(Un)expected company

Several weeks ago my middle son, Jason, told us some of his friends from Castlepoint were getting married in a nearby town, and another friend, Paul, was driving down from Indiana for the wedding, and then had to go to NC to the camp where he’s be working this summer, and Jason wanted to know if Paul could stay here during those days. We said sure, that would be fine.

So late Friday evening we get a call from a lady at church, whose daughter had also worked at Castlepoint for several summers and who was also hosting one of her Castlepoint friends who was coming for the wedding. She had been trying to reach Jason but couldn’t because he was working, so she was trying to ask in in a roundabout way about accommodations for Paul, who had traveled down with this other girl, who was her guest. My husband had taken the call, and as soon as I heard the word Paul, I thought….”Oh no! We forgot!”

I even knew Jason had the wedding to attend the next day, but somehow it just hadn’t clicked that that meant Paul was coming in. If I don’t write things on my calendar, I can’t be sure of remembering them, and I guess the conversation about Paul coming must have taken place while we were eating or I was cooking or putting away groceries or something. Even Jason had forgotten.

But we assured Paul that it was fine for him to come over, and I dashed around changing sheets, picking up, and running the vacuum over a few key areas. Thankfully things were still pretty well clean from when we had company a couple of weeks ago for graduation.

Paul was very gracious about our forgetfulness, and I really enjoyed meeting him and some of the other friends from camp who came over Sunday.

Thankfully I had just recently skimmed a post on Hospitalilty vs. Entertaining at Making Home — skimmed because I had read similar things before and had read the book she referred to, so it was more of a reminder than a new revelation to me that hospitality isn’t “showing off” a picture-picture home: rather, it’s about making people feel welcome and ministering to their needs. But I am thankful the Lord put that “heads up” in my path just before I needed it, so I didn’t stew about not getting everything done I would normally get done before company. And it was wonderfully restful and freeing not to have gone into a get-ready-for-company frenzy! I used to feel I had to practically spring clean the entire house before company came, and I tell ya, there is no greater deterrent to having people over than that!

9 thoughts on “(Un)expected company

  1. I think that Mom’s always want to make sure things are just perfect when guests come in. I bet your house was ready even if you didn’t do anything but change sheets. It’s good to just go with the flow sometimes … I do believe that even if you lived in a tent it would be an excellent place to stay over and the graciousness from you and your family would always be there 🙂

  2. I”m awful about this- I work myself into a frazzle getting everything ready for company. It’s so bad that I actually dread having company, but once they get here, I do enjoy having them.

  3. I am glad you remembered before Paul had no where to sleep! 😉

    We just had a party and as I was preparing for it, I decided that the spare room door could just be closed, and the inside of the cupboards did not need to be cleaned … all my friends live in their houses, too!

    You know what, everybody had a great time and nobody even knew what the inside of my cupboards looked like — and, if anybody opened the spare room door and saw all the music equipment and sewing scatter, they didn’t say a peep.

  4. I’m horrible about WANTING everything perfect myself… And my husband just shakes his head and walks away… Well… not true… he does help to an extent – but he does NOT GET how women feel about having people “come in” to their home! I’m NOT the homemaker I once was because he has so often frustrated me over this issue! He doesn’t care what the house looks like when HIS friends come over, so he doesn’t think I should worry when MINE come! But I worry even when HIS come. It’s our nature to do that… we feel our home reflects US.

    Anyway… I’m glad you remembered in time to actually HAVE Paul come and that you didn’t have to knock yourself out cleaning … changing sheets is enough of a last minute thing to do! I’m glad you were able to relax and enjoy having him!

  5. I used to be the same way and couldn’t enjoy my guests because I was trying to be like Martha(from the Bible-not the stewert one). I’m so happy that I got over that. I think my guests have a better time with a relaxed hostess than one who is exhausted and stressed. I wonder if that comes with age. So happy it all worked out for you and your family to host this young man.
    Mama Bear

  6. Barbara,
    What a beautiful reminder of what hospitality really is, “making people feel welcome and ministering to their needs.” That sums it up so well. I am glad you enjoyed your visit without the added stress of picture perfect. Thank you for your visits and for your kind comments. Have a great day!

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