Because we need authentic hospitality (take one look at the news…our world is every shade of crazy and I’m convinced opening our hearts and homes is a beautiful first step towards restoration). Our world needs you, and all you have to offer.
Know what that means? Whatever gifts you have — they’ve been given for the use of one another. We can’t hide them away and assume they’re meant only for ourselves. We must use them to the best of our abilities. We’re given gifts to infuse facets of God’s character into the hearts and minds of those around us.
Our gifts enhance hospitality.
You make hospitality more meaningful when you play to your strengths and use your gifts. This will keep you from exhausting yourself on the unimportant as you invite people to gather.
But how do you do this? Here are some practical examples:
If you’re an incredible cook (but terrible gardener) and your kitchen is a place of coziness for all who gather there, spend your time making your famous homemade bacon carbonara. Let the weeds, bushes, and runaway flowers take over the yard.
If you’re an incredible gardener (but terrible cook) and your yard is a place of supreme peace for those who gather there, spend your time enhancing that atmosphere and artfully trimming the bushes. Pick up some cookies from a bakery and a jug of tea from the grocery store.
If you’ve had a long week at work and the thought of cleaning your house a little bit for that big party brings more stress than peace, ask your friends to bring lawn chairs, and invite your hubby to torch up a bonfire in the back yard. (Ah, the gift of delegation.)
If you’re awesome at igniting laughter and drawing people into conversation (but don’t have time to prep a meal before everyone comes over because your daughter’s soccer practice let out late), set out some board games and order a pizza.
If you’re great at hiking but don’t necessarily enjoy hosting folks at home all the time, take them out on the trails and share granola bars. You could also climb to a beachy dune and enjoy chips and dip.
Too exhausted for planning a gathering but have the gift of listening? Let people bring lunch over and help them feel valued as you listen to their stories.
You get the idea.
For me, using my gifts looks a lot like opening my home, gathering people together for creative experiences, fellowship, and food. I hope to do a lot more of this as the fall and winter approaches.
Two weeks ago my college-bound cousin visited and we crafted dorm room decorations for three days straight and consumed vast amounts of bacon. By the end of her visit she said, “I feel so relaxed, so at peace.” That melted my heart and let me know my gifts were shared well. Last week my friend Amy came over and we ate a bowl of popcorn and painted placemats while she told awesome stories of God moving in the lives of those around her. This week I’m hosting an Art & Eats mini retreat with my friend Kristi. We’ll be spending time with 12 ladies for an evening of creativity, tasty food, authentic friendship, and restoration.
Using your gifts enhances hospitality. I’ve seen it first hand.
Share in the comments below! And if you’re unsure how you could use one of your gifts to enhance hospitality — let’s brainstorm! List them out and I’ll help you weave them into hospitality.