Let Brotherly love continue. Don't neglect to show hospitality, for doing this some have welcomed angels as guest without knowing it. Hebrews 13:1-2
What if the last person I had a chance to be hospitable towards was actually an angel? That scripture is thought provoking and makes me understand that God wants me to treat and serve people as if I were serving Him. Hospitality is an area of my life that I know I could work on. Don't get me wrong- I enjoy serving and helping others but hospitality in the sense of inviting people over, entertaining, and cooking meals for others does't come as naturally as I would like.
Last week was the last session of my Apple of Gold program (7 week program where older married women mentor younger married women), and it was another emotional one for me. This last week focused on Hospitality which is not one of my spiritual gifts. Our mentors live and breathe hospitality and they are amazing at making you feel loved and welcomed from the second you walk in the door. You feel special and like they took time to prepare for your arrival. They did a demonstration on flower arrangements and centerpieces for your table during mealtimes and decor for the home in preparation for guests. They showed and showered us with small gifts/trinkets and taught us ways to make your guests feel welcomed when they stay overnight and how to prepare the home for them. I have to say I was so overwhelmed because although I should have known all this stuff, I embarrassingly did not. Making my own flower arrangements is not something I ever do. Some of the younger women in the program grew up learning all of this so it wasn't that new to them, but for some reason all I could think about was how much I had failed in this area over the years. How many times I forgot to even ask if someone wanted a drink. :-(
When I became a wife and then a mother my ultimate goal was to have a warm and loving home for my family. I wanted my kids and husband to feel like home is their safe place, where they will always be loved and accepted no matter what the world throws at them. I think in this area I am doing well but now I really need to spread that warmth and love to others around me as well.
I think the reason my hospitality hasn't spread to others as much as I would like is because at some point I got more caught up in what I had and did not have. I've made excuses like... well when I get a bigger house, bigger kitchen, bigger table (w/out drawings on it haha), a better/ nicer guest room, a huge backyard, etc...then I'll invite people over more. When I figure out how to decorate better (OMG-I really have no clue what Im doing and Im definitely NO Martha Stewart) and have more money to fix the place up like I want THEN I'll be more hospitable. I'll just be real but sometimes Im just too tired and don't want to be bothered entertaining others. The kitchen might be a mess, toys all over the living room and Im the type that wants to clean everything before guests come by adding to my stress level haha. Trust that I completely understand that all of these reasons are selfish excuses. This means Im thinking more about myself than I am thinking about serving others but this is the truth of what has caused me to not grow in this area.
I know that I don't have this area of my life perfected but I am striving to get better. Im a working progress in MANY areas of my life :-0. Im learning it is not about what you have or don't have that should keep you from loving on others and inviting people over to fellowship. I have to continue to pray that God helps me in this area because I know this is big to HIM. Jesus spent His time on earth dining with others, feeding others, staying at people's homes, serving, healing, and teaching others. People showed him great Hospitality and I am certain that is expected of me as well.
A page from my Apples of Gold book. What words would describe your home? I circled the ones that best describe my home. Think about the ones you would have wanted to circle or ones you circled that you wished didn't apply to your home and what you can do to fix that moving forward ;-)