I received a phone call recently from my mother, who informed me that she (along with my cousin and three aunts) would be coming to visit my family for a few days so they could visit her younger sister in a local hospital. One part of me was excited to be seeing my family. But the other part of me immediately thought of the state of my home. How would I prepare for 5 houseguests at a moment’s notice?
God has blessed me with a three bedroom, two-floor home, so there is plenty of room. But room did not automatically equal space for everyone to sleep. I had visions of the perfectly decorated rooms I had seen in magazines, but those rooms looked nothing like the rooms in my home.
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 twelve hours to prepare for their arrival, so I spent some time in prayer asking 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 12:13). 1 Peter 4:9 also says to: “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” We are called to be hospitable to people in need. But hospitality does not mean perfection. My towels don’t always match, and that’s okay! Pretty towels and fancy dishes mean nothing to the Lord. What God wants from us for our hearts to open and for us to welcome our guests with open arms.
So the next day, when my family arrived, we welcomed them joyfully! Within an hour or so,my husband had breakfast cooking, and everyone began to settle in. After they returned from the hospital visit, we shared a meal of fried chicken, macaroni 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 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 month? Invite someone to join you for a meal and don’t worry about making sure your home is perfect. Instead, prepare your heart for fellowship and watch how God blesses your visit!
1 Peter 4:9
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.