I have been reading so many wonderful blog posts and books on hospitality and wanted to share a bit myself. For some this is a very difficult area, understandably so, but for me...I LOVE opening up my home to anyone that would want to enter. I am a more the merrier type and I love it when it is at my house that more come. I try to keep our home in a state of maintaining at all times so that it is about 10 minutes away from being company ready. I cook way more food than necessary and give away what we don't eat. If I have enough advance that someone is coming to our home to perform a service, I try to have a plate of cookies prepared for when they leave, or to at least offer them a beverage while they are working. I have a fabulous cookie bar recipe that I will have to post. It takes 30 minutes start to finish and anyone who comes to our house can enjoy warm cookies and a tall glass of milk.
I say this all because I want you to know where this gift of hospitality came from. God first and foremost, but it was my mom who instilled this in all of her children. We lived very close to poverty growing up, but I remember having new faces at our dining table all the time. Waking up to people I didn't know sleeping on our couch. She constantly threw open wide the doors of our home with a smile on her face, and along with that, my stepdad cooked glorious meals for the endless strangers my mother would invite in. It may or may not have come naturally to my mom, but she practiced it faithfully and in turn, trained us children that this was to be an important part of our everyday life.
Hospitality is something God asks of us to do whether it is something that comes naturally or not.
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, PRACTICING HOSPITALITY." Romans 12:9-13
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink." Romans 12:20
My mama couldn't resist giving me one of my Christmas gifts early...this book:You should all get it...or I should buy stock and send it to you all. I am finding that even though I think I am a pretty hospitable person, I have so much to learn, and even more I could be doing to show hospitality. This book is full of stories and ideas that can help us all practice hospitality.
They quote one author, Rick Renner from his book Sparkling Gems from the Greek, "Hotly pursue and never stop pursuing the goal of becoming hospitable until you have caught on to the idea of hospitality and have genuinely become a hospitable person."
I think I can be very choosy with whom I am hospitable to, however this is not the hospitality described in scripture. We are supposed to swing open the doors wide to all who would enter...within bounds of safety. I do believe in using Godly wisdom with who we allow enter, and this book goes into that as well. I do know I feel challenged and am excited with what I am learning! What a great time of year to be practicing the gift of hospitality!
Anyway, there is so much to share in this area, but I will begin with that...we will see where it goes from here.