If you came into my house unannounced, you would find many different things.
You would find unfinished laundry, dishes in the sink, and dog hair. With three big dogs, it really doesn't matter how often you vacuum- there will always be dog hair.
You would find that my Christmas tree is still standing with all of it's decorations still in tact. I would laugh and tell you self-consciously that I've never left it up this long before.
You would find theology books scattered in each room. That's part of being a seminary wife I suppose.
If you came into my house unannounced, you would be welcomed in, despite the mess.
I would ask you if you wanted some coffee or anything to drink. Then I would probably try to feed you... What can I say? I'm from the South 😉
I would ask you what you would like to do: talk, listen to music, watch TV... I would want you to pick because I hate making decisions for others. The guest should pick.
I would probably feel uncomfortable because, chances are, when you showed up I was in sweat pants. This girl likes to be comfy when she is home!
If you came to my house unannounced, you would find a home filled with affection.
You would find a marriage filled with love and friendship, despite its many imperfections.
You would find love for God and for sharing Him with others.
You would find pictures of family in nearly every room. And I would tell you how blessed we are to have the family that we do. They are wonderful.
You would find unruly, barking dogs that are actually super sweet and lovable if you can get past their first 15 minute burst of crazy.
I would ask you if you were okay with them being in the room with us, secretly willing you with my mind to be okay with it. Because dogs are the best, of course! But I would forgive you if you were opposed... one day 😋
If you came to my house unannounced, I would invite you in- probably with a hug.
HospitalityMy house is old and creaky. We rent it and can only do so much with it. And like I said before, we are not always the world's best house-keepers. There's always something else that needs to be done, ya know?
But I love being able to welcome people into our home. We aren't able to do that nearly as often as I wish we were, but when we are able, I like to take advantage of it.
Hospitality is one of my favorite ways to encourage others. There's something special about being welcomed into a friend's home, and feeling like you are welcome to stay forever.
I want to be that welcoming friend. I want Taylor and I to be the couple that is always available when someone needs a shelter to rest in, or needs a shoulder to cry on for a couple of hours.
And the thing about the ministry of hospitality, is that things don't need to be perfect. As much as I wish that our house looked liked Joanna Gaines' farm house, that just isn't reality. And as much as I wish that it wasn't so hard to keep the house spotless with three dogs, I can just kiss that wish goodbye. And yet, none of that matters when it comes to real hospitality.
Hospitality is about the love that is given to those that we host.
Hospitality is about sharing our lives with others and letting them share their's. Should my house be a pigsty when hosting people (or ever)? No, of course not! But the point is that the state of your home is not the point. What's important is the love you give and the welcoming atmosphere you provide.
That is real hospitality, and my hope is that if you came to my house unannounced, you would get a sense of that immediately.