I love to open my home to others. I always have enjoyed the idea of hospitality, but I haven’t always known how to practice it with grace.
I have gone through many awkward seasons of hospitality! I remember so well the years where entertaining was quite stressful – trying to prepare a delicious and memorable meal, create the perfect ambience, clean a spic and span party-ready house, organize all the closets (because you never know when someone might unexpectedly look in your closet), and of course, wanting to show off well-behaved children.
However, my expectations of juggling perfection set me up for failure. I was too self-conscious to invite people over when my house was looking ‘lived in.’ I made excuses for the effort it would require to extend an invitation to a neighbor. I apologized to guests for overcooked vegetables and crunchy rice or for an imperfectly decorated room. I was mortified as my child threw a tantrum at people’s feet under the dinner table. I failed countless times to have the laundry done and my party dress on before the first guest rang the doorbell.
I wanted to be gracious and witty and welcoming and instead I felt awkward and self-conscious. I failed at my own expectations for gracious hospitality. Yet through every excuse, failure and mistake, God was gently whispering over my shoulder, quietly asking me to consider what hospitality means to Him:
Oh my dear one, it isn’t about the food. It isn’t about your perfectly clean home or your clever conversation skills. It isn’t about your furniture placement or the clothes you wish you had to wear. There is nothing wrong with enjoying any of those things or wanting to create a wonderful experience for your guests, I understand that — but are these details the things that matter most to me?
He just wants me to be there, to open the door and greet people with open arms. He wants me to practice hospitality as an opportunity to share His love. Oh how humbling it has been to learn to see my actions and attitudes from God’s perspective. Many days I stumble and fail, I miss opportunities and shine bright glaring lights on things that should not matter. I’m a slow learner. Thank goodness He is patient.
I’m growing in my understanding and practice of what hospitality means to God. I’m an imperfect hostess, but I am actually learning to enjoy my imperfection! Embracing imperfection means I open my home more often, I am free to simplify my style of hospitality rather than complicate it, and I can focus more on the hearts and souls that walk though my door.
Find this post and many others in DaySpring’s Fall Magalog!
I love the featured products this month! The pretty place mats, apron, table runner and tea towels are all on sale at amazing deals so be sure to check them out here!
The wooden caddy is a MUST HAVE around my house for entertaining! And the pedestal is one of my favorite items, it is versatile for all seasons of entertaining and you’ll be amazed at how substantial it is in weight and height! You won’t regret getting either of these items, and with a 50% off coupon code, they are a great deal too! You can find the code here.
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