Last week, I wrote a post inspired by a recent Lysa Terkerust post on the conviction of empty statements. In it, I talked about actually praying for people, rather than simply telling them you will. I’m tired of being someone full of hot air and empty statements. I want to be a woman who follows up with what she says.
Another common empty statement I fall into? “Let’s get together sometime.”
Oh man, I’m so guilty of this. The thing is, much like praying for people, I genuinely want to get together. The problem? Life, schedules, work, exhaustion creep in and it simply never happens.
For someone who didn’t set out to have any New Year’s resolutions this year, somehow they seem to be piling up:
And today, as we’re cozying up to 2014 on February 11th and rounding the corner to Valentine’s Day, here’s one more--invite people in. This is something I’ve been bouncing around for the past several months, but something I so badly want to improve upon.
If we try, we can pretty much always find an excuse for why it “isn’t a good time” to get together with someone or invite them in–schedules are crazy, the house is messy, there’s no time to cook or host, I’m too tired…the excuses go on and on…
The thing is, when I actually make the effort to reach out to someone, set something up, spend time with them, and invite them in, I LOVE it! I always walk away thinking, why did it take me so long to set that up?
So here’s my challenge: let’s get together! Let’s not just say it in passing, but let’s actually follow up on our words and get together–even when scheduling is hard,homes are messy, and the only thing we can serve is some ice water and a bowl of popcorn–let’s get together!
I’m slowly trying to improve upon this, but here are a few things I’m working on to help make getting together and inviting people in more of a reality:
- Follow up–If you say “let’s get together,” follow up quickly while it’s still on your mind, or even in that moment. It’s much easier to set something up when you’re talking about it, or after you’ve just run into one another, versus a few weeks later.
- Try, try again–If the first time doesn’t work out, don’t give up! I often try to get together with someone once and if it doesn’t work, I stop trying. We need to be persistent.
- Keep it simple–we often think getting together needs to be a three hour affair, but why not keep it simple? Go on a 45 minute walk, invite someone over for coffee vs. a full meal, meet for dessert, etc.
- Be prepared–keep a stash of hostessing treats in your pantry so you’re ready for last-minute get-togethers. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something you can whip out easily, so you don’t let an empty pantry prevent you from having people over. Here are a few ideas: frozen cookie dough, Boursin cheese and crackers, a bag of kettle corn, hummus and carrots, sparkling water, tea, coffee…Also, Trader Joe’s has GREAT frozen treats you can keep on-hand–croissants, spanakopita, or even frozen beef and broccoli, or pizza for a last-minute dinner guest!
- Stay calm--don’t let the act of hostessing stress you out. By keeping it casual and low-key, you’re more likely to want to do it again. Also, if it’s not too fancy, you won’t intimidate your guest and they may feel more comfortable inviting YOU over! As Chandler Bing from Friends once said, “I’m breezy!” (If you know that reference, I love you forever). Let’s, “be breezy.”
- Be flexible–sometimes in order to make something work, we need to be flexible. Don’t hold onto your schedule so tightly you don’t have room to fit people into it.
- Embrace the last-minute get together–this may be hard to believe, but I’m not really a planner. (Shocker, I know!) So, it’s typically easier for me to set something up the day of, as opposed to two weeks out. This is where flexibility is key. If you have a window of time suddenly open up, reach out to someone to see about getting together. If your Saturday night is wide open, invite someone over for a last-minute dinner. Here are two things I love about last-minute get togethers–since everyone knows you haven’t been planning forever, there’s less pressure for the hostess and guest’s expectations are lowered–win, win!
- Enjoy it--getting together with people shouldn’t feel like a burden or an obligation, it should feel like a treat. Rather than seeing it as one more item to check off the to-do list, let’s simply enjoy being together!
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
1 Peter 4:9 (NLT)
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Romans 12:13 (NLT)
Need some more inspiration? Check out The Reluctant Entertainer’s “10 Commandments of Hospitality.”