Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hospitality - A Lifestyle

As with any habit in life we must practice hospitality.  Practice makes perfect and you will be shocked at how little practice you need to become proficient!  People don't remember what you have or what you fed them as much as how you made them feel. 

Make your life about other people. Always. 

Smile at strangers. Be polite.  Ask questions that show interest.  For the most part, people love to be noticed and they respond if they feel like you have something in common. 

Personal example:  "Your baby is beautiful! How old is she? I have two that are about that age.  It's a fun age isn't it?" 

If the conversation flows well and you feel comfortable you might even get a chance to invite people to church.

Look for clues that tell you something about that person. For instance, it's not hard to see that some are or have been in the military.

Personal example:  "How long did you serve in the military? I grew up in the military. My dad is retired military.  Yes, I'm a have no idea! :)  By the way, our church has a Hero Sunday every year! You should definitely join us.  In fact, we'd love to have you this Sunday!"

Hospitality is a life style.

It's NOT about me. It's about loving people where they are and helping them to the next step in their lives. It's about noticing others and their needs and meeting those needs.  If God is the center of my life (as He should be) and people are at the center of His heart, then my life will naturally center around others.

My husband and I deliberately bought a house that could be used for the ministry. We wanted to use it to reach people. While the front of the house was amazing and great for company, the back was small and there was just not enough storage.

The same month we moved into the house I discovered I was pregnant.  I was shocked because we had just purchased a house that was already a bit small when it came to bedrooms and closet space. We decided to go on faith that the baby would be a boy. In which case, he would fit snugly in his brother's room. Not ideal, but in our finite minds it was the only thing that would work.

We very quickly discovered that we were not having A baby, we were having TWO babies! Boys or girls, it didn't matter at this point! There was simply not enough room!  We started second guessing ourselves. The only thing we could think to do was sell the house and get one with more bedrooms.

About a month later, my husband came home and told me that "the men" had decided to add on to our house for us and that it would be our Christmas gift from the church. We would not need to pay for any of it!! WOW!!

There's no way you can convince me that God won't bless you for giving what you have to Him. We now have two very large, brand new bedrooms added on to the back of our house with a HUGE closet in between them that can be turned into a bathroom one day when/if we decide to sell! God provided and He will continue to do so as long as we are willing to give it all to His service.

Having a house is a lot of work. Cleaning and upkeep...the list is endless, but the fact that it's God's house makes the burden lighter.  Whenever I see something that needs repaired or updated (like the super ugly light fixture hanging above the counter in the picture below:), I simply point it out to God and remind Him that this is His house and wait for Him to provide. It is amazing how He provides!

My point is that it doesn't matter what you have, or how nice it is. What matters is what you do with it and to whom it belongs.  Are you using what you have to serve the Lord?  I promise you, if you decide to be thankful for what you have and use it for HIM, He will bless you and provide beyond what you can imagine.  I don't have the nicest serving trays or dishes, in fact, none of them match, but they do hold food, so no one seems to care or even notice.  I use what I have and we make it work. Over time and in crazy ways, God has provided all kind of things we have needed. (Seriously, you would be amazed at the ways He has provided some of my things!) There are still a few things I would like to have, but until He provides them, we are going to do with out.  Life will go on and prayerfully, people will continue to visit in our home and leave feeling loved and blessed.

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