Sunday, September 12, 2010

Get Your Hospitality On!

A little bit of hospitality goes a really long way. Being at the receiving end of a hospitable gesture is WONDERFUL. It can seriously change the course of your entire day. I have even heard personal stories shared by friends of how one simple gesture changed their entire life. Our family has been blessed in so many ways by friendly folks crossing our path in various situations and making sure we have felt comfortable and welcome.

I think if we want to raise kind, friendly, socially adept children, we should teach them little lessons in "loving our neighbors" every chance we get. And the thing is, it's so simple to do. It doesn't always have to take a lot of your time. And often, it's not about what you give, it's the fact that you reached out in a friendly manner and showed someone that you care that will make the difference.

I've been thinking about this ever since we moved across town and the local Lutheran church dropped a welcome packet and cookies by our house. It really warmed my heart to feel thought of, and it made me think back to another time that we were shown some neighborly lovin'.

Our friends the Lasley's made sure we had a lovely first night in our new home when we moved to their neighborhood last year. They greeted us with a steamy carafe ready to make some delicious tea and some freshly baked zucchini bread. Yummo! Obviously it made an impression, because yes, we took pictures!

Evelyn was still baking away in my belly at the time, so Eric and I spread out this marvelous housewarming and made a cozy sort of date out of it. See the sugar cubes and miniature tongs? Adorable. There were even tiny teapot shaped dishes for our used tea bags. (At least I think that's what they were for. That's what we used them for, haha.) They thought of everything, and it was sooo caaute!

There was real china and silverware...which was awesome, because we hadn't unpacked our own dishes yet!

And did I mention it was delicious?

I know one thing - we'll never forget it. Thanks, Lasley's, for facilitating such a sweet memory for us!

This weekend we were given the opportunity to pay it forward and show some hospitality ourselves. Some new neighbors moved in beside us. Woot!  What a perfect excuse to do some baking and use my new Cricut cutting machine! I whipped up some brownies and put together a little card and some embellished hot chocolate packets to take next door. It didn't take long at all, and seriously, who can't bake brownies? It's nowhere near the Lasley's caliber, but hey, that is why this blog is called "Getting There," haha. Our new friends really appreciated it, and as I learned, brownies are their favorite.... Score! (I have to admit that the entire time we were walking to their door I was thinking, "Please don't be diabetic. Please don't be diabetic...." Whew!)

So how can you show someone you care? There are so many ways. A simple phone call or a hug to a friend you know is feeling blue can be a HUGE encouragement to them. You can send a card or make a meal for someone who is sick or recovering. (Meals are awesome, by the way. Just make more of what you're already having and share it with another family. Easy peasy!) You can be the neighborhood welcome wagon when someone new moves in, whether it be down the street or across the hall. You can just smile at a perfect stranger. As simple as it sounds, even a smile can change someone's attitude.

And if you have children at home, make sure you involve them, too. I don't think any child can possibly be too young to see their parents reaching out to others. An environment of giving and neighborly love is one you can choose to create in your household. Habits start early, so it's never too soon to start those good habits. And if your kids are old enough to do things on their own, encourage them to serve others, as well. It's almost time for leaf raking season. Sounds like a good job for the kids to me!

Be a blessing to someone this week, and you'll be surprised how blessed you feel in return. And if someone has been an encouragement to you in any way, tell us! We'd love to hear about it and get more inspiration for being helpful and hospitable. Fresh ideas are always "welcome" here.  :)

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