DINNER post has been our most read post. I have a few reasons why I think so many people have read it. I'll address those later.
I have had a number of people tell me I am so brave to invite people to my house. Not because they think my house is less than ideal (even though it is) but they could never have anyone come over. I do know that hospitality is not everyone's gift, and it does come easier for some than others. I love having people over, while Trevor has learned to enjoy it. Here are a few reasons we think it is important.
1. Building relationships: Inviting people over for dinner helps us to get to know people better.
2. We want our kids friends to be comfortable here. Since we are homeschoolers we have the blessing of knowing all of our children's friends. As they get older we want their friends to want to hang out here. The only way to do that is to start early! If they have been coming to our house regularly for years, stopping by once they are teens will be no big deal.
3. It is fun! Spending time with people we care about is never a waste of our time.
4. It puts us outside of our comfort zone - sometimes. Having people you don't know well over for dinner can being a little intimidating. What if no one talks? What if our kids don't get along? I can speak from experience that we have never had our fears realized. We have gotten to know people that are now our best friends because we invited them to our house.
5. It makes me be real! At the first homeschooling convention I attended I listened to a homeschooling mom who showed us pictures of her house. It was such an encouragement to see her counters full of stuff, messy living room and laundry piles. She shared that she had learned showing other moms what life really looked like was so much more encouraging to everyone. That by cleaning up and making our homes "picture" perfect before others came over was not helpful to anyone. I still pick up and sweep the floors before others come over but I have gotten much better about stressing out about the house looking perfect.
We ended the year with having 18 families over for dinner. I also hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange for friends and a couple of playdates throughout the year. That brings our total to 27 families that came to our house this year. WOW! Talk about exceeding our goal. We have enjoyed this so much we are already making our 2016 list. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone this year and invite someone over! I promise you will not regret it!