Do preparations distract you while entertaining?

Are you a Mary or a Martha?

I like to think I’m a little of both, but when reality pushes me, I have to admit that I am more of a Martha. I have my lists to check off. For holidays and days with company, there is a frenzy of cleaning, baking, and cooking going on at my house. So much cleaning and baking and cooking occurs that by the time the guests leave, I’m tuckered out and just want to relax. Company means special foods to prepare which means more dishes. More dishes mean there is a lot of time needed to clean up.

Do Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas mean a majority of the holiday is spent in the kitchen at your house? In an effort to create fewer dishes to wash, disposable dishes may be used, but honestly, the pots and pans still need to be scrubbed, and there are plenty of those. Certainly, there can be visiting in the kitchen during clean up; however, in my experience, as soon as the kitchen is cleaned up, people start leaving so I never actually get to partake in any of the visiting.

When my adult sons come home, I spend lots of time in the kitchen baking treats for them to take home, treats to enjoy while they are here, special meals because they are here—don’t you know college food and bachelor living isn’t as nutritious or as delicious as home cooked food from a mama? I know the sons with their own apartments don’t cook a variety of dishes. Of course, I remember their favorites for breakfast and supper.

I have been considering how much time I spend in the kitchen while they are in the living room talking with their father and siblings. I try to be included since we have an open floor plan so I ask them to repeat things that I can’t hear which causes some people to be irritated. A new plan seems to be in order, one that requires less time in the kitchen and more time visiting and listening.

I think I can prepare some items ahead of time before they get here. I think I could figure out how to use fewer dishes in the preparation or at least clean more as I go.

Still in this situation, I’m not sure how to have it all.

I know the Mary-Martha story is about spending time with the Lord. Sitting at the Lord’s feet is more important than always working; however, the work does have to be done. It is imperative to spend time listening at the feet of Jesus. I just noticed the application can be applied in other parts of our lives as well. It is disappointing to work so hard anticipating a visit and then miss the visit.

In Luke 10:38-42, the Bible has the story of Mary and Martha: “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Now that you have read the story of Mary and Martha here, could you please share with me your tips for not getting distracted with the preparations when you have company? Thanks!

What is your tendency, to be a Mary or a Martha? Have a great week!

8 thoughts on “Do preparations distract you while entertaining?

  1. I do try to prepare a lot of things ahead of time, and use crockpots for things that do have to cook that day to make it simpler. Even at Thanksgiving, we have cooked the turkey and stuffing the day before, cut it up and put it in a big roaster with LOTS of juice over it, and it is actually more tender and moist than if we had just cooked it and eaten it. I have done the same thing with a ham…cooked it the day before, add lots of liquid, and then re-warm it in a crockpot the day of. It makes things easier, and since I do not like to cook, anything that is easier is better.

  2. I used to be a Martha. I have realized that the dishes will wait. We have only a short time on this Earth. People matter. If you do not get them done before going to bed, they will be there tomorrow. I do as much prep work as I can before my guests arrive.

  3. I can say “ditto” to the responses from both Deb and Julie. I, too, make things ahead of time. I even bake cookies a week or so before Christmas and freeze them. Then I get them out the day (or two) before Christmas to thaw, and they are just as good as if I had made them that day. Since there are only two of us, I also make large portions of some meals for weekday dinner, and freeze half immediately. Saves me a lot of time in the kitchen. I am also with Julie when it comes to doing the dishes when we have company. They wait until the guests have gone home. And, yes, they have had to wait until the next day, too.

    1. Well, you all have given me some goals to reach for the next holiday. Here’s hoping that I’m a quick learner and can resist the urge to clean up. 🙂 Thanks for the hints.

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