Handicapped Hospitality

So I’ve almost always been a hospitality person…inviting people over, cooking for them, relaxing with them…it has always been my “thing.” I love it!!

Almost from the moment I left my parents’ home, I loved it. I remember running to the video store, renting a VCR and a movie, cooking and inviting people into the very old, trailer house that I lived in. I considered having people over the best part of life. That continued everywhere I have lived…until my divorce.

My life was upended by divorce. I moved from my home. I had to deal with all of the emotions of all the times I entertained for and with my ex-husband (for those of you who remember ‘What is Emotional Abuse Anyway,’ I had to work through the fact that entertaining was a way for me to “hide in plain sight”). I had to figure out how to live life again. Plus covid hit a year later, just as I felt that I was getting a bit stable.

And, to be honest, entertaining feels awkward without a spouse.

But, oh my gosh, do I miss it! I miss the joy of planning a meal…an afternoon or evening filled with people. I miss laying out all of the serving pieces and writing on sticky notes to make sure I have a dish that enhances the beauty of every single item I will make. It is truly one of my absolute favorite things to do.

Unfortunately, I feel sort-of handicapped now. I’m not sure if it has to do with being divorced or if it has something to do with the pandemic. All that I know is that if feels as if I am struggling to figure out how to do this again.

Women, I love you, but I don’t want to have women-only lunches. I miss the interaction of adults…men and women laughing and enjoying one another’s company. But everything feels weird and awkward.

So how do I do what I love and learn to be hospitable again? I honestly have no earthly idea.

But I know that I have to figure it out. Hospitality (or love, welcome, serve as Amy Hannon says it), is simply who I am.

I heard someone say that “brave, difficult, awkward hospitality” is how we meet people right where they are. It’s not the beautiful platters and place settings, but it’s whatever we have on hand that welcomes people to have a place in our lives.

So I am challenging myself to have at least one “brave, difficult, awkward” moment each month until it feels natural again.

I’m not giving up on this…I love the whole process of it too much to let it slip away forever!

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