Monday, August 25, 2008

Shoehorn Not Required

With our weather man forecasting rain for Sunday making the patio table unlikely, I was beginning to wonder where we were going to fit 22 people for dinner last night, but I had a plan - we would all fit in even if we needed to use a shoehorn to do it! We moved in the table from the playroom which seats 8 comfortably and extended our regular table to it's fullest which leaves room for 12. I wasn't sure where we'd put the other two, but kids love sitting on the piano bench, so we decided that would work out. We might not have had much elbow room, but it would be close fellowship!

As it turns out, no shoehorn was required. Saturday night a family of 6 canceled because they were just too busy to come. Sunday morning we found out about two more who would not be attending - and by the time all was said and done, we had just 5 guests sitting at our table for supper. Needless to say, we have leftovers. Lots of leftovers.

Ham and bean soup? Coming right up!

Our children were really disappointed that not one other child came to our dinner. They had worked really hard cleaning their rooms and washing all of the outside toys this week. They had big plans to share and play games and show the kids all of their special treasures. Thankfully, they adjusted well and rolled with the change of plans. They made good conversation with the adults and were very helpful.

I think it was a good evening - there was lots of conversation and laughter. Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. The two ladies graciously helped with the clean-up. We sent home leftovers, and I gave the two ladies who attended each a tassel from my growing tassel tree. All in all it was a fun evening, but a big effort for such a small group.

So, what are we doing wrong? This happens so often - we think we have a certain number planning to attend, and often we have about half actually show up. This time, way less than half. It is a bit discouraging. We are not going to give up exercising Biblical hospitality, but I really wonder if we need to do something differently. I'm open to suggestions, and we will be praying for wisdom in this area.

Is this something that you struggle with as well? When you open your home, do folks cancel at the last minute or just not show up? Are people really only committed until something better comes along? I'm just wondering.

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  1. Heather, I'm sorry you had so many cancellations. I have had similar things happen and it is disappointing. Maybe people don't realize how much planning and work goes into putting on a big dinner? Sending (((hugs)))


  2. I'm sorry to hear there were cancellations. I imagine that is pretty discouraging. The fact that you are not giving up on it, though, is a testament of God's love in you! It's inspiring that you are thinking about what to do different next time...when most would just throw in the towel. That was sweet of you to give a couple of the ladies a tassel, too!

  3. Your picture of the table is beautiful! i would have so enjoyed being there.

    I find it so dissappointing too when people can't come. Usually it is a very genuine thing -- sickness, etc. I feel like all my work was in vain! What a waste! But, I know that is not the right attitude. God has a plan -- even if we don't see it. Last time someone cancelled we started trying to invite someone else and had to go through 6 different families! It was hilarious! But, it turned out to be very providential as the family that ended up coming needed that encouragement.

    Enjoy the ham!

    PS: Someday I'm going to work it out to come visit I think!

  4. Oh goodness!!!! So many cancelled!!! Unfortunately, we have been in a similar position. I think a lot of people have. I ALWAYS plan on more than we initially invite in case there are any last minute people who come along with a family (children's friends, for example) and it is very normal for some people to cancel last minute.

    I agree with Kelli that people don't realize how much planning and preparing goes on for such an event. In the instances that occurred with us before, it was usually a case of the families finding something else to do. Sigh.

    But, DON'T GIVE UP!! You were SUCH an encouragement to the families that DID come!! You have NO idea how much you blessed them!!!

    Keep up the good work!

    Mrs. U


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