Now that we’ve moved toward better managing our personal lives and our homes, we are prepared for the last and final step, the reason for this entire series! It’s time to begin practicing hospitality. To begin opening our homes to those around us.
IMPORTANCE OF HOSPITALITY
As women, we are wired for relationships and feel most satisfied when we are connected to others in a deep, meaningful way. One of the main causes for depression and purposelessness among women stems from a lack of connection and real relationships. Another name for it is loneliness!
Let’s entertain this idea!
It can be difficult for homemakers to get out, particularly when children come into the picture. Throw homeschooling into the mix and suddenly, you are tied to your house until lunch (at least!). And then there’s afternoon naps to contend with.
We talked about the importance of finding a mentor, someone who can help you process life’s struggles. But this only fulfills a portion of your relational needs.
You were designed to give, to contribute to the lives of those around you. Your family, yes. But you were also made to give and engage in real relationship with other people around you.
I’d even argue that your life will feel empty until you do so.
And the home? It can be a powerful catalyst for such actions! Which is why we’ve spent the entire series leading up to the main and final point.
HOW TO PRACTICE HOSPITALITY
Hospitality has many faces and seasons. The hospitality of a young mother will differ from that of an older woman, the motherless child from either of the above.
How you practice and how often you practice hospitality totally depends on who you are, your home situation, children, space, likes/dislikes, health and many, many other things. The important thing is to find your starting point and to start small!
Our starting point was this: we decided to have “dinner guests” 2x a month. Important note: neither my man or I are night owls. Because we don’t do well with late nights, we try to have people over for a Saturday morning breakfast or an after-church lunch with the occasional supper here and there.
My husband and I have also branched out into our own personal ‘hospitality’ areas. He loves board games (and I do not), so he sometimes invites fellows over for a game night. I love having people in the house and because the guests are his, I feel no pressure to entertain. Relaxing! That’s what it is!
My thing? Having ladies over for tea for 1-2 hrs between their children’s nap times. My man is usually at work during the day and I have the house to myself. I try to ensure it happens bi-weekly.
The important thing is to discover something that works for you and your household!
UNIQUE HOSPITALITY IDEAS
Here are a few ideas you could consider:
- Offer to host a ‘fun activity’ at your house for a friend and her children.
- Invite another family in for ‘play dates’ with your own kids.
- Have a close friend over for a 1-2 hr tea at a time that works for both.
- Go walking with another woman (pack kids into strollers if necessary) and then head home for tea/snack.
- Invite someone over for a simple meal 1? 2? 3?x a month.
- Offer to teach an interested girl/woman a skill you have (cooking, baking, canning, sewing, knitting, etc).
- Start an after-school Bible study with the young girls in your local church.
- Become a mentor for a teenager.
- Start a monthly/bi-weekly/weekly get together for ladies and ask them to help host as well.
- Ask someone to become an accountability partner and meet bi-weekly in the home.
- Plan a monthly ‘night in’ for ladies in your area, leaving kids with the men. Get creative!
There are so many more ideas out there!
GET CREATIVE AND MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
Last year, a friend and I (hello Kristy!) shared a garden all summer long. Together we hauled mulch, planted seeds, pulled weeds, swatted mosquitoes, cut our fingers on wire, harvested food and watched her little guy play in the dirt, pick green tomatoes and chew on basil leaves! It was wonderful!
After the harvest ripened, we moved indoors and did a ton of home canning together.
The important thing is to get creative, to make hospitality work for you. Start small. And remember: if you want friends, you must yourself be friendly.
This series has helped set us up for success when it comes to personal life and household management habits. Now, it is time to open your home to others. How will you begin the practice of hospitality today?