Wednesday, January 09, 2019

stress less

Do you ever feel chagrin about something in your past? When we were care givers for an elderly man, two seminary students lived with us and helped with things. I cooked for everyone each evening and requested that the guys let me know if they weren't going to be there for dinner so I could plan and cook accordingly. They weren't too good at complying with my request and it irritated me--even stressed me out a bit.

Looking back I ask, "Why?" Was it a desire to be in control? I didn't want to waste food, but, for goodness sake, we love left-overs anyway. What was the big deal? Years later I feel--maybe better words than chagrin--regret and remorse.

Over the years we've had houseguests that I don't know. "Strangers at our gate." 
Well-known religious statesmen, former criminals, college students, friends of friends 
passing through, and more. In my younger days I used to fuss and 
feel uncomfortable and stress about meals and how it would all work.
Needless worry. Lesson learned over and over. Scripture from Hebrews 2 talks about angels:
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained 
angels without knowing it."

Each and every stranger at our gate was a delight. 
Each one enriched our lives far more than the food and shelter we gave them. 
One man I actually thought might be a true "angel in disguise."
So next week when two seminary students from far-off knock at our door to live with us 
and attend a week-long concentrated course, I will welcome them with joy and cook for them 
with pleasure. And enjoy leftovers if there are any!


  1. I do remember feeling the worry of hosting people. As one gets , um, older, things matter less, and at the end of the day it is the welcome that is remembered.

  2. Your guests sound like they should be interesting to host. You must have had some interesting conversations over the years at your dinner table!

  3. I understand the stress of which you speak, Dotsie. Still to this day, I have to remind myself to enjoy. I think as women we want our meals to be memorable and everything to be just so. I'm sure you will enjoy your guests and they will enjoy your hospitality. ♥

  4. It's wonderful when you can learn from your mistakes. I have wasted way too much time worrying about how something will 'work out' and have to admit I still do that sometimes. And it doesn't do any good...things work out...or they don't! lol I love that you've always been so hospitable. Look what a difference you've made in the lives of others! And it's always a blessing to the giver as well! Hugs!

  5. I think as Elizabeth said, that as we get older we learn what’s really important and stop worrying about the things that don’t really matter. Your guests are going to feel so wonderfully taken care of and this will make their time of study more memorable! Have a great time!

  6. Is it wrong of me to suggest that if guests are rude that you gently enlighten them? Ha! We do people no favors to teach them to treat us poorly. For their sakes as well as our own. There are so many ways to think about a thing. And I do agree that stressing about anything is not good for our spirits or even our physical health. May you have wonderful guests and may you all be a blessing to each other.

  7. I don't usually stress a lot about having people over (even writing a whole blog series about not stressing, but I have to confess to some stressing when Andrew's parents came for dinner a couple of weeks ago! We had never met them before and I wanted to make a good impression. I had to keep reminding myself of all that I've learned about hospitality! In the end, everything went well and there was nothing to worry about!

    I think your guests are very fortunate to have you and your husband as hosts . . . and I am sure that you will be blessed by them as well!

  8. It is easy to stress about hosting, because it is out of our normal routine...have a wonderful time with the new guests who will grace your table this week, and may you both be blessed :)

  9. As Elizabeth wrote, maturity brings with it an ease about hosting and stress. I used to host dozens of people each year, but do very little of it now, and I find that I am more stressed about it. Getting used to doing something is also a way to ease stress. Those students will be blessed by staying with you.

  10. Great post and so true ... Happy New Year!

  11. Hello! I am visiting with you today as a result of finding you on Marilyn's sidebar at her Mountain Top Spice blog. I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit with you (and you didn't even need to worry about feeding me physical food), but oh, how you nutured my soul and spirit. I shall return again and again!

  12. I am so like you. I look back and wonder WHY I stressed over meals when I was feeding others...they wouldn't have cared if I served them hot dogs most likely...but I put the added pressure on myself to have everything 'perfect'. Never again! xo Diana

  13. Podso,
    I admire your stress~less theory.
    I still make plans, but have learned that life happens and try to go lightly on spur of the moment arrangements.
    An example was this Christmas.
    All of our family celebrations are held in the Family Room on the lower level.
    However, my daughter~in~law received a stress fracture that turned into a break and a cast for 6 weeks.
    Our Celebration of Christmas went off as planned, except it was held in the upper level Living Room.
    More important than the space. . .was the joy of having family present.
    Enjoy your Seminary Students.


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