I wanted to add a little to my last post. First, a poem that Steven Chapman wrote of his wife in the book I mentioned below:
THE HANDS OF LOVE
"The travelers were weary from the long highway
They looked for the rest at the end of the day
And at her door they heard the sweet sound
"Come on in and set yourself down."
She poured the cold water and served the warm bread
With kind conversation then she turned down their bed
They whispered "thank You" to God up above
For touching them gently with His hands of love
She was up long before the sun in the east
And gathered the fare for their morning feast
And she sent them on traveling, rested and filled
With the wounds of the highway doctored and healed
But she didn't know...
When she poured the water and served the warm bread
With kind conversation when she turned down their bed
She did it for angels from God up above
And He smiled when she touched them
With His hands of love
Her hands were His hands of love"
When you have a family and a small home, which I plan on sharing pictures of my home, it is not always easy to invite someone in. True hospitality is going the extra mile with what you have wherever you are. When we go to someones home or a restaurant, it is our rule of thumb to leave it looking better than when we arrived. I can assure you, that when someone notices at a restaurant that your child is wiping the table with one of the baby's diaper wipes and tells them what a good boy they are, it is music to your ears to hear, "That's what Jesus does" spoken so matter of factly. (I have to say that little boy was Ezra...I have to say that because most of what you hear about Ezra usually has to do with his mischief!) Before we leave someone's home, the kids know they are to find and put away at least 10 things each and if they cannot find 10 things, they are to ask the host if there is anything needing to be done. It doesn't always happen so easily...some of the children are still in training, but it is a goal. I notice when I have other children in my home when they clear their plate and cup after eating and when they say please and thank you. These are not just good manners, it shows that they care and are willing to go the extra mile even when they are at someone else's home. This is hospitality in practice.
Hospitality, I am happy to say, is a family affair in our home. It is not something we think all too much about. We learn and practice together the gift of hospitality.
When I say gift, I do not mean that it is a gift we possess and give to others, I mean it is us receiving a gift when we practice it.