Now that we’ve moved toward better managing our personal lives and our homes, we are prepared for the last and final step. Truly the reason for this entire series! It’s time to begin practicing hospitality and opening our homes to those around us.
WHY YOU NEED TO PRACTICE HOSPITALITY
As women, we are wired for relationships. We feel most satisfied when we are connected to others in a deep, meaningful way. Studies reveal that one of the main causes for depression and purposelessness among women stems from a lack of connection and real relationships.
Having acquaintances isn’t the same as having deep friendships. It can be difficult for homemakers to form even acquaintances! Add children or even 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 the 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 DO I PRACTICE HOSPITALITY?
Hospitality has many faces and seasons. The hospitality/giving of a young mother will differ from that of an older woman and the motherless child from either of the above.
How you practice and how often totally depends on who you are, your home situation, children, space, likes/dislikes, health and many other things. The important thing is to find your starting point and to start small!
FIND A STARTING POINT
Do you enjoy cooking and entertaining? Love connecting with other moms but don’t like being in the kitchen? Perhaps you don’t do well with late nights? Because of health issues are short visits best? Maybe you are quiet and feel more comfortable having visitors when your hands have something to do?
UNIQUE HOSPITALITY IDEAS
Our culture revolves around food. Have you noticed? Here’s a few ideas that involve food:
- Set a company meal schedule: twice a month we try to have visitors for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
- Ask friends about starting a weekly potluck, hosted in different homes every week.
- Host a dessert night in your home and ask attendees to contribute.
- Hold a monthly tea party for ladies in your area. Be sure to recruit some help!
Hospitality ideas that don’t involve lots of prep include:
- Having a friend over for morning or afternoon tea
- Host an after-dinner board game night
- Invite friends over for after-dinner ‘coffee and dessert’
If you are quiet, here’s a few ideas that get people into your home but relieve the pressure:
- Have several people over at once
- Initiate a baking party…because everyone likes cookies!
- Hold an after-dinner board game night (yes, we already put that one down!)
- Start a ‘skills’ group and invite talented neighbors in to teach the various skills
- Invite friends over for a campfire
- Have a ‘jam night’ at your home and invite local musicians
Children throw a kink into everything, don’t they? Here’s a few ideas for those with children:
- Set up play dates with other family friends who also have children
- With the help of other women, host a monthly tea party for young girls in your community
- Organize a hot dog roast in your back yard for children’s friends
- Become a mentor for a teenager
Try to set a goal for yourself each month. Schedule in when and how you will begin sharing your home with others!
GET CREATIVE AND MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
The key is to evaluate yourself, your situation and family, then choose a pattern that is sustainable. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Make the practice of hospitality work for you. Start small. And remember: if you want friends, you must yourself be friendly.
This series has set us up for success when it comes to personal life and household management habits. Now, it is time to open your home (and life) to others. How will you begin the practice of hospitality today?