Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:12-13 (NIV)
Since I got my grandmother’s sewing machine fixed at Christmas, I have been sewing up a storm. Though I was flabbergasted by the cost of fabric nowadays, I watch for sales and buy remnants. While I made a quilted bag for my laptop and some cell phone cases, mostly, I have been giving my house a makeover on scrap materials. It is amazing what you can do with new curtains and tablecloths. Since my husband HATES to paint, these changes will have to satisfy the inner decorator in me. I replaced the drab brown and burgundy valances and tablecloth in the kitchen and breakfast room with bright green, pink and turquoise ones. The living room/dining room got floral valances in spring colors with a green striped tablecloth and a runner to match the curtains. It all looks quite pretty and lightens up the rooms. Even my husband, the one who doesn’t like change said he likes it except he is not crazy about all the green. While I probably didn’t save much money over what I could have bought at the big box discount store, I had more selection on colors and fabric by making it myself, not to mention the satisfaction of being able to say I made it. It was mostly straight seams with very little effort other than cutting, pinning and stitching. As I sewed those pieces together, it made me think about all the bonding that happens in our home over meals and visits with friends. Friendships are strengthened around the table sharing some Crack Pie and laughter. Tears as well on occasion, because the best friends are the ones who you can be real with. The ones that you can tell how you think you might have accidentally said “Damn” into the microphone during an Easter pageant practice. The ones that you can express how anxious you are about your child’s future. The ones who tell such funny stories about themselves that you almost choke on your tea! One night, I thought husband was going to fall out his chair the tales got so exaggerated and wild. A wise woman once gave me some advice. She said to never worry about the condition of your home but to always be hospitable and invite people over. She says they will remember the conversation that is shared and the welcome that they feel more than what was served or how the room was dressed. She says to sweep before someone comes, but not to do a deep clean. To save the cleaning for after company leaves. Then, you don’t spend the whole time worrying about how they are messing up what you worked so hard to prepare. I think it is sound advice, but still, I enjoy making things pretty for my company when I can. As long as I remember that the purpose of inviting friends over is not to show off, but to build those relationships that will last much longer than curtains or tablecloths.