Want to be Hospitable? Here are 5 solutions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

You're eligible to be a hospitable host. Number one because the Bible encourages to do so. Number two because if I can do it, so can you. Take my "impossible to keep it clean" kitchen for example. I try my best to make it look like Martha Stewart Living but I fail every time. I sweep and mop just to have my kids spill my carefully cooked food on the floor. I am aware that life is happening. I am knowledgeable that the kids are small for now and growing every day. 

Somehow, in our minds, hospitality equals complete cleanness and organization. While these components help, I've experience hospitality in places that were void of what First World dwellers consider essential for hospitality to happen. 

Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, my family has been welcomed to small homes located in big slums. One time, on the way to one of these homes, our family passed right in front of teen drug dealers holding big riffles. God always protected and I trust He always will. When we finally got to the home, the homemaker welcomed us with a big smile. Her joy made the size of her home and all she had to offer needless. The way she made each one of us feel inside made a lasting impact. Hospitality is the word of a heart filled with peace and joy. I can't tell you exactly what we ate or drank, but I can tell you that our host family welcomed us with the love of Christ and they made us feel so great. 

I want to show hospitality from my heart to the heart of others. I believe that making an impact like this matters. 

I honestly had to ease myself into opening my home after I had children. When I was chronically tired because of sleep deprivation, it was tough to wrap my mind around the idea that I needed to clean anything else other than little behinds that were wrapped in 3 diapers. Nowadays, I came up with a few hospitality hacks that really work in my favor when we know someone is coming over. 

1. Get the kids on board - my kids can pick up stuff and the older ones can do some light cleaning. You have no idea how quickly we get things in order with 3 hands helping this Mamãe. 

2. Keep one room clean - There's always one clean room, basically because no one ever goes there. I can always invite people to sit there because it will be clean and inviting. 

3. Turn on the smell good - Whether I plug something in or light a candle, smell has a lot to do with setting an atmosphere for hospitality. Hospitality it's not only visual: all the senses get involved in the experience. Think about that next time you're welcoming someone to your home. 

4. Don't forget the snacks - I'm not talking about a 5 o'clock hight tea menu. It's always nice to have something to offer. I enjoy baking, so most weeks I freeze a few muffins and when we have guests coming in, I can unfreeze them. The ideal situation is to bake before they show up so the house can smell fantastic. 

5. Peaceful Heart - Before people notice your home, they notice your heart. Have you ever been at someone's home and they were not calm in spirit? You may have asked them what was wrong and they might have shoved off the question with a smile. It's hard to fake the lack of peace. It's tough to be at peace when you're in the mad rush to clean before someone shows up. Do take time to stop and pray for Christ, the Prince of Peace, to fill your heart and home. Accept the fact that your situation might not change but your heart can change from confused to peaceful. A peaceful heart is able to make hospitality a great ministry. 

If you feel that God is calling you to be more hospitable, take it from me, it can be done. Hospitality is also very encouraging to me as a host. I've opened my home in days that I thought "maybe I should cancel because I have this or that bothering me." God's grace was sufficient and once the person left, I was encouraged in heart and spirit. 

I pray you find the courage to open your heart and your home to others in Jesus' name.