PB&J, strawberries & cream, and Japanese Chicken Soup. What do they have in common?

Our sweet Faith loves to put on a party, especially a tea party and always has, but any kind of party will do. Her sweet gift of hospitality and lovely table setting is leaving an impression on everyone in her family.

Two weeks ago, for our first sitting down lunch in our new home, as compared to, “Just grab something you want!” lunch, Faith wanted to prepare a “picnic”. Not just any picnic, but one “like a tea party, Mom!”

I had already asked Princess to make PB&J (clearly, we weren’t far from the, “Just grab something you want!” phase), but Faith swooped in and saved the family from more lame paper plates and “just PB&J”.

She transformed the boring ol’ PB&J into tea sandwiches and found a suitable side (aka Cheese Its) to place on the dishes. She spread a blanket on the back patio and set up her china tea set. She took it very seriously.

I was struggling with taking the time to really slow down from unpacking, until… I walked out and saw her eagerness and her spread. Even amid the clutter and the boxes and the odd unpacked items, she worked to make a lovely setting for our meal.

It was just darling. Seriously.

Tea Lunch

Pause I did, though and it was time well spent.

That day reminded me that more important than items on a check list are moments in my mothering and in my child’s childhood. Allowing the time for these precious teaching moments are vital. My children need the time and permission, nay, the encouragement to walk in their gifts as well as in precious skills.

I’m on the look out for hospitality moments that the children can handle due to Faith’s God given desire. Her influence can affect her siblings.

Two nights later, she wanted to fix dessert for everyone. She called her daddy to ask him to pick up whipped cream on his way home, then she started slicing the strawberries.

Again, it was a serious affair. No one but me was allowed in the kitchen since the dessert was a surprise.

As I stood and watched her, my heart warmed. While each task for intentional, she was kind and excited. She loves people, this girl. Seriously.

Two nights ago, she asked to serve dinner out on the patio with her tea set again. We were having soup, but that didn’t slow her down. Everyone had a lovely place setting and she presented each bowl as well as any hostess.

Faith Serving

She also did one other very hospitable act that forced me way out of my comfort zone, but that’s for another post another day. One of the sweetest ideas my kids have ever had, which forced me to go along with it. Be sure to check in soon to hear about it.

I want to be sure to encourage her desire to be an eager hostess. I just need to make sure her heart continues to be in it for the right reasons. I’ve seen hostesses that care more about how things look than in how the mood of the event is or the guests are treated. Kind of a Mary versus Martha thing.

I want Faith, and all my children, to work like Martha with a heart like Mary.

I think she’s off to a sweet start.


How do you encourage hospitality in your children?

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Reposted with permission from Grateful for Grace