Lavish Hospitality 30

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Here it is.  The last day of Write31!

Thanks for joining me on this journey and I look forward to writing more about this in the coming months.

But, to end well – what kind of hospitality should I talk about?

As I’m typing this, I’m about to head into a doctor’s appointment to talk more about my newly diagnosed autoimmune disorder and how it is not cool with my body. I’m tired.  Food plays a huge part in the way I feel. I’m getting use to taking medication every day – and for the rest of my life too.

And yall, I don’t like being sick.  I’ve been super healthy until I got married.  I had a hard first pregnancy, an easy second one.  Then I had more stomach issues (which I thought was all over since I had my gallbladder out many years ago).  I had a cyst in my knee which I had to get removed.  Now, autoimmune.

It makes me think about death.  It makes me think about what is important and what isn’t important.  It makes me quote the truths of Scripture that I’ve known so many years and say them over and over to my soul.

God the Father through Christ is the most amazing example of hospitality to us.  He created us, we rebelled against him, and through Jesus, those who believe in him will spend eternity sitting at his table, eating the King’s fare.  Being wrapped in love and in his glory.

My mothering verses come from Psalm 90-91.  Here is just a portion of how hospitalilty Jesus is to us.

I hope you have enjoyed this series.  Thanks for reading!


Lavish Hospitality 29

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I’ve not been married too long.  I mean 6 years and change isn’t long for a lot of people, an dI know I have much to learn.  We have much to learn.  God is so gracious to us to teach us in every season of our marriage.

We’ve been through 7 moves, 3-4 job changes, two children, so many changes.

And I’ve learned, even in the hard times, I have been given a man who pursues Jesus, encourages me to pursue Jesus, and is the one I want to rest in.  Even in times of hurt and pain and sin and miscommunication, I often know that my safest place on this earth is with him.  And that can only come from Christ.

I’ve learned that my mister will let me down, but Christ will not.  My mister is not my Savior.  Jesus is.

And in those times that are hard, I have a responsibility to show him lavish hospitality in two ways.

  1.  To forgive him.  I need to forgive him and not hold those sins against him.  Isn’t that what Christ does for us.  We sin so much.  Just think of how many times you correct your kids over the same things.  That shows us such a glorious picture of God’s great patience and grace with us.  He just keeps loving us well.  The same thing is what I need to do for my mister.  I need to keep loving him well because Jesus has loved me well.  My mentors once told me the secret to loving in a marriage – loving well in a marriage – succeeding in a marriage – love Jesus more than your spouse.  TRUTH.
  2. Don’t make your spouse your everything.  It is suffocating to them.  When you put so much pressure on them to be all for you – you don’t allow them to thrive.  It can get stifling.  Your spouse was never meant to be your everything.  Jesus was.

Quote taken from Dave Harvey’s When Sinners Say I Do

Lavish Hospitality 28

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As I start to wrap up this hospitality series, maybe not in the way you thought hospitality would be talked about:

I want to share a few more ideas on how we can be hospitable to ourselves.

Showing lavish grace to ourselves.

First, what I don’t mean.  I don’t mean we get to be always lazy – never doing the hard things.  I don’t mean we can keep on sinning and doing what we want because we don’t want to do the right thing.  I don’t mean that you can wallow in self-pity.

Here’s what I do mean:

  1.  Pour out truth to yourself.  CJ Mahaney, Jerry Bridges, so many authors talk about the importance of preaching the gospel to yourself.  I’ve had friends do it for me when I’ve desperately needed it.  I receive text messages and emails and voxer messages that are filled with truths that I need to remember – even when my heart is hurting and I’m stressed to the max.
  2. Remember you are not Super Woman.  Halloween brings with it so many opportunities to dress up, be someone different than who you are.  We can put on a cape and be superheroes – but we aren’t it.  We will never save our kids. We will never have it all together.  We will never be all to everyone.  We can’t be.  If we were…we would never realize our need for Jesus.
  3. Allow ourselves to rest.  I’m not talking about being lazy.  I told my mister the other day as we sat down on a cozy afternoon watching an NCIS episode on Netflix, that I would do that all day.  Before I was married, if I had a day empty of responsibilities – I would just sit and binge on a show.  In fact, when I first moved back to Raleigh in the spring before I was married, my roommate and I would often just multitask on the couch.  I watched 6 seasons of NCIS in 4 months.  It was awesome.  We both had writing jobs and could sit on the couch, work, and memorize all the Gibbs rules.  And maybe that’s ok sometimes, or just go sit out on the beach and listen to the waves crash. God made us for rest.  But, we will never find our complete rest in anyone apart from him.

