Please Pass the Dirty Dishes!

Silence has reigned over my blog for the last week. It’s been a much-needed break indeed—a time to share and create wonderful memories with friends and family.

A lot of dishes were washed, pots and pans scrubbed, counters wiped down – again and again, as we entertained a lot! Instead of allowing my “poor me” attitude, (who doesn’t have a let-down feeling when the “party” ends?), I simply got a routine going that helped me be able to spend more time with my guests, and not feel resentful:

* Quickly get a load of dishes started in the dishwasher right before serving dessert
* At the end of the night, empty the dishwasher and get another load going right away
* It’s okay to end your night with not every dish cleaned or put away!
* Bring the kids in to help – bus the dishes, load, empty & put away (much will be done the next day)
* If one of your guests offers to help, let them!

I have often thought of how I can be like Martha – I can whip up a great meal and show true hospitality toward my guests – no problem! But when the mundane chores choke out what my main purpose is, causing me to miss the point of our gathering in the first place, I can get distracted.

I have learned a lot this last year through my own writings and reader’s comments on 4 Reluctant Entertainers! I’m reminded of why we gather. Why we go through all of the work to invite people into our homes – to get our house ready, to sometimes clean and even buy expensive food! It’s not that we don’t have anything better to do – it’s that we have a craving. A craving where food is used as a conduit toward the goal of knowing others more intimately!

The reason behind every deliciously cooked meal I created in my kitchen in 2007 was that I had an inner motivation. Through my Ten Commandments, I actually challenged myself to keep remembering, as hundreds of dirty dishes passed through my hands, that the importance of connecting with others is often the forgotten goal of entertaining.

So, please pass the dirty dishes!

Happy New Year 2008!!

(I’d love to hear of any entertaining goals you might have for this next year. And stay tuned for more exciting give-a-ways in 2008! One in particular will be a “canning” kit – with a helpful post of hints to follow. )

9 comments on “Please Pass the Dirty Dishes!”

  1. Happy New Year! My goal is to get back to my “regular” lunch entertaining. I’ve kind of made it a tradition to invite the young women in my church who have recently had babies (usually their first or second) to lunch. I don’t do tons of cleaning; I don’t make an elaborate meal. They have said it’s just nice to be with me, as a mom of 4, seeing how things work (or don’t work!). They see me put someone in time out, or hold a baby while serving the food, and see that their chaos matches mine! I got off of this track when Zachary was born and missed a couple of babies this fall but I’m hosting again this Friday!

    Thanks for all of your encouragement!

  2. Sandy,
    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the inspiration and encouragement this year. In November 2006 the Lord blessed us with a beautiful home of our own, and we purposed as a couple and a family to share it for His glory. We have welcomed over 150 people into our home in the past 13 months, most of whom were strangers or mere acquaintances. We have made many friends and been able to share the gospel or a word from the Lord on many occasions, yet we feel we have been the ones truly blessed! I don’t recall where I first saw a link to your blog, but I do know that I bookmarked it right away and have checked in with you often ever since. I believe we are somewhat “kindred spirits” in our beliefs and philosophies concerning entertaining. May the Lord bless you and your family richly in the coming year! Lisa R

  3. Happy New Year!!

  4. Happy New Year! We definitely hope to entertain more this year, thanks in part to the inspiration from your blog. Entertaining here will be simple and family-focused. There is a lot on our plates for 2008, but we also want to reach out to others and share good food and conversation together.

    Hugs to your whole family!


  5. Oh, girl! I think I’ve got dish-pan hands as well. Lots of friends over, though, so the payoff is worth it! I am blessed, because my hubby works with me, so though at times the work can seem overwhelming, I’m so grateful that hubby always is right there with me.

    I ALWAYS let people help if they offer…sometimes they don’t offer, they just get busy and HELP. And our kids will help if we simply ask.

    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

  6. I have learned alot from you. Your a great person. I so enjoyed your blog all year…and look forward to 2008 with you. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  7. I laughed when you said “let people help with the dishes if they offer”. I have a real hard time with this. I have actually made it a “Rule” in my house that no one is allowed to do the dishes when they come over. I just really feel like everyone should be able to relax after dinner and enjoy our time instead of standing in the kitchen working.

    So many people try to insist on helping and I refuse, our regular company just knows the rules now and we can laugh about it.

    But I do understand through reading your blog and what some of our company has said to me. People like to help. It’s going to be hard for me but maybe I will try this next year :)

    One goal my husband and I have talked about is entertaing more this year through our church. Having our home be a place for new comers to be welcomed to. We are really looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us there.

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts.

  8. We did much entertaining over the holidays and I was surprised by how nice it was. Everyone helped out and contributed which meant plenty of time for socializing!

    All the best to you and your family in 2008!

  9. Sandy,
    I have gleaned so much from your blog this year. I have always loved entertaining, but you make me look at it so much differently.

    The Lord has really blessed me this last year…because my hubby is not crazy about having people over alot. He used to be- but then after Pastoring for years it wears you out because so many of the people you gather with just want to unload on you or complain. So he tends to pull away.
    But God…(love those words. He knows my desire to socialize and entertain so he made a way for me…now that we travel in the motocross world, I make food and set it out on tables all day long. People come from all around the track to our motorhome just to eat (and sit and visit too!). Hubby is out in the trailer/shop fixin bikes and I’m feeding faces! And he thinks it’s great!
    There were times that I made shish-kabobs and people would drive up on their golf carts saying “we heard you were cooking meat on a stick!”
    It was great!

    That may not be a real “normal” way to entertain, but I’ll take it! I’ve sat around with many a wife out there over a brownie and talked about the Lord with them.

    God is good!

    Happy New Year!

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