I know I've said this before but eating is a basic human need. We all need to eat. I would say most everyone likes to eat. If we want to stay alive then we have to eat.
I enjoy having people in my home, feeding people, meeting that basic human need to eat. I like to prep food, cook food, bake, and present food. I really enjoy it and I like to plan and put a lot of thought into my food.
Chris and I eat breakfast and shortly after I am thinking...what am I going to make for dinner tonight? Sometimes I even make a weekly menu, which Chris likes because then he knows what's coming.
My downfall is perfection. I want my food to be perfect. I want it to taste perfect and to look perfect. I actually remember the few times I messed up a meal because I found it so devastating that I failed in my cooking. One time when making a roasted chicken it just was not cooking!! I cooked it and cooked it and the thing was still raw around the bones! I was so frustrated and it was unbelievable and meanwhile Chris and I were starved. We gave up with the chicken that wouldn't cook and went out to eat. Another time I made terriyaki chicken and it burnt. It was awful! It smelled awful and was inedible. That is the only thing, besides toast, I ever burnt.
When we have people over for dinner I plan ahead. I plan what we will eat, when we will eat, the food I need to shop for, and the cleaning that needs to be done prior to them coming. I strive to make sure my table is set perfect, things have been febreezed so they smell nice, toys are picked up, and my food is tasty and timely.
So recently when a speaker and his wife showed up at church I had to make a decision. My flood had not been vacuumed. A meal had not been planned. The table wasn't set. And I didn't feel very good. I couldn't have a speaker when I was completely unprepared and my home was not spotless! No way. But the Lord said, yes way. We'll take them out to eat. But the Lord seemed to say, "Have them in your home." I didn't want to. I wasn't prepared. But even in thinking that it was like the Lord was saying, "I've taken care of it."
The day before I had taken out 4 pieces of fish. Not 2. Four. I don't know why. I just did. We didn't end up eating them so I had 4 pieces of fish. No more. No less. Exactly what was needed to serve us and our guest. I had one can of biscuits, rice, and some vegetables. I had bought a tote bag of apples and so I had plenty to make an apple crisp for dessert.
They didn't care that I had to set the table once they arrived. She was more than willing to help me peel and chop the apples for dessert. They loved the fish. In the end it was like the Lord was telling me, "I'm in control. I've set this in motion."
I remarked that I had enough fish for us and our guest. That I had bought just enough extra apples for a dessert. The Lord enabled me to be hospitable with no notice and I have to admit it was one of the most relaxed dinners I have ever done. There was no time to spend hours scouring my house, no time to plan and decide a menu, no time to worry how the meal might go wrong or if they would like it.
The Lord is still teaching me and molding me. I believe my gift is hospitality. And the Lord is showing me that even if I feel I am not ready He will make sure I am able to use my gift. He'll guide me even as I shop even if I am unaware of it.
Extra apples. Extra fish. Bread. Rice. Vegetables. God provides and meets our needs and enables us to serve others with what He's given us.