Why do I often close my doors, staying hidden behind the excuses:
The children are loud, the house is a mess, the food is basic, and growing up my family never had anyone over?
Am I content to hide this light? To keep the illuminator that leads my way all to myself?
Why do you scare me so?
This fighting for perfection means missing out on friendships. Am I content in missing out? Am I content with being a hospitality hater? In the past my answer would have been yes but now?
Not a chance!
So how did I go from being a hospitality hater to having an open house? Keep in mind; I’m still a work in progress.
Here are some of the ways that helped me be ok with the hubby saying, “Lets have my family over on Saturday (all 8 of them)”
~ I would suggest you start by reading Matthew 5:13-16 in the Message. After feeling convicted, call and invite a few people over for an appetizer party. Yes, an appetizer party. It’s easy, quick and who doesn’t love appetizers? You can even have everyone bring his or her favorite dish.
~ Don’t do all the work. If they ask to bring something then give them something to bring! This one was often hard for me. I often answered the question by saying, just bring yourself but then ran around attempting to do it all by myself. Its so much easier if you allow others to assist, and they enjoy doing so.
~ Don’t worry so much about the mess. Leave the bed unmade. It’s ok, really. I used to be such a bed Nazi. My mother would tell my sister and I that if we didn’t make our beds then some day God may choose to give us a job doing so. Three years later my parents ran a bed and breakfast and guess what our job was? Bed Making. I recently decided that with all the other battles I have with the kiddos, this one isn’t as important to me as it used to be.
~ Go ahead and find some yummy appetizer recipes, cook them and then right before everyone arrives pop them in the oven for a bit to warm up. This allows you a little amount of relaxing before the doorbell rings.
~ Have Pandora streaming in the background. Nice piano music is said to bring calming to the soul, both yours while prepping and theirs for enjoying.
~Run upstairs a few moments before everyone arrives to breathe, pray and remember why you are doing this. God is not a secret to be kept.
Opening up our door, has changed our lives.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
I did not know what loving one another meant until I began inviting others inside my home and my heart. Hearing the stories around a campfire, wounds of failed marriages, miscarries; it was here that Father showed me what hospitality was all about.
It was here that I got to be His hands, His feet, and His voice.
It was there, watching the flame flicker, listening to stories that I fell in love with hospitality.
By Heather Mattern, Storybook Adventures