Friday, December 14, 2012

pondering hospitality

The silence in this space is in direct proportion to the dizzying whirl of band concerts, dinner guests, cookie baking, caroling parties, shopping, cooking, and trips to the post office that have filled my calendar this week.  I yearn to write, so I am willing my girls to sleep just a bit longer so I can tap out some thoughts this morning.

I mentioned a bit ago that I am a part of a group of women called the God-Sized Dream Team, which was put together by Holley Gerth.  Holley is an author and a life coach and her blog is one of the most encouraging places on the internet!  Her most recent blog post is all about God-Sized Dreams and the new year that will soon be here.  

To begin the process of honing in on the dreams in our heart, Holley had us determine our top two or three strengths using a guide she wrote.  It was hard to believe that I could find something on the list to describe me, but I did eventually find some that resonated true: Hospitable, Gentle, Resilient.

With a gathering happening here this evening, my mind and heart are turned toward hospitality.  What does it mean to be hospitable?  It certainly doesn’t mean that my house is magazine-worthy or that my cooking would win prizes.  As my eyes scanned down the list of strength-words and landed on the word Hospitable, I was reminded of the many times people have said to me: I love coming to your home.  It is peaceful.  I feel at home here.  You make me feel welcome. 

After hosting groups in my home weekly for years now, I have learned that people feel at home when my floors are dirty or clean, when the food is delicious or just so- so, and when the activity progresses as planned…or not.  What does make people feel at home is welcoming them genuinely, inviting them to help as you work in the kitchen, asking questions and engaging them in real conversation, and serving them in love and generosity.

Tonight we are hosting one of my favorite gatherings of the year, our third annual dinner and caroling party for the college students who are a part of a weekly Bible study in our home.  This is the last day of their finals week and they are all worn out and tired from all-night studying sessions and the stress of exams.  So tonight we’ll gather them all in our little house, fill them up with warm chili and cornbread and then bundle up and head out to spread some Christmas cheer through caroling.  We will return to our house for hot cider and cookie decorating, more singing and lots of talking and laughter, I am sure.

As I prepare my home to welcome friends tonight, I offer my service and love to the One who has come into the world and for Whom we wait in anticipation during this Advent season.  May my heart be a place of hospitality for Him, and may my home be a place of refuge, love and peace for those weary ones He brings my way.  


  1. Glad you took time to write! We'll be hosting our youth group here tonite for dessert and worship and hanging out! (and my house is not clean)

    1. Lani, thanks so much for coming by! I hope your gathering went well. We had a great evening of food, caroling and hanging out.

  2. I love this post! Makes me want to come and hang out at your place. I'm glad that at least I can online! :)

    1. Thanks for visiting, Holley! So glad we can "visit" with one another online. I never fail to be encouraged when I read your words.