Confession: I used to think that hospitality was on par with shoving burning splints under one's finger nails. It's not that I didn't enjoy having people over... I did. I just would get overwhelmed by the seemingly crushing ideals of what a hostess was supposed to be.
I used to think I had to be an amazing cook (or at least not break out in a cold sweat upon entering the kitchen).
It turns out there's this amazing device called the 'interwebs' whereby you can look up a recipe, find the most popular reviews, and cook without fear.
I used to think the house had to be spotless. You know, since most of us want the world to think we live in a magazine cut-out of the perfect home.
It turns out that the real mess is where authenticity and humility are best served.
I used to think I'm too busy to serve others... with the three toddlers underfoot.
It's true, it is busy, but it's worth teaching them the value of opening our home to others.
I used to think I had to be super social and not introverted as a hostess.
Hospitality is the perfect solution... bring people IN to the comfort of your own cave.
Being a good listener can far outweigh filling the space with your own banter.
I used to think it cost too much to entertain. Thinking that our grocery budget could not bear the added strain of extra food/drink.
It turns out that you can serve simply when you need to.
A cup of water, instead of a fancy martini, still tastes sweet amongst friends.
Every week our home is filled with different wonderful souls.
There's tea times, play dates with kids, dinners, evening coffees, occasional campfires, etc.
For this, we are blessed.
It's only been during this past year that my head and heart have really embraced the beauty of hospitality. Having shed the dusty notion from my mind that being 'stay-at-home' somehow meant 'cut off from everyone'. Suddenly I've begun to see our home as the very ground of mission, the very spot from which I can serve and love others. I still sometimes struggle with the above fears. I still worry the meal will be a burnt offering. The kids still go bat-crazy at 4:30. I still wonder why on earth any one would want to step foot into our chaos some days...
...but they do.
And so, we learn the way of hospitality day by day.
Meal by meal.
It's not what we keep, but what we give, that fills our hearts.
Not what we hoard, but what we share, that fills our bellies.
You may recall the last post about hospitality,
quoting that 'love is an open door',
now I would add: love is an open table, too.
Serve up the feast!
P.S - I plan to add a small sequel post to this called "hospitality how-to's"... stay tuned, friends.