There's one thing for sure about living in community with others: community happens rarely with notice. The neighbor that pops in, the friend who hopes for a chat, or an unexpected emergency occurs. Living together usually has no script. I've had my share of unexpected, stressful moments. Shockingly, it often leads to irrational resentment.
Instead, know that moment is coming. Make a plan to be fully present, to create space to hear the Spirit lead you in relationship with this person. Pray as you serve. Even a sweet sentence of blessing as your pour a drink will remind you of the God Who is now-here.
When it comes to stress-free hospitality of food, keep a few of these ideas on hand:
- A Southern woman knows how to make a real glass of ice tea. Master it. Offer it often.
- Lemonade mix is super simple and satisfying for those wild, little rascals from the neighborhood. Make your place be the favorite hang out. Oh, and send it outside.
- Keep a few basic mixes on hand (cookie, cake, side dishes). You'll be more likely to share if you can whip it up quick.
- Stash your favorite jarred sauce (mariana, pesto, white sauce), and keep pasta on hand. I've never met a soul who would turn down a fresh meal of pasta. You're more likely to invite someone to dinner last-minutely if you already have a plan.
- Have a couple "go to" casserole recipes for shut-ins. My favorites make a double batch and can be frozen ahead of time: they'll eat one, and I'll keep one. Sending food suddenly is good for everyone.
- Bring a tasty morsel to that meeting you kind of dread. Cookies go a long way in lightening a heavy load. Don't count on bringing any home.