How Summer Guests Can Bring Joy

Having fun and having joy are 2 different things. Fun is expensive; joy is free. -Joyce Meyer

I’ve been thinking about this quote I read recently. Sometimes my happiness wanes, and then I stop and re-evaluate. Fun is based upon what we’re doing at a particular moment, but when that fun is over, how often do we lose our joy?

My hand is raised.

(Hi, Haggis!)

I think back to a few weeks ago when our Portland friends came down to Medford to spend the 4th with us. Yes, it takes effort to get ready for guests, but I can honestly say that it brings me joy to get my house in order and organized for company to come. Especially this family …

They have the happiest kids. They’re funny, cute, smart, interactive, creative – they make us smile.

Our last meal together, we made vegetarian tacos (why not–saute’ onions, spinach, Swiss chard – yum!), delicious watermelon …

And a little helper helped me make homemade ice cream. (My mom’s recipe on page 88 in my book.)

We left the same tablecloths and flowers on the table for 3 days!

The kitchen was a mess. A disaster, actually. But we eventually got it cleaned up.

I wanted to enjoy that last evening together. As I talked about at this at a recent conference, the best kind of entertaining is about “investing”–not impressing.

All of our kids together-3 teens and 3 toddlers-was a huge gift.

We never know when the exact combination will ever happen again.

The fun was over as our friends drove off. Yes, I did the laundry, put dishes away, scrubbed the floor, and picked up numerous Polly Pockets left around the house.

But … I did not lose my joy.

Was it all “fun?” (You know, the cleaning, putting stuff away …) No.

But joy comes from what’s inside of me. My true heart feelings about hospitality wells up inside and yes, I can’t wait for our friends to return.

How do you feel when summer guests leave your home?

15 comments on “How Summer Guests Can Bring Joy”

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  4. Investing, not impressing. I like this attitude! What fun to have friends visit. Too much of our lives gets wasted when we’re preoccupied with impressing.

  5. It’s always fun when friends come to visit! Looks like you had a great holiday!

  6. How fun! I just love looking at pictures of your yard (C:

    We don’t often have overnight guests, but when we do I enjoy it…it is more important to me to spend time with them, then spend time cleaning my house…yes, I’ll do daily pick ups and dishes, but really, my focus is on them. Often we have teens stay the night and I enjoy having extra food made for them, my house a little bit in disarray as we find places for them to sleep (especially if they are male and obviously can’t sleep in the girls’ room…lol)

    Like you said, is it all fun? Not necessarily, but joy is there in the midst of all things..sometimes I need to step back, take a deep breath and re-gain my perspective.

  7. Shut. Your. MOUTH!!!! Ok, totally off topic of your blog post, but I follow PW and just read her entry about her weekend and went “OMG! SANDY!!” You met PW? Holy guacamole!!!! Was it awesometastic?

  8. I try to always CHOSE JOY because it is a choice. We had summer company the last week end of June, people staying at our home for a family reunion on my wife’s side of the family. We always love the fellowship and conversations that are abundant when we all get together. It is WORK to entertain, and it can be costly if you let it be. But we choose to look at it as an investment in our family and friends, a memory that only those who are there can share. After everyone has gone, the beds changed and made up for the next time, the dishes done, floors and carpets done, my wife and I sit and reflect on how much we enJOYed our company. Now don’t think that we are not exhausted from it all, we are both 55 years young and work full time jobs, but we choose JOY, knowing that we have encouraged others, and that we too have been encouraged. Sandy thank you so much for reminding us all to choose JOY!!!
    Blessings to you and yours

    Curtis & Sherrie

  9. I’m so happy I found your blog! I hate to admit that I’m a “perfectionist entertainer”, to a point that it prevents me from entertaining as much as I’d like to because it’s so exhausting! I am trying to relax, and not worry about the things that don’t matter. Your blog is helping me do that, and I wanted to say thank you for that.

  10. I was actually thinking along these same lines and had a post somewhat crafted in my head. I would like to link back to this post of yours – is that ok?

  11. I love the “party after the party”. I love to reflect on the conversation, food, all of it! Love your blog!

  12. I will always choose joy over fun. That’s the really, really good stuff. Great post, Sandy.

  13. I love this post. I learn something from you everytime I read your posts, Sandy! :-)

  14. Sometimes the joy comes in the “doing” of those clean-up tasks as I remember the fun we had creating the mess!!

  15. how fun! You are so amazing at entertaining ideas! Miss you friend!

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