First, a little family update!
At the beginning of this week Sam began an online PhD program at Faulkner University. He is on track to be a Dr. of Humanities in a few years! The first week has already proved to be slightly challenging, but I’m sure things will get easier as he figures everything out.
Sam is excited to be back in school, and we are so excited for him!
Other than that, we have been staying at home and there isn’t much excitement to report.
Recently a friend on Facebook posed a question regarding hospitality. She basically asked if you miss showing hospitality with social distancing, and do you plan on showing hospitality as soon as you can?
I am SO excited for the time when we can have people over into our home again, and it is definitely something I miss during this time. But the question also got me to think about ways to show hospitality (the definition of hospitality is simply showing kindness to strangers or those around you) when we can’t have people into our house.
I came up with three ideas that we’re trying to do, but I’m sure there are countless other ideas as well!
3 Ways to Show Hospitality When you can’t Leave Your House
Where does hospitality fit in?
Right now our world is facing an uncertain and unfamiliar time. We have been asked not to leave our houses and avoid social contact as much as possible.
How can you show hospitality and practice social distancing at the same time? Even in fearful times like these God has showered us with blessings and we can still share them with others.
Hospitality is something I love learning more about, and I love learning as I practice showing it.
A common image for hospitality is gathering around a table together, sharing a meal and building relationships face to face, and it is probably my favorite form of hospitality (and I really miss it). Thankfully this is not the only way to share God’s goodness with others. There are ways you can still show kindness and hospitality to others around you without unnecessary social contact. Here are three ideas I’ve thought of, and I’d love to hear any ideas you may have!
Take a Meal to Someone in Need
Is there a shut-in near you? Perhaps someone who just had a baby or is recovering from surgery? If it is difficult for these individuals to get out under normal circumstances, it is likely compounded during this time, and a meal delivery will be a huge act of kindness.
Double whatever you’re already cooking for your own dinner and put it all in a basket along with a card.
You can call the person you’re bringing dinner to and let them know you’re leaving dinner on their doorstep.
Stick to something simple, such as a soup or stew made with dried beans and cans from your pantry, and a loaf of homemade bread. You could also make a loaf of banana bread or some muffins for their breakfast the next morning, or mix up a jar of lemonade or tea. Simple is perfect!
Or simply order takeout from a local business offering curbside service.
A homemade (or not), delicious meal and a promise to visit when all the craziness passes is showing hospitality without having people in your home.
Check on Elderly Neighbors and Friends
The same people mentioned above, ones that have difficulty getting out under normal circumstances, could also use help in other ways.
The best thing to boost their spirits may simply be a phone call, letting them know you care for them and are thinking about them.
Ask if they need anything and offer to pick up groceries, prescriptions, or other necessities for them. Again, to avoid contact you can leave the items on the doorstep.
Taking care of others in need is showing hospitality without having people in your home.
Anyone’s day can be brightened by a bit of snail mail, from elderly shut-ins to small children. Make a list of people who may be having a difficult time, perhaps the grandmother who can’t see her grandchildren, or the child who had to cancel his birthday party due to social distancing.
It doesn’t take much to write a meaningful note, get your child to draw a picture, and stick it into the mail. You could also include small gifts, such as a sheet of stickers, a teabag, or photos in with your card to brighten someone’s day. Here are several more ideas for gifts to send in envelopes.
Mae loves paper, colors, and stickers of any type, and recently she has started asking me every day for “cards!” It is a great activity for us to do together and it is a way we can bless others.
Sending encouragement and cards through the mail is showing hospitality and kindness without having people into your home.
These are ideas for sharing God’s blessings with others during an unusual time, but do not limit them to a time of social distancing. There are always people who are in need of hospitality, whether or not we are in the midst of a pandemic.
Bonus Idea: Drive-by Baby Shower!
Sam, Mae and I recently attended a social distancing baby shower for one of our good friends. It was not my idea, but two of our friends organized the event.
They decorated a table in the mama-to-be’s front yard and made cookies for all the guests. As guests drove by, they took the gifts with masks on their faces and wiped them down with Clorox wipes.
Some people, us included, parked and got out of their cars to visit a bit (maybe staying six-feet apart?).
A social-distancing celebration is a great way to show love and bring people together during this time, even if it looks and feels so different.
How do you show hospitality during an unusual time?