A big lesson from 2012 rocked my world & completely changed my sense of self. You see, I always thought I had the gift of hospitality. On all the spiritual gifts tests, it always ranks top 4, along with mercy, & exhortation In the mix is leadership & administration. Hospitality is one of those gifts I like. One that I want to have. One that I have spent my whole life cultivating. Turns out, talents are not the same as gifts. Cooking, entertaining, throwing parties, hosting shindigs -- it's a talent, not a gift. I learned this the hard way and you'd think I'd have figured it out long before I was 42.
Interestingly, I've always had a pretty strong sense of self. Well, in this case I was wrong. God has shown me that if I truly had the gift of hospitality, people would actually want to be at my house! They wouldn't flee from it as if I had the plague. Any time I mention hosting something, I get this horrified, deer-in-the-headlights sort of look, followed by a quick change of subject or complete ignoring of my offer and a plan to have the event elsewhere. I recently attempted to host a Girls Night Out for a group of friends, which ended in a voice mail the morning of telling me that it had been moved to a friend's house. As if! I was quite surprised at the gall of this friend to take an event I was hosting and move it to her house, but then again -- she has a true gift of hospitality. People love to be at her house. Curious thing is -- she doesn't want it. She pretends she doesn't have it. But she does. And I do not.
For Christmas, the choice was my mother-in-law's house or my sister-in-law's house. My house wasn't even considered. Co-incidence? I don't think so. God is telling me a resounding NO.
So ... for the new year I am focusing my talents inward. Focusing on my family. And instead of trying to host affairs, am simply hosting family dinners. So tonight, we're having beef spare ribs with mashed potatoes & roasted brussels sprouts. I'm making Pioneer Woman's Beef Spare Ribs - using white wine, beef stock & leeks instead of shallots. My brussels sprouts are simple -- tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt & pepper and roasted for 20 minutes. Along with some classic mashed potatoes it should be divine.