Quote from Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

Lavish Hospitality 27

This turned in to a great family weekend.  I don’t think any of us opened a computer.  We were outside, watching netflix cozied up on the couch, etc.  It was nice.  But, now – to finish off this series on hospitality!

There are some ways to provide hospitality to your kids – that you may not even be aware of.  At least these are some ways that we can provide hospitality to our children – how we can help them feel welcome, safe, and desired.  Tehse have worked for us – even in the many MANY moves that we’ve had to make since they’ve come into our lives!

  1.  Stability.  Ok – so, we’ve had to move several times.  Our older son is 5 and since his birth we’ve moved 6 times.  But, we’ve tried to do things that help with the stability.  We’ve kept the furniture in our home the same.  We’ve tried to keep our schedules (especially their daily schedule) the same.  We’ve found this helps them be mostly calm even in the unknown.
  2. Consistency.  This may sound similar but it is different for us.  Like, we don’t keep the boys out too late because we’ve learned that they do better with life if they are in bed at a consistent time.  We’ve learned that they need to wake up at the same time.  Be around the same people.  New environments make one of our boys not feel safe.
  3. Clean.  Ok – this is probably the hardest, but thankfully I’m married to my husband.  But, in our house, we like things clean because it creates a sense of calm.  When we move, we get unpacked quickly.  We keep most things really clean.  I mean picked up.  We don’t leave clutter every where.  I wish everything was actually clean – but I don’t wipe down baseboards or sweep every day.

Those are just a few ways we help provide hospitality, security and refuge.  These are pretty practical.  What practical ways do you serve your children with to provide hospitality to them?

Quote from Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

Lavish Hospitality 26

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One of the hindrances to genuine lavish hospitality is busyness.  Our schedules play a huge role in deterring community with others.

It might be busyness that affects relationships with our families: we aren’t intimate with our husbands or schedule dates because we are too busy with work, too tired from parenting, or we desire to rather hang out with friends or watch television.  We may not have good relationships with our children because we don’t think they are important enough we are always on our devices or scheduling them things to do so we don’t have to engage with them.

It might be busyness that affects relationships within our community.  I’ve learned this is most true in the past 4 years or so.  We’ve moved four times in four years (but most of those within the same city).  It has been amazingly difficult find community.  We are all busy.  Our families.  Our jobs.  Our schooling choices for our kids.  Our ministry involvement.  Where we choose to live.  How we spend our weekends.

I was talking to the mister the other day and we have always been on the same page about having an open home, people can come by anytime. We love having people over.  We want to get to know people.  Its terribly hard in groups to get to know people and build community.  Have you ever asked someone to hang out and it takes over a month to make the schedules work.  Or you hang out one time and it takes 6 months to do it again?

Our busyness is a community breaker.  And I think one way we can tackle the busyness domination is with the Spirit’s help.  Self-control.  We will continue this discussion later.

Quote taken from Lydia Brownback’s A Woman’s Wisdom

Lavish Hospitality 25

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Would you like to hear a heart desire of mine?  Really?

I’ve wanted a place (a home, which we have) to have a meal with people each week.  Preferably the same people because I love deep community, but a place to sit down over food and good conversation, good drink and lovely people – a place for people to be real, for kids to play in the yard, for time to slowly pass because you are enjoying the company so much.

A place to share happiness and hurts, celebrations and pain.  A place where you can come dressed up or in cut-offs and flipflops.  And for this to be longterm.

I didn’t have this growing up – even though we lived in the same house and went to the same church most of my growing up years.  We sorta had it with the small church I grew up in with 5th Sunday dinners, but that was at a church and only happened a few times a year. Though there was some seriously good food.

