make food, bond & talk as we spent time with one another. A memory that stands out was having Grandma Post (Mom’s Mom) come over and decorate our homemade birthday cakes by cutting marshmallows and using the cut pieces as flower pedals.
When my sister Jenn and I were in high school our mom would have us each prepare dinner one night a week; I thought it was annoying at times, but she was teaching us skills that would prove to be extremely valuable later in life. Our husbands benefit from the fact that we can cook, even if we sometimes grumble that our mom made us “too fussy” about things!
I am very thankful for the Godly legacy that was passed down to us from our mom and from her mom etc.
I want to encourage you to plan and fellowship with other people. Invest your time and talents in the art of hospitality. You don’t have to serve them a gourmet meal or a 5 course dinner. Keep it simple. Order pizza and make a salad or organize a potluck where everybody brings something to contribute. I actually have a few “go to” meals that I like to prepare when having people over. Easy meals that I know turn out great and that helps take some of the pressure off. It doesn’t have to be fancy, people want to spend time with you and they don’t care about a perfectly neat house. Sometimes spur of the moment get togethers turn out to be the most fun! Don’t ever underestimate the power of your kitchen or living room as a launching pad for new life, hope, new friendships or ministry. I have had the privilege of sharing with a very close friend, my love of cooking, teaching her simple and easy meals to prepare for her family and sharing recipes together. It is such pleasure & joy to be invited to her home and see how wonderfully she is embracing her God given gifts.
Romans 12:13 says “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
This verse reminds us that hospitality is not just a once a year thing at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but a constant attitude and practice. Our homes should stand ready to welcome people, as we serve God. I want to encourage you to be bold and maybe step out of your comfort zone and invite people over. I know God will bless you!
Part III – written by: Jennifer
Having a mother who was taught so well by her mother and then having her teach us, has been a blessing. Through many hours spent together, it has helped me, Jennifer, to develop my gift of hospitality. I am thankful that mom took the time to teach us (whether directly or indirectly), how to use our gifts of hospitality to bless others. 1 Peter 4:9-10 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
There are many practical ways that you can use your gift of hospitality each and every day. There are many different forms this can take on. Maybe you love to invite people into your home and entertain your guests with a delicious meal and homemade dessert. It could be that you feel called to bless new moms with a warm meal or some yummy snacks. Make a meal for a friend that may be sick or is going through a hard time, moving, had surgery, loss of loved one or maybe “just because”. You do not have to be a master chef to bless someone with food or a meal – purchased, already prepared food is also a huge blessing. I have been so thankful anytime someone has blessed our family with a meal – homemade or store purchased.
Sometimes in life, as you try to share your gifts and bless others, you may hit road blocks along the way. I can recall a couple times over the years when I called a new mom or a friend who just had surgery and told them I would like to bring them a meal. My offer was met with resistance and ultimately resulted in them not accepting my offer to lend a hand. I do not know why this happened. At first it really discouraged me and for a time made me shy away from blessing others through this way. Why would they not allow me to bless them in this way? I had to decide not to let it discourage me and my desire to bless others. I choose to bless others in this way because I believe that it is a way that I can use one of my gifts to bless people and in return serve the Lord. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
If the Lord has placed someone on your heart, ask the Lord how you can bless them today. I know that the Lord will bless you for being obedient to His leading.
(L to R) Jennifer, Pearl, Julie
Pearl has been married to her high school sweetheart David for almost 46 years and resides by Lake Erie in Kingsville. She is the awesome mom to Julie, Jennifer and Jason, terrific mother-in-law to Dan, Rob and Heidi and special Grammy to Callum and Ceilidh. She is a super lady and loved by all!
Julie is married to her wonderful hubby Dan for almost 4 years and lives in Windsor in their cute “honeymoon home” where she can be found spoiling Dan and baking to share with others.
Jennifer is a busy mom who lives near London, ON. She is happily married to her husband Rob for 18 years this June. They have two wonderful children – Callum (9) and Ceilidh (5). She can usually be found baking bread every Saturday and spending time with her family.