November 14 – Hospitality “home” edition, host

I think often about hospitality at the church, but this last week got me thinking about hospitality in the everyday welcome folks to your home kind of way.

Growing up my mom’s mother always had extra kids around the house, some just for meals and others to live for a time, so my mom created an atmosphere in our home inspired by that principle of a welcoming attitude to all. Many times when my friends from college would depart after a visit my mother would insist that they promise to come back and visit my folks whether or not I would be there! Because they live so close to D.C. my parents have actually had some of my friends stay with them during a visit to the city.

I’ve always wanted to have the same type of open home as well. That’s why occasionally I get requests from folks passing through Warrenton who need a place to stay for the night and I welcome some of them into my home. Most recently Warrenton UMC hosted an international children’s choir for two nights. I had the great joy to have two of the kids, Dexter and Ronald, and one of the chaperones stay in my home.

Hosting people in your home can be work – the preparation (cleaning and making space for guests), making time to be available while they’re there, and then cleaning up after they’re gone. It was especially challenging for me to have kids in my home for two nights, because I’m certainly not used to that! All of that work it totally worth it though, because guests can fill your home with joy, stories, and friendship. It helps me love people better when I need to stop and think, “What will this person need while they’re here?” Having a variety of people stay in my home helps to stretch the boundaries of my heart and practice what I preach. It is amazing how much we benefit when we serve others!

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