Hospitality Isn’t Just For Guests… It is For Our Families Too!

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. ” 1 Peter 4:9

On Sunday, I got a call from my daughter’s father that he was taking her to urgent care because she wasn’t feeling well. Well, that’s all I needed to hear for me to peel out of the parking lot I was about to park in to see an impromptu movie and head up 495 to see what was going on with my sweet girl. After an x-ray and a dramatic finger prick to draw some blood, I discovered that she had pneumonia… well as you can imagine my heart dropped. The doctor convinced me it wasn’t as bad as it sounded and after the antibiotics she should be fine. But, obviously the first thing I wanted to do was pick her up in my arms and bring her home… which is what I did. When we got home I gave her the first dose of her medicine and then she looked at me very seriously and said, “Momma, I need some hospitality.” Whenever Anya isn’t feeling well or has had a rough day those are the words come out of her mouth. I find it interesting that even a 7 year old appreciates hospitality.

Most of us when we think of hospitality think of it in terms of how we treat or receive our guests. But, I believe that as moms we should spread that hospitality to our families. How do we treat and receive  our families in our home? What is the attitude we give to our family when we are serving them? Do we take the time to greet our family when they come in or are we barking out orders? Are we warmly receiving them or are we constantly rushing them out the door? What kind of home are we creating, is it peaceful, warm, nurturing and loving? Hospitality encompasses all of those things that make a house a home. I strive to have a comfortable home not because I like how it looks, but because I want to create a beautiful family life for my daughter. I choose not to live in a chaotic home where we’re rushed, unorganized, and on edge. I try my best to create an environment that Anya enjoys and looks forward to growing up in. I try to create traditions that encourage hospitality in our home and our hearts.

The greatest commandment is to love one another. I think that hospitality is one of the ways we begin to do this in our everyday encounters. What better place to start than in our homes with our families? I can remember being a young girl sitting around the table at my grandma’s house when her sisters would come over. There would be 7 of the Tassone sisters sitting around the table drinking coffee and eating Stella Dora cookies or some other treat, laughing and recalling stories of their past. I always felt like a big old warm blanket was covering me. It was safe, cozy, loving and filled with joy. I can still hear their laughter and I cherish those memories. My grandma didn’t have a big lavish house, but she did have a big heart and her hospitality came through her heart, hands, and home. Those joyous days left an indelible mark on me and I find myself trying to recreate some version of that in my own life with Anya.

The hospitality we show our children will stay with them throughout their lifetime. I already see the impression it has made on my daughter. So, the past couple days I’ve been putting my best hospitality skills to use and giving Anya an extra dose of love along with lots of kisses, hugs, cooking her favorite foods, giving her long baths, reading her books, giving her little surprise treats, and of course making her some homemade cookies 🙂 Don’t save all of your hospitality for your guests, shower it on your family too!

Some of the Tassone sisters that sat around the table. Left to Right: Aunt Lucy, my Grandma, Aunt Rosie and Aunt Stella.

Family Dinners Expanded For Single Moms

I am a huge advocate of family dinners. I especially love Sunday family dinners. I have fond memories of going over to my grandma’s house on Sunday and having family dinners around the table when I was younger. It is a tradition that I dearly miss by living in one state and my parents living in another state. But, families aren’t restricted to only immediate family members. Family are those people you love, support, and spend time with, so why not include them in on Sunday dinner?

Tonight I was thinking about Sunday dinners past and thought how as single moms we should include in our family, those who aren’t family members by blood but are family in every other way. So, I am proposing that a few of these lovely ladies and our families have a Sunday dinner once a month or more, but at least once a month that includes all of us sitting around the table with our kids. We can either take turns cooking or do a potluck. I think this is a great memory to create for our kids and it strengthens our little village.

I’ve read some emails from moms who feel as though there is an element missing in their single parent family, especially those moms with one child. This is a fun way to expand your family experience, while building friendships, strengthening bonds, and allowing the kids to experience a lively Sunday dinner.

I’ll post pictures of our first dinner soon!! Let the Sunday fun begin!!

The Single Mom Expanded Sunday Dinner Tips:

  • Choose one Sunday a month be commited, and to stick to it!
  • Decide on whose house will host the dinner.
  • Make a cooking schedule. Potluck probably works best, you can rotate, for example, one person makes the main dish and the others make the sides one week and then rotate who makes the main dish.
  • Help with the cleanup. Don’t leave the host with the stress of a sink full of dishes.  
  • Have activities for the kids while the adults are cleaning up (better yet have them help!) or throw in a quick movie.
  • You may want to do a family activity, such as play a board game or take a walk.
  • Create a ritual. Try going around the table and saying one thing everyone is grateful for, or the high and lows of the day. Make sure you have a positive conversation  flowing that is kid friendly!
  • Pray together.
  • The biggest tip is to do this all with LOVE!