Monday, November 12, 2012

The Heart of Hospitality

Wake up. Unload dishwasher. Cook. Make the coffee I never drink. Play. Tidy up. Load dishwasher. Repeat. Such is the life of a mother of three who hosts several people in her home weekly...but is this all there is? We are blessed to have a beautiful home with enough space to host a lot of people at one time. We have hosted over 40 hungry souls in our apartment comfortably. I load the chili in the crock pot, pull the casserole out of the oven, or take the ice cream out of the freezer. Pour hot drinks into big mugs and serve to cold hands. And the dishes pile up. And pile up. And crumbs litter the floor. And baby crawls and consumes. (oh, is this the way we feed our child?)
At times I become bogged down, overwhelmed. Under the pile. I endlessly scan the homemaking blogs trying to make parties better. The beautiful colors. The mouth watering food. The perfect decor. The smiling author tells me I can do this too. However, my experience tells me something different. I'm not that woman. Sure, I can pull together one heck of a party with amazing decor. Fit for a blog post, even. But at the beginning of the party, how do I feel? Tired. Wishing it was over. And my kids feel the tension. Recently, I decided I'm quitting. At least for now, while I still have a baby. No, I'm not quitting hospitality. I firmly believe that God has given us this home to fill it with people. Hearts come weary and leave full. I'm a firm believer that we are to use our gifts to serve God and others. We are to fervently love each other, as if our lives depended on it (1 Peter 4). I'm just going to go about it differently. These past few months I've been joining thousands of other women around the world in the Maximize Your Mornings challenge. We have been reading 1 Peter together and discussing it online. It has been transforming...I'm growing and changing. One topic I have learned about is hospitality. I believe I have this gift, at least it has grown in me since living here. But I think I have suppressed it by complaining in my heart when doing the "not fun" parts of it...mainly, the mundane. I decided in my heart this past weekend to heed Peter's advice "Be hospitable without complaint". We had three events in our home this weekend. I delightfully did dishes. Then I felt a little six-year-old daughter. "Mommy, can I help?" "Sure," I giggle and hand her the dish rag. She washes, I dry, and we have heart conversation over the sink. It made me reflect on the heart of hospitality. I'm to think of others over myself. That may very well be the key to not complaining. And as the weekend draws to a close, I can honestly say I enjoyed all three events and think our guests were blessed too.

1 comment:

  1. I've thought about this post several times this past week. I'm in the middle of a week where I'm hosting 5 separate events at my house. Four down and only Thanksgiving to go. It won't be perfect, but it will be fun :-)