Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hospitality Can Be Messy...

Hospitality...the word itself sometimes immediately brings a fond memory doesn't it?  It's not just a word, but a feeling.  A feeling of welcome and sharing.  For Christians, it is an act of love, outreach and extension of love and kindness.

My earliest attempts at hospitality included huge birthday cook outs or a family Christmas dinner.  They usually turned out pretty well, but consisted of me cleaning until the house was spotless, spending all day in the kitchen, enjoying our guests and then just as much clean up afterward as there was before they arrived.  It was a lot of work and I would add to the pressure by making sure everything was 'perfect'. 

After studying hospitality and realizing although I was being hospitable, my attitude needed some adjustments.  True hospitality comes from the heart and welcomes anyone, at anytime when the house is in any condition!  It is an open door to the home, in the midst of it's daily life. 

This week found opportunity to open our home and make memories!  After receiving a ton of green beans, a friend and I planned to spend the day canning the beans.  She and her children came over and we got to work.  As the children played and we worked, the day wore on.  A neighbor stopped by and visited, my teenage son had some friends come in and out.  In the midst of green beans on the floor, jars and dishes spread over every inch of spare space, popcorn on the carpet, teenage boys walking in and out, all were welcomed and true hospitality was shared.  A welcome that embraced and enjoyed friends instead of worrying how the home appeared.  The more we talked it seems that things like canning vegetables brought up memories of the old days, working together in the home to get things done.  So amidst the mess, I realized that maybe in the hearts of the 5 children and 5 or so teenagers wandering in and out, some memories were made. 

When the day was over, dishes were washed, floors swept, carpets vacuumed, and a beautiful time of reflection and thanksgiving remained along with the lesson of true hospitality.  It may get messy, but it's worth it!!

 Making your home sing Mondays

8 comments:

  1. That is true! When people come to visit they are coming to visit US, not our homes! Although I would prefer that my home be neat, but I've welcomed them in and kicked shoes out of the way before, lol!

    Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

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  2. I love hospitality. My daughter and I talked about it a few weeks as she loves to hostess. We discussed the difference between being good at entertaining people v. being hospitable. It's true; hospitality can be messy ... it is real, but it totally worth it!
    http://gracefulabandon.blogspot.com/2011/03/heritage-of-hospitality.html

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  3. Oh, this is something I so struggle. As much as I want to be hospitable...I have such a hard time with the "perfect house first" attitude. Thanks for the encouragement -

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  4. I always clean til it is spotless, but within seconds it is always a huge mess...but a happy mess!

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  5. Sometimes the impromptu get togethers are the most fun because everyone is relaxed and the atmosphere is casual.Sounds like you had a nice day!

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  6. This is soo true and something I do have to work at. I want so much for anyone who comes to my home to really feel treasured, welcomed and loved. Special? You know what I mean? And yet at the same time, I want my home to look well cared for and nice. When my kids were at home that was just about impossible, haha...It seems we ALWAYS had a household full of kids...or more accurately a swimming pool full of them, lol. But it was worth it. This was a great post. I feel like I am a lot more like Martha, while desiring to be a Mary. ; )

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  7. Oh this is SO convicting! I rarely have anyone over anymore... We used to very regularly. I miss it, but...there are many buts...

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  8. A friend had a sign at her back door, "If you came to see ME, c'mon in. If you came to see the HOUSE, make an appointment." This encouraged me to realize hospitality has to come before pride. Ministry can't be stopped because I'm worried about what people will think when they meet the real, not-so-perfect me.

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Thank you for sharing your commment. It is a joy and blessing to hear from you and your words are appreciated.