A few days ago, my mother called to inform me that she, along with four additional family members, would be coming to visit me for a few days. Her sister has been in an area hospital, and they were coming see her. My heart immediately dropped as I thought about preparing my home for five houseguests.
I have a three bedroom home, so there is plenty of room, but I had no idea where people would sleep, what they would eat, etc. I had visions of perfect rooms and meals I had seen in magazines, and those rooms look nothing like the rooms in my home and the meals didn't look like meals I would serve.
As I sat in my living room, I started to do an inventory of sleeping spaces in my home. Two people could sleep on our pull out sofa, one person could sleep on an air mattress upstairs, and another could sleep on the twin bed in our guestroom. But what about the fifth person? Maybe they could sleep on the chaise lounge?
I had less than 12 hours to prepare for their arrival, and eight of those hours would be spent at work. I spent some time in prayer and asked God to help me to prepare not only my home but also my heart for their arrival.
Then I remembered a scripture I learned many years ago: “Share with the Lordʼs people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans). We are called to be hospitable to people in need. And my hospitality may look different than someone else's. Everyone knows that I am no Martha Stewart. My towels don't match, and my furniture is outdated.
But none of that matters in the eyes of the Lord. What God wants from us is that we welcome people into our homes with open arms. Cook a meal, prepare a place for them to sleep, and be joyful!
So the next day, when they arrived, we welcome them in! Within an hour or so,my husband had breakfast cooking, and they were beginning to settle in. While they were only here for two days, they seemed to enjoy being in my home. We shared a meal of fried chicken, mac and cheese and coleslaw. And we even had cupcakes to celebrate my mother and uncle’s shared birthdays!
The stress I had felt two days before was gone, and it was replaced with a full heart as we created memories for years to come.
Do you have an opportunity to share your home with someone this summer? Do it! Don't worry about making things perfect, instead ask God to open your heart and allow you to be the host he created you to be!
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.