Real Hospitality: If You Came to My House Unannounced...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


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.


Hospitality

My 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.


Do you love hospitality? Is it one of your gifts, or do you prefer to leave that to someone else?


26 comments

  1. So many people dread unannounced visitors, including myself!! Great encouragement to be prepared for the ministry of hospitality. Something I want to take action on because of this post! :)

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  2. Your hospitality shines through this post. I want to jump on a plane right now and come visit your house, it looks like such a fun place to be!

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  3. Kristin, this is so wonderful! I love this post. I'm sure you're an amazing hostess - I bet people love coming over to your house!

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    1. Thanks so much Audrey! I appreciate that! I really enjoy it!

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  4. Love this! I can totally see you being an amazing host! Honestly, one of my biggest pet peeves when going to people's houses is when they don't make you feel welcome. I don't care if your house is a mess, but offer me a cup of water and welcome me to get comfortable!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

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    1. Oh believe me! If you are ever in North Carolina, stop by and I'll set you up with coffee, creamer, a snack, and a Netflix binge ;)
      Because #theimportantthings :p

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  5. I love this post. It screams, "Warm, inviting, let's chat!" I'd like to think that I would be as hospitable but honestly, I would probably be worrying about how my house looks a mess if someone were to stop by unannounced. You've definitely given me something to think about. Great read!

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    1. Oh believe me! I would still be super self-conscious about it. But the important thing is how we choose to handle that self-consciousness. Do we let it win by pushing our guests out the door as quickly as possible, or do we suck it up and give them a warm welcome? :)

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  6. This is beautiful! Hospitality is not my strong suit; it actually makes me really uncomfortable. But that's something that we're working on being more intentional with this year! Bread and Wine is a great book that I'm reading right now, and it shares a lot of the same truths! Maybe God's trying to tell me something. ;)

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    1. Haha, He may be ;) Which is kind of hilarious because one of your posts recently started a string of posts that all had the same point and I was like, "Okay God! Geeez, I get it!" ;)

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  7. My house is much like yours, though I try my best to keep the first room anyone sees as neat as possible. AND all my Christmas stuff is still up because there are a hundred thousand cubic feet of snow between my house and the shed where we have all the bins to store it. And we have lots of surprise visitors because . . . My husband is a pastor. He is the most hospitable man I know.

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  8. Sounds like my house and our friends dogs are welcome to come in as well. I would offer you a drink might only be water but what I have is yours to enjoy. Called hospitality.

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  9. I get stressed when someone shows up in my house unannounced. My mind would panic what to feed the person. You sound so cool. I'd visit you if only you are near and we are friends. hahaha

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  10. Hospitality is not one of my natural gifts, but it is something I am working on! My husband and I offered our place for one of our church's small groups, and even though it can sometimes be a stretch for this introvert - know it's a way God uses us to bless others and I always try to make it warm and inviting!

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  11. Love this! Hospitality is something that really resonates with me. I originally went to school for hospitality management and the themes have always stuck! Our home is decorated with pineapples..the international symbol for hospitality that represents friendship and welcoming!

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  12. aww love this post, unfortunately for me now that I live on my own, my reaction would depend on my mood and what I am wearing ha

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  13. I'm always so afraid that people will notice the mess in my home.. when I have sudden visitors I panic... but the thing is that with a cup of tea and some laughed-out-apologies, no one cares.

    The people who stop by unexpectedly do so because they love you and want to see you, not because they're hoping to catch you off guard.

    I'll stop by unexpectedly one day for a drink and a puppy cuddle :) And I still have a glass of wine chilling at the cottage for the day you finally head north of the border!

    xxox
    Laura @ www.cookwineandthinker.com

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  14. This is such a cute post! I love this. We don't have too many uninivited/unannounced visitors, but I like to think our home is much the same!

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  15. That's so adorable and kind:) I am a person who shies away from unannounced visitors as my house and I are messy all the time :-/

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  16. I love your perspective! Growing up we always had unexpected guests and I honestly dreaded it but it showed me how much my parents were open loving people and how they can immediately make it a great day by making people feel welcomed.

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  17. I love this! I really struggle with unexpected hospitality. When I know someone is coming over, I try to get our apartment cleaned up, candles lit, tasty snacks ready...etc...but when I hear a knock on the door (and I don't know who it is) my heart always starts to race. Our apartment is always messy when someone unexpectedly shows up, I am without a doubt in some comfortable clothing that I don't want to be seen in (probably not wearing a bra, if I'm honest), and sometimes I just want to hide and ignore the knocking on the door. Ha ha! I need to let my perfectionism go a little bit.

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  18. I want to come to your house unannounced and see your Christmas tree! haha but seriously, I loved this post - so often I get fixated with my house having to be perfect, but it's all about the hospitality.

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  19. I love this! I love to host people. I am an extrovert so I like to recharge around people and one of the ways I do that is by hosting. My mom always told me people aren't there to see your house they are there to see you. I used to worry so much about how clean my house was when guests came over but not so much any more. In fact, when I apologize for the state of my house the only response I have ever gotten was, "Don't worry about it! It is actually comforting. This house is experiencing life." (Or something to tha affect) If we lived closer I would totally show up unannounced! ;)

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  20. I love to make people feel at home and entertain!

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  21. Your sense of hospitality is evident in this warm and friendly post! I do not feel I have a real gift of hospitality, but I do welcome visitors!

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  22. I love this so much! We don't have to be so put together all of the time! I think coming to your house unannounced would be a blessing!

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