Simplicity in Hospitality

I’ve been working on about 1,000 projects all at once. Mostly because a lot of them require dry time. So while I wait on one, I start another.

The front door was looking super rough thanks to my ridiculous dogs scratching the Dickens out of the brick mould and the door. Nothing a new brick mould kit and a little bit of plastic wood couldn’t fix… Except that the top, threshold piece of the brick mould was about an inch too long for the door frame. So, in stark rebellion to the directions which explicitly stated not to cut on the mitered edges, I cut the mitered edge…and it was ever so slightly crooked… Like most things in this house.

I can live with it though until we re-frame and replace the whole door.

I still have some sanding and painting to do, but it looks SO much better.

I’ve mentioned before that I had this internal conflict between feeling content with what I’ve been given and the desire to improve, update, and beautify my home.

I think that’s natural. As creatures made in God’s image, it’s natural for us to reflect the character of the Creator; desiring to renew, refresh, regenerate. We long to see beauty, and our homes often times reflect our personalities and creativity.

That’s what I wanted; I wanted my home to be a reflection of the beauty I see in my God. I want it to be warm, inviting, comfortable, and safe. I want people to feel welcome!

My mom and stepdad were evacuated from their home in coastal Georgia because of hurricane Dorian. My mom said something last night that I chewed on for a while after the fact. I had referred to her and my stepdad as our guests, and that I wanted to help them feel as comfortable as possible. And my Mama said, “Since when are we guests? I don’t feel like a guest.”

And at first I thought, oh crud… That’s a hefty commentary on my lousy hospitality… But I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it some more (because that’s what introverts do) and I placed it in the context of her visit. She was with us due to unforeseen circumstances, and had brought most all they could travel with in the state of emergency that was the mandatory evacuation. And she came into my “under construction” home, in the middle of 1,000 diy projects, and she washed my dishes, did my laundry, cleaned my bathroom, read to and bathed my children, and sat up late talking with me. I wanted her (and all of my guests) to feel like a beloved matriarch, not an evacuee in a work camp… Then I got it.

She didn’t feel like a guest; guests are served, and offered hospitality, yes. What if she felt like family? What if she felt at home? There was a degree of comfort and intimacy she must’ve felt in staying with us, sharing our sloppy home. And that is my goal in hospitality.

Thanks, Mama. Thanks for showing me that hospitality doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. It just has to be opening up your home and sharing your life with other people, relatives or otherwise.

(And I hope you felt like you were at your home away from home, messy though it was.)

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