But, I want it around our table.  And if I had my way, I would pick about 10 couples to all move to my neighborhood and do this with me every week.

Quote from Sally Clarkson’s The Life Giving Table.  Originally in Orthodoxy


Lavish Hospitality 24

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Think of hospitality for just a moment – what comes to your mind?

Southern Living?

Wrap around porches with rocking chairs?

Coffee mugs?

A bundt cake or chocolate chip cookies?

Sweet Tea?

Pottery Barn guest bedrooms?

A cozy bed and breakfast?

All of these things are great – and can be used in hospitality – but none of them define hospitality.

All month I’ve thought about how to define hospitality and I’m still working on it, but here is a working definition:

Hospitality seeks to welcome others with lavish grace without a hint of self-interest.

Wow – yup, this is super tough.  And none of us will ever be the perfect hospitable hosts.  Never – because we are prideful people.  But, thankfully, One was completely hospitable and makes a way for us to pursue Him.

We can practice hospitality through the lens of the Gospel, praying that God would use us to welcome others, to be a rest for others, to encourage others.

Quote from C. J. Mahaney Humility

Lavish Hospitality 23

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Hospitality isn’t all about how your house looks or how much nice stuff you have lining your walls or what style sofa or table you have.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I love all the stuff.  I really enjoy making my home look good – put together.

I want this table so bad, but it is not in our budget.

This loveseat for our library/den would be amazing – not in our budget right now.

I would love this oversized chair for our master and a new tv for our living room (so we could mount our smaller tv in our master) – but not in our budget.

I would love finish off the kitchen in our new house to my exact liking – but its not in our budget right now.

I’ve been reading Little House on the Prairie books to my older before bed.  We are a little bit into Farmer Boy.  I’m coming to realize how different Laura and Almonzo were raised.  They weren’t in the same economic sphere.

But, that didn’t seem to matter.  And now it shouldn’t matter either.

Hospitality can be a can of beans and rice.  It can be homemade bread or chips and guacamole.  It can be a glass of water or a cup of coffee.

Hospitality is meant to be welcoming and gracious – not necessarily expensive.

Quote taken from Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House in the Ozarks

Lavish Hospitality 22

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I am a better multitasker than my husband.  He will definitely admit this.  Usually I think this is a positive trait – and it certainly comes in handy since we have littles.  But, I don’t know if it is always the best way to be hospitable.

When we have guests in our home I am often running around finishing a meal, setting the table, making sure my children are behaving, etc.

Here’s what I long to be: I long to be so well organized and hospitable that I can stop doing whatever it is I’m doing and pay attention.  Like deep attention. Not creepy stalker attention, but God-like attention.

I want to pay attention to my husband.

I want to pay attention to my children.

I want to pay attention to my friends.

In our technology-infused world this is hard.  I can be listening to my husband, reading a text, and cooking dinner all at the same time. And truthfully, I head what he is saying and can repeat it back to him.  But, that isn’t hospitable attention.

How can we savor our relationships so that we delight in giving them our full attention?

Quote from Mike Cosper’s Recapturing the Wonder 

Lavish Hospitality 21

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Friendship is such an avenue for hospitality.

And you know it well:

Think of the friend that you can just pop in and see and it doesn’t matter what their house looks like or what they are wearing.  I read in a study recently that teenagers have more of a self-image problem because of selfies – you could just hang out and not care what you look like, but now everyone is doing instastories and selfies all the time – you have to always care what you look like.

Think of the friend that you text or call first when something hurts you.  Or when there is something to rejoice over!

Think of the friends that you text or call when there is a crisis and you need prayer.  I know I have a short text list of ladies I know who will pray for me as soon as I text them.

Think of the friend that you want to share your struggles with – whether they are struggles in your marriage, in parenting, or in your business.

Friendships like these don’t come along all the time.  And they also don’t come by way of social media.

These types of friendships take countless hours interacting, journeying life together, sitting in coffee shops, skyping or talking on the phone, or pulling up a barstool to the kitchen counter.

Quote from Maggie Brendan’s new book Trusting Grace