Through the window, I can see a steady stream of traffic on the highway. It’s a mile away from where I sit, but this is Nebraska and there is rarely anything out here on The Great Plains to block your view, unless it’s something you put there yourself. You’d think the traffic on the highway would be a nuisance, but it is strangely hypnotic and I have to discipline myself to keep from making up a story for every driver in every vehicle I see driving by.
Just outside the window, hanging above a white picket fence, two goldfinch land on the bird feeder. I can’t hear them from where I sit barefoot at the kitchen table, but one of them is definitely the bossy one. The bossy bird perches herself up above the other one and arches her body downward while she keeps a tight grip on the perch. She gets all up in the face of the other bird and squawks – her pointy beak just millimeters from the bird below her. I watch the little bird on the perch below and I don’t see a feather ruffle. Cool bird.
I pour myself another glass of lemonade and look across the table at my friend. She is smart and talented in a Proverbs 31 way, but it doesn’t make me feel like I belong on a perch beneath her. She makes me wish I lived in the house next door instead of an hour’s drive north on that highway I can see outside her kitchen window. She talks about God and He makes her eyes light up. I want some of what she has, and I don’t just mean her recipe for homemade lemonade.
“I’m so glad you wore shorts,” she’d said when she answered the door. No fanciness. No pretense. Just a warm welcome of me, exactly as I was. Exactly as I am.
It wasn’t long before I’d kicked off my shoes, too. Now, I sat barefoot at the kitchen table, drinking homemade lemonade, the gleeful recipient of the gift of hospitality.
It is a gift.
I’m often on the other side of this picture. “I love having people in my house,” I say. I love the cooking and the welcoming and the serving and creating space for someone else to catch their breath. And sometimes, I forget the gift goes both ways.
How about you? Are you usually on the giving side of hospitality, or the receiving side? And also? Do you have a killer lemonade recipe?
Post by Deidra, Jumping Tandem.
Image by Nick Harris.Leave a Comment
Homemade Lemonade says
[…] I’m at (in)courage, hoping you’ll share a glass of lemonade with me. Kick off your sandals, pull up to the […]
Hmm. I’d have to say I am on the giving side of hospitality. I love being at home. I love our home for all the same reasons you do. I t gives me joy to create a warm, comfortable atmosphere for our family and friends. Home is such a great place! It is nice to get out and be on the other end also! I’m new to this site and am just loving it! Thanks for posting your thoughts!!
Welcome, Jessica! It’s great to have you here! You will love (in)courage!
I receive hospitality far more than I give it. I’m working on it, especially now that my kids are older and I hope for ours to be the home where they want to hang out. Someone (you!) needs to write a post on that topic!
We always called it the Kool-Aid house. Even when I was a kid, there was a Kool-Aid house in every neighborhood. It was the place everyone went to hang out all summer long. Run around in the yard. Drink Kool-Aid. Repeat.
You make me want to come sit at your table, Deidre! 🙂
I love lemonade and have a recipe from a friend that is yummy.
You’re welcome at my table anytime!
Care to share that recipe with us?
I am on the giving end of hospitality. Now that we have our own home I love to invite friends over for home cooked/home grilled meals. I may not be the best entertainer, but I love good conversation! Hospitality is definitely something that has been lost in this age. I’m hoping our frequent dinner parties inspire others to open theirs homes as well.
Sometimes I think good conversation trumps everything. 🙂
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!
i’m usually the one giving. as a matter of fact one of my housemates the other day during a house party we were giving each other (6 of us share a house in an intentional christian community) affirmations. and C said “i love the way you make everyone feel comfortable…” i never thought of myself as someone that makes other feel comfortable.
it’s hard to accept though. to be in someone else’s space and allow them to make you feel home or comfortable. i can do that at my mom/dad’s house. i can do that with my best friend W. a few nights before she moved with her husband 1034miles away to alabama she and i and my 14month old son had a sleepover. two grown women eating pizza, drinking water and seltzer, and chicken wings. we laughed, cried, and fell asleep in the same bed with my son (her godson) in between us!
real friendships are truly amazing, peculiar, and of course they are GIFTS FROM GOD!
Love that image of the sleepover! Did you have chocolate? 😉
nance marie says
what a good friends you are for one another…
Having people over for a meal strikes fear into my heart. I desperately want to be more hospitable, but I’m afraid that my cooking won’t be “good enough”, or that my house won’t be tidy enough. I want to change, I really do. I grew up in a house where having guests over was a huge deal, there was a big stressful time of “cleaning” and it just felt like a really big deal. Hence, when I feel tired, or overwhelmed by every day life, I just don’t feel like having others over. How can I change? Anyone have any advice for me? Thanks, gals!!
It took years for me to feel okay with having people in my house. In the beginning, I’d stress out for DAYS before we had guests for dinner! I’d clean everything in sight and then clean it again and then make my children, my dog, and my husband sit still on the couch so they wouldn’t mess anything up. It was so stressful! And it took days for me to recover.
Then, I had a friend who let me in to her life, just as she was. She didn’t try to pretty things up for me. She just lived her “unfine” moments right along with me living mine. Once I realized no one’s got it all together, it was easier for me to let people in to my life (and house) just as it was.
