Saturday, October 30, 2010

Just another day..

Among the other things that happened this week, I had this unusual call from my mother at around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday night. She was calling from Green Bay, WI.

"What are you doing in Green Bay, Ma?"

"I decided to go to this big concert thing with the ladies from my Bible study group"

"So, how is it going?"

"It's awful. It's loud. There's this guy up there singing and all he can say is "GONE"

(me, laughing) "Did you take that as a sign to go?"

"Oh, yes. As soon as I read the word "GONE" on the screen, I said, I'm outta here"

So, we chatted on the phone while she was back in her hotel room. How my mother gets herself into these snares is beyond me. If she is still struggling with this kind of stuff, where will I be in 25 years? Will I be trapped a Christian rock concert in some far away city? or worse? Will I be up on stage performing with them? O.K. that would be a long shot, since I don't really sing. Then again, these rappers don't sing, do they?

When she called, I had just finished the world-record for me worst display of hospitality that I have ever endeavored. Do you remember how I told you guys that Will likes to entertain foreigners from work? Yes, I think we have mentioned that here a few times.

And for the most part, I enjoy it. Except the stressing out part--over the condition of the house, which is never stellar, but especially on Thursdays. So, my typical Thursday rolls around and I do my customary training in Batavia and arrive home in pain.

Now, for some reason I have been struggling with shooting hip/ butt/ back pain that even goes up into my neck --for almost the entire week. Is it the scoliosis? Is it the sitting? the standing? the demonstrating? the craziness of my life? I don't even know.

So, when I got home, I instructed everybody on what to do to get the dinner on, while I laid on a hot water bottle. I called Will and suggested we could cancel or he and the kids could do everything. I was glad he chose the latter option, since I hate canceling, and it was one of the guest's birthdays!

So, one of the guests was from Singapore. His name was Ben, and it was his birthday. His English was very good, and he was a believer. The other was Charlie from Shanghai. (Now Charlie CAN NOT be his real name, but whatever..) Charlie's English was not as good, but he managed just fine.

For dinner, I had a simple meal of baked chicken, white rice with no seasonings, and steaming vegetables. I had a simple boxed cake for dessert for the birthday. The kids did all of the cooking and serving, and I laid on my bed (in my pajamas--no less).

When it came time for dinner, I came out of my room. I felt kind of odd, but I had to eat too. As far as they know, all American housewives live in their pajamas and don't do any work, since I am the great example for them. They were pleasant and seemed at ease with the situation. (I was glad they were foreigners, since my typical American friends would have teased me to death..)

And the evening was pleasant. The Gospel came out for Charlie's sake. He seemed to not be slightest bit interested. "I have no religious interest", but it has to start somewhere, right? Why not in the home of a hedgehog?

The craziest thing about this meal is the "high praise" we received from these people, their bosses, and all of the corporate food chain. In my mind, that is a total joke, which is precisely why I am relating the entire story to you. I can not imagine a simpler meal, with more humble accommodations than that which we served.

As I was sitting on an ice-pack yesterday, my husband tossed his blackberry toward me to receive yet (another) compliment for the pathetic little dinner, and all I could do is laugh.

All the times I scurried around getting this or that perfect, barking orders here and there, serving elaborate food, etc., in the past are such a rebuke to me now. What was I thinking?

Well, I best be off. I'm going to inflict my friends with sewing instruction today, hoping to downsize my stash and have some fellowship time with my local church girls.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Jena... that reminds me of a Bible study I was in years ago. The study was actually ON hospitality... trying to get people over the hurdle of confusing hospitality with "entertaining", which seems to be equated with fancy china, fancy food, fancy manners, etc.

True hospitality is about making people feel welcome and comfortable.



Herding Grasshoppers said...

Um... P.S. ...

sometimes the fancy china, fancy food, fancy manners is FUN, but not required for hospitality.


Mrs. Parunak said...

You are a hoot! Good for you for having the courage to have people over even though you had to be in bed. I'd say that's true hospitality.

Becky said...

Kudos to you. I'd have probably insisted on cancelling. Not doing that is the epitome of hospitality.
I had to get over my, "The house must be perfect in order to have guests over." nonsense when we lived in a place that was constantly undergoing repairs for something or other. It seems bare subflooring and drywall do not keep guests from having a good time.

The dB family said...

Way to go! When my house looks like a wind storm went through, I just repeat to myself, "they're here to see me not my house!" I love what Julie says too!