I have learned a lot about hospitality over the last few years.
Since getting married and hosting a myriad of holiday dinners,
birthday parties, family BBQ’s and more!
I have learned exactly how much food to plan for 6 people or 50.
I have learned where to find the best prices on meat, flowers and invitations.
I have learned how to time it all just right so the food stays warm and the drinks cold.
As a new wife and mother, I admit, these were the things
I thought were so important to having the perfect soirée. How foolish!
It was imperative that the napkins matched the plates and the flowers just the right hue.
Then it all changed.
Then I one day realized, it didn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter.
Yes all the trappings of a lovely party sure are wonderful for the eye.
There is a little shop in town that sells the latest Caspari’ products and I would be lying if I didn’t say I swoon over them every time I am in there or that I don’t buy them either!
I do, I love them.
Spoiling my friends and family in our home, well, that is my husband and I’s love language.
We love, love, love, to have our home full of people we adore.
But what I came to realize is that there were times I would not host because the house wasn’t clean enough, or I didn’t have the time to make it all “just so”.
I came to realize the insanity of that mentality.
The people we were hosting loved us and enjoyed us just as much as we did them.
They weren’t coming to sample my latest pinterest appetizer
or feast their eyes on the décor of the theme.
It was the connection we all wanted.
How often as women do we hesitate to extend our love, our hearts and our homes through hospitality because we feel we just aren’t going to measure up?
How many blessings have we denied ourselves because of that way of thinking?
How many blessings have we withheld from others?
For me, the number is higher than I would like to admit.
The measuring stick we all use is different.
For some of us the measuring stick is the latest edition of Coastal Living or Southern Living. Our family rooms and kitchens have avocado green laminate counter tops and dark brown cabinets and 70’s lighting instead of the crisp clean white cabinetry and granite counter tops gracing the glossy pages of the magazine. So we don’t extend the invitation.
How do I know? Ahem…
Or maybe your measuring stick is your best friends remodel
or the figment of perfection you have created in your mind.
The message is the same sweet friends.
You are being lied to.
You don’t measure up.
You aren’t enough.
What will “they” think?
When this happens I want to encourage you.
Stop, right where you are in that thought and
think about the last time you had a wonderful time at a friends home.
What do you remember the most?
Do you remember what you ate?
Do you remember if her dog’s hair was balled up in the corner
or if her sink had the mornings toothpaste still in the sink?
No. Likely not.
What you do remember is “who” was there.
What you remember is “how” you felt.
The special people around the table, the laughter, and the hug good bye
and the “y’all come back now” as you went to leave.
That is what they will remember too.
They will forget if they ate on paper or china.
They will forget if they had pizza or filet and lobster.
But they will never forget their time with you and the way you made them feel.
As time has passed I’ve eased up on myself and my expectations.
I’ve forgone the real plates more often and picked up the Dixie plates.
I’ve been more comfortable accepting my guests offer to bring a dessert.
You know what happened?
I spent more time on the important things.
I spent more time reminiscing with a girlfriend over a glass of wine.
I spent more time watching the kids jump in the bounce house their stomachs aching from the laughter or play a game of tag with their friends well into the dusk night hours.
I spent more time loving on and leaning into the folks who walked through my door.
At the end of the night I was tired and my feet ached but my heart was so full.
One of God’s greatest blessings can come through hospitality.
Showing our love, His love, through such a practical demonstration of service.
Those friends who don’t know Him but love you….
Maybe they will get a glimpse of his unconditional love and grace through you.
Maybe it will open a door to a life time of freedom in Him
they would have not otherwise known.
The funny thing is, the hospitality that we extend to love on and bless others is so much more than a meal to feed their bellies, it refreshes their spirit… and ours too.
Fellowship with others through service is such a precious gift.
Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking you aren’t enough.
He is always trying to find a way to stop us from showing God’s love to the world.
Hospitality can be such a practical and hands on way to show those around us God’s love.
Don’t believe that voice that says “you aren’t enough”
You are enough.
All you need to do is open your heart and home to those around you.
They will remember your generosity and kindness for years to come.
You are enough. Your home is enough.When He is a part of you and your home, it is always enough