Also…I’m always up for tacos at the kitchen table if someone else is cooking them. 🙂
WOW!!!!!!!!!! Love this post and the picture makes it even more inviting!
Talk about a topic that is on my heart this very day —– was just thinking about how the tables have flipped on sharing hospitality with friends…. having consolidated two households into a small loft living space, I find myself being on the receiving end more than the giving end nowadays. But I LOVE to have people over and share not only food, but more so the fellowship of sharing and developing relationships!!!! These are definitely gifts from God.
I look forward to the near future when we’re able to build our house in the country put out the welcome mat! Until that time, I will be content and will delight whenever I can share our little space with friends
Lemonade recipe —— raspberry lemonade is fabulous!!
We downsized last year, so my opportunities to have large groups of people over at once have dwindled. It feels good to be on the receiving side of hospitality. It reminds me that there needs to be a recipient for the gift to “work.”
Beth Williams says
My hubby & I live out in the country and with busy schedules find it hard to have people over. I love to do hospitality–cooking for people, going over to talk with friends/older people, Add to that picture my husband is an introvert and doesn’t have a lot of friends.
I still love cooking & getting together with friends either at church or their house.
I dream of a house in the country. And I like your take on hospitality including times we go to, not just when others come to us.
I would love to welcome you into my home in the Sunshine State. I love to cook & enjoy fellowship with others. I have five grandchildren with the oldest one being 13..they say they are going to get rich enough to go to college if they could sell my lemonade.. I am blessed.
I would love to be welcomed to your home in the Sunshine State! A glass of your award winning lemonade on the front porch (or patio, or deck, or balcony, or kitchen chair) would suit me just fine!
Darcy @ Message in a Mason Jar says
I feel like I’ve been on the receiving side so much lately. Just last night, I took some maternity snapshots for a dear friend, and her husband cooked us up a delectable meal of Fish & Chips with some other fixings. (London 2012!) And homemade lemon ice. Boy, did that make me want to continue to be on the receiving end. 🙂 We’re hosting some out of town friends tomorrow night and I hope I make them feel just as loved as our other friends did for us last night.
Brooke Burger says
I LOVE being a hostess, but don’t often get the opportunity. I’m not sure exactly why that is, but not for lack of wanting it. No awesome lemonade, but iced tea is always available, and I love to cook. How about a good Texas BBQ?
Girl, you bring the BBQ and I’ll bring the lemonade!
It happens EVERY time, Deidra. I begin reading a post from (in)courage without noting the author, am a few sentences in, think to myself, “Ooooh, I LOVE this writer and her style. Who is it?” It’s always you! Thank you for these words, the homey-ness of your writing, and your ability to speak plainly but with inspiration. I am generally the hostess since I am an Italian who loves to cook (no lemonade recipe here but a killer meatball and marinara sauce recipe straight from Napoli, my Mema’s home) but love, in recent years, enjoying the hospitality of others as well. Pride and fear prevented me from enjoying letting others be “in charge” for so long. What a wonderful reminder that whether we are on the end of giving or receiving, it’s all about communion…about community.
Thanks for your sweet words, Cynthia. When I read the posts here, I always try to guess the writer before I get to the end. Everyone’s got their own style, and it always speaks to the power of community. It’s the same in the comments, you know? Everyone pulling up a chair to the table, or kicking back on the front porch, just chillin’. In it together. Community.
Our FAVORITE lemonade Recipe:
1 Cup Lemon Juice from fresh squeezed lemons (about 5)
1 Cup Raw honey (so yummy!) *Heat this on the stove on a low heat to liquify
6 Cups Filtered Water
Mix all the ingredients together and chill. My family absolutely loves this lemonade and it’s so healthy and there’s no high fructose corn syrup! Drink and Enjoy!
Yum! Reminds me of a couple of lemonade stands I ran when I was a kid!
2 oranges – squeezed
2 lemons – squeezed
1 cup sugar
Fill container with to make 2 quarts.
**my MIL sometimes also adds a few raspberries in hers to make it a raspberry Lemonade**
This is a family recipe that gets RAVE reviews!! we have shared it multiple times with many different people often with the same RAVE reviews to follow 🙂
It’s like gourmet lemonade — oranges, lemons, and raspberries. I could get used to this!
You had me at “Nebraska”! 🙂 My parents, brother and his family still live in Lincoln and my grandma at 101, lives in a small town.
I tend to be more on the giving side of hospitality. I love all the details that go into hosting a party or holiday.
Marinalva Sickler says
Right now, I love to have friends over. I’m always inviting someone. I loved the homemade lemonade idea for an afternoon by the end of summertime.
No Dainty Fool says
[…] H went with our son to spend a week on an island in the middle of a lake in Canada, I went with a friend and her daughter to the Presbyterian church around the corner. Some would say it’s an edgy […]
Simply Darlene says
That’s been one of the hardest aspects to all of our recent moves, feeling at home enough to have other people over… but we do it, amid the boxes and boxes and slight chaos and clutter. It’s more about making their heart comfortable than making my home perfect.
Thanks for this, miss Deidra.
My lemonade secrets… ginger, honey, and real lemon juice. 😉