Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hospitality... A Make and Take Meal

Showing hospitality by taking meals to people when they are sick, have had surgery or just need a little extra tlc when life gets overwhelming can be such a JOY! Sometimes it is easy to become so focused on our own families that it becomes difficult to think of others around us who are in need of our encouragement and help.

There have been PLENTY of times in my life when I have been taken under the wings of others and have been shown mercy. It is still a blessing thinking back to so many times others have cared for me and for my family. I can't help but to think of how it feels to be taken care of. It is one of the best feelings in the world!

When I think of hospitality, I think of the root word "hospital". So, I looked it up...just for fun. I know we are all familiar with what a hospital is, but my old 1963 edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines it as follows: "a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young, an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care."

While we are most likely not giving medical or surgical care, taking a meal to someone is comforting beyond words and it is always appreciated and welcome. For those of you who may struggle having people in your homes, this is the perfect alternative for you!

If your palms are starting to sweat, hold on. Showing hospitality to others does not mean fancy schmancy. It does not have to be homemade and it certainly does not have to be a complete meal...unless you signed up for it. If you did commit and are feeling like it is more than you bargained for, ask a friend to help. Maybe you can split the meal.

What is the first thing you do after you commit to taking a dinner to someone? Do you start to stress and wish you would have never offered? Do you ask a friend to trade dates in hope that the recipient will no longer be in need when it rolls around to your turn? Anyway you look at it, it can be a daunting task, to not only need to fix your family dinner but somebody elses family as well!

I think my favorite binder is the "MEALS TO GO" binder. It has made taking meals to people so easy...and might I add...FUN! I am not even kidding! Taking the guess work out of what to prepare and take allows me to make quick decisions and spend a little extra time embellishing it. It is a great way to pamper people and I no longer feel like I am just doing crafts "to do" crafts, but it allows me to be a little creative while being able to share with those who are in need!

Here is what works for me, but I would love to hear what works for you. Others ideas are always welcome and appreciated!!! I think we all enjoy hearing how other people do things!


Label your binder

The first page has the list of meals I choose from...if your recepient loves something in particular that you are aware of it makes it even easier to decide!
Keep this list simple and doable. If it is a chicken from Costco, a loaf of bread, bag-o-salad and lemonade, write it down. If it is a box of cereal, milk and bread write it down. This has to be what works for YOU! If it is having a pizza delivered write the phone number down so that you can call and have it DELIVERED! Are we all on the same page? Onward we go!

Each Meal has a complete list of what I will be taking to make it a "meal".

I would encourage you to come up with one menu for each season...start with one meal that will be a JOY to make!

The next page has the recipes, so I am not spending all my time flippin' through different binders trying to track down what I need to make dinner.

Have you ever thought about taking breakfast the evening before? This is AWESOME. You can deliver it in the evening after your evening has "settled" down and it might be a very welcome change for one VERY happy recipient. You may want to try it!

While we have been talking about "meals to go", I wanted to make sure that I mentioned this: there are certainly seasons in life  where it is easier to help others and definitely seasons where it is not possible.  Showing hospitality is nurturing. It is showing you care. Simple as that.  It can look very different and can vary from person to person.

A few of my favorite things I have received as a "bedridden Momma" are: {1}a little bag with a card, a peppermint plant and a box of tea, {2}a bottle of sparkling water and a fresh lemon, {3}a bag of epsom salts etc. Even a sleeve of Saltine crackers and Sierra Mist is something you could keep on hand to deliver when the need arises!

Simple meals to go:

taco salad

pulled bbq beef or chicken

roasted chicken from the deli, a salad and bread

potato salad and chicken strips


pasta salad and crusty bread

tortilla soup and cornbread

So, as we have all been given the gift of TODAY, I hope that you, too, will find JOY in showing hospitality in a very real way wheather it be a meal, a note or a cup of lemonade!

Oh Happy Day!

Shared with:  comfy in the kitchen, imparting grace, organization made fun


  1. You are such a good person, Lisa, and have a loving, dear heart. I often try to take something to someone that is not expecting it. The rewards are beyond belief. xo Diana

    1. Diana...thank you. It amazes me how God can use pain in our own lives to bring us closer to Him and for us to become more aware of how we might be able to be used in helping others. Xo

  2. This is great!

    You are speaking to my soul with this post.
    I'm all about taking a meal to someone and you've done a fine job of fancying it up:)

  3. Lord, love your heart Lisa. You make me want to be a better person :)

    1. Jenny...thank you. God has had to do a lot of work on this heart of mine! Maybe one of these days I will do a post on it. :) Xo

  4. Lisa,
    You have such a gracious and giving heart. You are such a wonderful blog friend! Thank you!

    1. Oh Lynne, and what a sweet bloggy friend you are to me! Enjoy the rain and the chirping birdies today! Love to you!

  5. Beautiful post! I have been wanting to add a section like this to my recipe binders.
    I remember reading about it in a different post of yours and thought it was such a wonderful idea!!
    What a beautiful reminder about how doing something special for someone can be such a blessing..
    for both the giver and receiver.
    Love to you!!! xo

  6. This is such a beautiful idea and would be a blessing to another person in need. Thank you for the practical tips on how to do it as well as some awesome picture ideas!

    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

  7. Nicole...you are so welcome. I can't wait to hear what you do! :} Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  8. What a beautiful post. Since I am not a cook, I am always intimidated by meals to go. Thanks for the reminder that it can be simple. I remember years ago taking a deli tray of meats and cheeses to a family of teen boys, along with the big bag of chips, some pop and fruit. So simple, and yet I so often fall into the trap that I must make some fantastic meal. Thanks for some simple ideas. Hospitality is required of us and I need to get better at it.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful post! You are truly the Queen of giving creatively. I love to share with others, especially in unexpected ways. My 84 yr old neighbor doesn't do a lot of cooking so I always share with her.


  10. You have such a great heart! I get in that rut just focusing on my family but when I bless others it is more a blessing to me!!! I love some of your ideas and how you package your meals so nicely! I have a few friends having a baby soon and I am already thinking of what I would like to do. I love the idea of having breakfast and bringing it the night before. Maybe a french toast casserole or something fun like that! Love it!

  11. Well, this is just the sweetest post ever! I often think about taking meals to people, but unless I "sign up" on a list at church, I seldom do it. Thanks for making me think!