Last night was the first night in probably 3 weeks that I have gotten more than 45 minutes of sleep all together without being interrupted by either of my 2 adorable, lovable, beautiful children. We've been battling ear infections, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections...you name it, it's hit us. The Walmart pharmacy technicians know me by name--especially after visiting them so much getting my injectable drugs while I was pregnant, now I've been back so much in the last 2 weeks for the rest of my family. She just directs me on over to the register (thankfully, from the middle of that crazy long line of people to pick up their meds)...."Mrs. Stone, right over here." I'm thankful both that she knows my name and she understands the craziness of dealing with kids while you're waiting in the pharmacy. Either that, or she's just really tired of seeing me.
I do think, however, that Walmart has got it spot-on when it comes to the wait-times at the pharmacy. I think the waiting time is in direct correlation to purchases made/needed. Not enough revenue this week? "Ok, pharmacy, the wait time is now 45 minutes to 1 hour." That's how they get you. They know that we won't just sit there & wait for our medicine. We're going to wander aimlessly around the store and say "oh, I need that!" and "wait, this is really cool!" $30 later (not counting the prescription), you head home, and the Walmart manager can add a few more dollars to his sales that week.
In other thoughts, I've started entertaining more. Not like "dinner party" entertaining, but more like "hospitality" entertaining. In the last few months, I've seen the following passages of Scripture as I've been reading my Bible:
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Offer hospitality without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9
I've always had a problem with offering hospitality, and I'm not sure why. By hospitality, I mean opening up my home to others, sharing a meal, or just some good conversation. I know when I think it through logically, I have no problem sharing what I have. I think what it all boils down to for me is that I was afraid of a few things...afraid of being rejected when I offered, afraid that my rental home (which I can't decorate the way I'd like) is not "good enough" compared to others' homes, afraid that the quality of the meal or food I'd serve is not up to restaurant standards that most people are used to.
When I think about these reasons, I have to laugh at myself, because they do seem rather ridiculous. And the more I open up my home, the more I realize that many of us feel this way, and it keeps us all from "practicing hospitality." The more I offer, the more people accept, the more comfortable I feel.
I wonder what happened to the "good old days" before we had a restaurant on every corner. When we said, "Come on over after church for some soup & sandwiches," instead of "why don't you meet us at Subway?" Don't get me wrong, I enjoy eating out, but being forced to eat at home this last year has taught me a lot about what's really important. Plus, I just like my own food better now!
I wonder if we asked more, offered more...if others would accept more, feel more comfortable. If we aren't comfortable in/with our own houses, others won't be either. I'm learning to be proud of what is mine, make it mine as much as possible, and make it beautiful with what I have. Being frugal and living simply does not mean forsaking beauty. If Meredith at Like Merchant Ships has taught me anything over the last few months, it is that beauty can be found in anything and made out of almost nothing.
The next time you're tempted to ask someone else out to a restaurant, think about whether you could invite them over instead. Most of my very memorable experiences with friends or family growing up were not held at a restaurant, but in someone's home....sharing with them, laughing, arguing over who gets to do the dishes.
Wanna come over? I'll even do the dishes. Just this once.