Love It or List It

In my last post, I wrote about the different kinds of lists we have. Whether they’re written down on paper or just floating around in our heads, we all have them. Our daily tasks and weekend projects. Our work assignments, the household chores, yard work, and the bucket list. The things we have to do and the things we want to do.

I love lists. I’ve been a listmaker since I could write my ABCs. They help me remember and keep me focused. And then, of course, there’s the ultimate joy of crossing off the things that are done.

Lists are good, but we can’t be bound by them. Our lists can’t be our driving force.

The main thing about our lists is not the doing, but the loving of the people around us while we’re getting them done. Love is the point. Loving the people God gave you or the people He gave you to. Loving those you’ve known for years and the ones you’ll meet next week. Loving your family and co-workers and friends. And the nice neighbors across the street and the ones two houses down you wish weren’t your neighbors. Loving your kid’s good teachers and the ones jaded from years of teaching.

Love compels us. Loving everyone who comes in and out of our lives. Even the most brief encounter is an opportunity to show love in some way.

Life is not the lists we make, no matter how grand the lists. If at the end of my life I’ve accomplished every single thing on my bucket list but have no one to share it with, it means nothing. The joy comes with shared experiences and memories. Not checking off the items. 

Let us make our lists, especially the ones of the places we want to see and the dreams we want fulfilled. And let’s pursue those things. Just not at the expense of the most important thing – the people in our lives.

Enjoy them. Share with them. Love them.

Because at the end of our lives, it won’t matter what we’ve crossed off our lists. What will matter is how well we’ve loved the people in our lives.

 

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

 

 

Eat Food

It’s time for another Live Like it Matters Challenge.

I issue these challenges to inspire you and me (because I have to remind myself often) to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us, wherever we are. Some of the challenges are easier than others. Saying hello is easy. Laughing is easy. And part of this one is definitely easy because you already do this several times a day.

You already eat food. The challenge is to invite someone over to your home to eat food with you.

There is no need to throw an elaborate dinner party. I’m not asking you to entertain guests. The challenge is to offer hospitality and there is a distinct difference between the two. Entertaining is usually something we do to impress others. Hospitality is warm and inviting. It’s making those in your home feel comfortable and meeting their needs so they leave your home refreshed.

There’s just something about sharing a meal with someone in your home. When you have people in your home you get to know each other more intimately. The guards come down, the pretense falls away, the masks come off. It’s a really good thing.

So…..invite friends, a co-worker, your aunt and uncle, whoever you’d like into your home to share a meal or maybe a simple dessert and coffee. No fancy house needed. New furniture is not required. No need for special culinary training or fancy dinnerware. Dixie cups and paper plates will do just fine.

The only necessities are an invitation, some food, and a place to sit. And the best invitation is the face to face kind.

I searched for a profound quote about opening your home, and eating food with people. I wanted the quote to say something about how happy this act of hospitality would make you and them.

I couldn’t find one I liked so there is no quote. But there is this.

Just ask, make the plan, and eat food together.

Then let me hear about it.

Do you invite people into your home often? If not, why? What is your best or worst experience when sharing a meal with others?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash