When you think of hospitality do you think of women in your church who wear matching shirts or aprons and say hi to people as they enter a women's ministry event?
Perhaps you think of a hospitality table or tent at an event - that place that provides information and assistance on where to go, the things offered, etc.
Or maybe it is simply a word you don't think of. There's a
trend pattern I've been noticing in people - especially us married women. (And before I go here, I realize not everyone is this way. I realize some people excel at the things I'm about to talk on.) We seem to forget how much we need friends. We know our kids need friends so we have play dates, and as a result our friends are the parents of our child's friends. Or we acknowledge our need for friends, but do nothing to engage in purposeful time with them. We say hi to them as we pass in the hallways at church, uttering that all too familiar phrase "lets get together soon!". It comes from a sincere place, but frankly it probably won't happen. Because there's soccer (or volleyball, track, football, cheer, dance, puppetry, invisible swimming or any other possible extracurricular we can have our kids in), homework, work, projects on the house, cleaning the house, etc. Or maybe for us younger moms our lives are dominated by feeding schedules, nap times, bed times, squeezing in a bath and teeth brushing (seriously, no one gets both of those done on the same day right?!?! or am I alone?) and then finally settling in with the hubs to share a few moments of silence before we crash into the pillow and start the day again - when do we have time for girls nights or even lunch?
We're busy. I get it. I am too! However, it's time to do something about it.
- Thomas Disch
Maybe that's the key. To see relationships where none exist. For instance, in a week a friend of mine is coming over on a Saturday and is helping me declutter our guest room/office before my inlaws come in town. It's going to be messy and a true insight into the "clean" house she's seen several times before. But she will be a third party ruthless purger and I need that. So I'm letting down my pride and letting my friend in. It'll be quality time spent with, I'm sure, lots of laughter. Cleaning my clutter and working on a friendship - a relationship where none should exist. But it works!
Another friend and I have run errands around town before, kids in tow - mundane,
Or perhaps we need to get serious about our homes. We have these homes that we stress over keeping clean, that we decorate just so, that we spend time in - why not show it off? Even if the floor is dirty or the dishes aren't clean. Maybe we just need to invite people over - whether we have tons in common or not. What's the harm in having them once?
This is something Andy and I take pretty serious. That sounds silly - having people over and throwing parties really is serious business for us though. That's ultimately why we have a guest book at our entry way. It's two-fold: 1) it's fun! but 2) it keeps us accountable - if it's been a while since we've had people, or if its the same people that book serves a reminder to
Rereading this I wonder if this blog is all over the place...or if it sounds like I'm bragging. I'm not trying to. I fail miserably at friendships and creativity within those. I've let good friends fall by the wayside from time to time. But I am passionate about it!
We must get creative. Read the Bible - look at the lives of the disciples and the early church. The coolest thing that sticks out to me? They lived LIFE together. Not just fun exciting things. They faced hardships together. They went to wedding and parties together. They fished (grocery shopped?) together. They read God's word together. They didn't just get together for an organized Bible Study or fun event. They didn't wave at each other or only talk about their kids. They lived life together.
That's what hospitality looks like I think. That's what discipleship, evangelism, ministry, and at the base of it all Christ looks like. The ability to see relationships where none exist. There is no time like the present. We can do it. We as moms of munchkins or empty nesters. We as women, working or stay at home. Carve out time...whether it's 10 minutes dropping off cookies unexpectedly, an hour of pb & j lunches in your messy house, or 5 hour game nights. Let's get intentional. Let's get creative. Let's revolutionize friendships in our busy lives!