Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Entertaining Children

I know this is going to be a bit controversial...but it is something I have had on my heart for a long time, so here it goes.

We are not talking about entertaining our children: Playing cruise director as we peruse family friendly blogs and magazine articles on how to entertain our children with the latest and greatest projects and field trips, family games to occupy "dead" time while developing fine motor skills and brain memory...

We are talking about teaching our childen the blessing of entertaining! Teaching the
m the value of having people into their home is an honor! Teaching them at a very young age is best! It is easy to ask them who they might like to have over for a snack or for dinner! Go over manners and what their job will be while friends are over. Our children were taught to offer something to drink. That is it. Easy little job that will be simple enough for them to remember.

Our children were encouraged to invite friends over...even if it meant more mouths to feed. It was worth a hgher grocery bill and less spending in other areas to have them learn how to entertain.

Years ago, while my hubby and I were dating in college, I remember Scott calling his momma after a basketball game ...alerting his parents that he was bringing about 20 friends home in "about a half hour". This was normal. She never once said "NO!" She welcomed every single friend which meant that their night at home alone was shot and the clean house would shortly be filled with sweaty bodies, backpacks, shoes and hungry basketball guys. To some this would be looked upon as ridiculous. "RUDE" might be another adjective to describe a child to expect his mom to drop her plans for the night. Maybe even selfish for a child to assume that he could show up with the crew to just hang out and entertain his friends at his parent's home.

Guess what? It was modeled and encouraged from a very young age...and I feel very blessed that he encouraged our children to do the same.

Several weeks ago, both Caleb and Laurissa were having their Biblestudies here at home in the same week...they usually alternate...anyhoo, I helped just a bit to get them ready and then went to my room. I heard them welcome their guests. A few of the children had shown up right after sports practice and they were offered a drink! They were asked about their day. I took a deep breath and whispered to myself..."it was worth it!". It was worth and is worth all of the noisy nights, messy kitchens, sticky floors, extra laundry from the overnighters,and the list goes on. I certainly do not do all the clean-up, but I do like to help them as it offers some great talk time!

There were times I felt like we needed a bigger home to entertain, a bonus room for sleepovers, a bigger dining room for dinner parties, and so much more, but how many priceless moments would we have robbed our children of experiencing had I insisted on waiting until__________?

I ran across a picture the other day of friends working on a craft project outside on the picnic table while our home was completely torn up. I had to smile...because the thought of our children entertainig in the middle of sheer and utter chaos was not even something that was considered an inconvenience!

It is these children that have been taught the blessing of entertaining that WILL be asking us as parents into their homes as they get older and have their own homes and families. It is these children that will not take notice of walkers or wheelchairs and the inconvenience of extra mouths to feed. They will know without a shadow of doubt that it has nothing to do with a perfect, large home but they will know the blessing of having had friends or even strangers into their home...and Lord willing they will know that their time with these dear ones will have encouraged them in ways they may never know!

Happy Wednesday!

Shared with: Titus Tuesday, women living well


  1. Good stuff to mull over for sure!

  2. When our kids were growing up ours was always the house with the "open door". There were parties and games and fun...and we never had a problem- even with some kids that had been deemed "bad kids". I always took those kids aside and told them I had heard about them...but that they were on fresh ground at our house and were to be trusted until they proved otherwise. Those kids were always THE best ones ever! xo Diana

  3. Ahhh! I love this! Entertaining more is definitely one of my goals for the year. I have a small home (by our societies standards) and it does limit things a little, but then I look back to both my and Cliff's grandparents houses and they had 4 and 5 kids respectively and they always had huge gatherings and people over. It was never a big deal. Thanks for the encouragement to really go for it this year. I hope my kids bring a ton of friends over when they are old enough!

  4. Jennifurla...Thank YOU. I hope this gives you some ideas to start with!

  5. Diana...I loved what you had to say about fresh ground at your house! What a great word picture for their friends! I am sure it meant a lot to your children for you to accept even the "bad" and to care for them as well as for the children. What a great model. I imagine those children, now grown, are better for knowing they were loved by your family!

  6. Becky...thank YOU! It is true. A lady I used to work with had 5 children in a very small home. We visited her home before it was sold, and I was amazed at all the entertaining she did with her family. "Enough room" was never an issue. The more the merrier! It was quite inspiring. Happy entertaining as your children grow and observe...I can't wait to hear how it goes! Love to YOU!

  7. Lisa - not at all controversial but there again I think the same way you do. One of my most encouraging moments ever as a mother was when my children spotted a cyclist going past our driveway pushing his bike as it had a flat tire. They invited him up (I was home of course!) pumped up his tire for him and my daughter brought him a glass of cold water. I did not direct them at all just stood on and watched in amazement! And then of course I had the opportunity to talk to the man who I have never seen again but know that he was impacted by this simple act of hospitality because it was children who carried it out. I am looking forward to this year to having bigger crowds of people around as we have just finished extending our outdoor entertaining area - designed with that very purpose in mind, to accommodate not just our family but lots of people. When your family are all helping out you carry the load together so it doesn't all fall onto my shoulders - I can be preparing food as people arrive and know that my children are out there greeting our guests, taking coats, offering drinks. Simply put, we made hospitality a way of life.
    Loved your post!

  8. Oh Lisa, this is an amazing post!
    Our children are raised. We have a small home. It's about 1700 sq. ft. Our house was always filled at a moments notice. Carbo load dinners for the Chrislyn's Soccer and Cross Country teams, and Biscuits and gravy for Jay's baseball and football teams! (i still keep the makings for "Spaghetti" and "B&G"... "in the house".
    When they went away to college, they would bring home friends that just wanted a home cooked meal because they're homes were more than a 5 hr car ride away!

    Our children are amazing entertainers and gracious hosts!

    My parents are 82. They help run the youth group at their church. The kids love them. They are overwhelmed to know a couple that has been married 60 years! I grew up in a house of entertainment as well!

  9. LYNNE...I can't wait to tell my Dad and Mom. :} They will love hearing about your parents! What a perfect thing to do after retirement!

  10. Ann...I LOVED reading about your family! How blessed you are!

  11. Love this so much, Lisa! You know I struggle in this area - things are never "perfect" enough for company. But I really want my kids to learn true hospitality, and not just that people coming over means mom is frantically cleaning :)