A Conversation About Hospitality
Welcome to this lovely Saturday Morning! Every Saturday morning, we are continuing a conversation about hospitality and homemaking. I believe that hospitality is more than beautiful home decor, fancy table settings, and delicious foods. I believe that homemaking is more than cleaning schedules and making various foods from scratch. My hope and prayer are that, together, we discover that hospitality and homemaking are true ministries and practical ways to love our neighbors.
On this lovely morning, I am so thrilled to welcome today's guest writer in our hospitality and homemaking series. Meet Courtney from A House Built On the Rock!
1. What does hospitality mean to you?
Hospitality isn’t something that I have thought about for very long. But it has been growing in my heart because of a very special woman who went to be with Jesus unexpectedly this year. She was a friend to so many people. She was the definition of hospitality. Her home may have been clean, beautiful, and always open, but when our community was mourning her loss, no one talked about her home. Every single person, however, spoke of the beauty and openness of her heart. I realized that she is exactly the kind of person I want to be. She stopped what she was doing and made time to talk to you. Your burdens mattered to her. She would listen and pray for you and encourage you. She was the kind of person who, whenever you saw her, you knew you were important to her. This, to me, is the meaning of hospitality.
2. What is one practical way of loving our neighbor that you wish we would all adopt/do?
The one thing I wish we would all adopt is an unconditional compassion for one another. I wish we would stop drawing lines between the problems we think are important, or not. When a brother/ sister/ friend/ neighbor is suffering, I wish we would stop deciding in our hearts and minds whether their struggle is real or made up, their fault or not, big enough for us to stop and care, or even too big for us to help. I wish that any person, whether it’s a mom who didn’t sleep the night before, a friend suffering from mental illness, or a neighbor going through a divorce, would have the confidence and assurance that there is someone who will listen to them, help in any way they can, pray for them, and encourage them in their moment of need.
3. What is your favorite way to show the love of Christ (through hospitality) to the people who live in your own home?
My favorite way to show the love of Christ to the people who live in my own home is to make time for each of them. I live with my husband, and my three kids (ages 7, 4, 2). Right now, my physical presence is something that is important to each one of them. So, it’s something that I’m trying to be intentional about. I’m trying to give each one of them times where I’m only focused on them. When the kids need mommy time, I set them on my lap, snuggle and listen while they talk. Instead of rushing through bedtime since I’m tired, I make sure to sit with them and snuggle, hug and kiss each of them once, (or twice, or three times, since once is never enough!). And for my husband, back rubs mean a lot to him, so I’ve been making an effort to rub his back when he’s hurting, even if I’m tired, instead of using tired as an excuse. Instead of being in a rush, I’m trying to slow down and just enjoy the moments I have with my family.
4. What is one area of hospitality that you think you’re really good at?
I think one area I’m good at is keeping my home neat. It may not be the most important area of hospitality, but I feel like my home is more peaceful when things are tidy (instead of cluttered). I want there to be a place for people to sit when they come over, or the kitchen to be clean so it’s easier to fix something to eat or drink, or the bathroom to be clean so people feel more comfortable using it. I used to be really messy, like hoarder messy. So this is one area where I’ve grown a lot.
Related Post: Making My House a Home
5. Tell us about your blog (what do you blog about? Why do you write?)
The heart behind my blog is to encourage (and hopefully help) families build their homes on a strong foundation in Christ, and in His Word. I want families to be strong enough to stay together, and build one another up through the good and the bad. People face struggles all the time that test their faith and often cause them (or their children) to walk away from their faith completely. Or their struggles drive their relationships apart. And I believe that families are so, so important to God because of the influence we have on one another when we spend so much of our lives together. So I believe that as Christians, we should not only be focusing on loving one another as individuals, but as families. I believe we should help other families in their times of need, and when there is someone without a family, we should invite them to be part of ours.
Another focus of my blog is homeschooling. This is important to me because we are always learning, not only in the classroom. So we try to make the most of every learning opportunity we have, and I want to share what we do in hopes of encouraging other parents who may want to homeschool, but don’t know if they are cut out for it.
6. What is one thing you wish the whole world knew about your blog, hospitality, homemaking?
Well, the one thing I want you to know about my blog is that it has been a huge part of conquering my social anxiety. I grew up with anxiety that made it very hard for me to have relationships with people. I used to be afraid to speak, that I would have nothing worthwhile to say or that people would think I was stupid or weird. And fear used to run my life. I didn’t do anything new because I believed I would screw everything up. I realized that my social anxiety and my self-doubt were Satan’s way of keeping my from building relationships, encouraging people, and inviting them into my home and my heart, things that are really important to God. But I know He has called me to do these things, so I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and just facing my fears. What I want you to know is that if you have a hard time building relationships, or being hospitable, if there is something you want to do or feel called to do, just trust in the Lord. And if you don’t think you have what it takes, or you are afraid, just trust yourself, and take that first step, whatever that is. Your rewards will be so much bigger than your fears ever were.
I’m Courtney. I’m a full-time wife, mom and homemaker. In my family we love Jesus, homeschool and travel a lot. My mission is to encourage other young wives and mothers to build a family on the foundation of the Word of God, so that they will stand firm in their Christian faith, despite living in a divided and broken world.
To read more by Courtney, click on these links: