The Heart of Hospitality

coffee daisy picnic 2What is hospitality?

I’ve been chewing on this one lately.

A quick google search on the word itself brings this up:

1.the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Synonyms: friendlienss, hospitableness, warm reception, welcome, helpfulness, neighborliness, warmth, kindness, congeniality, geniality, cordiality, courtesy, amenability, generosity, entertainment, catering, food.
You guys, pinterest isn’t even in the synonym list! You know what else isn’t there? Party. Over the top decorations. A perfectly clean and magazine worthy home. Matching furniture. Perfectly coordinated curtains. No dust bunnies. A tablescape. Burlap. A coffee table that isn’t broken and chipped. (True story)
I see a definition of how to love people well. No matter where you are or what your house looks like, or what kind of food is being served, the heart of hospitality is loving people well.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely appreciate perfectly coordinated curtains and matching furniture! I drool over some of the homes and interiors of Rustic Farmhouse decor. I love to decorate! But that’s not at the heart of what hospitality really is.
And, to be honest, I struggle separating the two from each other. And, I have totally failed in opening our home to love on others because I have not put others first. I have an irrational fear of letting people into our home when it’s a mess, our furniture is in desperate need to be retired, and the walls need a new fresh coat of paint. (Am I alone in feeling like I need to remodel before anyone steps a foot into our house?! No? Just me? Ok.) I’m embarrassed to say that this has kept me from welcoming people into our home.
My heart kinda sorta grieves this, still. All the missed opportunity to love on people. To share a meal, some conversation, and of course, some laughter. To create an atmosphere of family and community. To share people’s burdens and pray with them. *Sigh* So much missed opportunity.
But, it’s time to leave the past in the past. And move on. And learn from my mistakes. And be brave, and step out into this new hospitality thing.
So, over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing about the heart of real hospitality. The reality of living in a home and still opening it up to others, even when it feels a little uncomfortable to this recovering perfectionist. Changing mindsets of what’s really important, loving people well.
I hope you’ll share what helps you, what you struggle with, and what keeps you from opening your home to others. I know I’m not alone in this, and I’d love it if you would join me.

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