_ Hospitality is a wonderful way to show thankfulness to God for the many blessings that he gives. (p. 121)
_ They will see my struggles, as well as how I respond to them. They will see my passions and my humanness. (p. 122)
_ All of us housewives struggle with the sin of pride when it comes to keeping a home.(p.123)
_ Prayer should be a concomitant with our hospitality. (p. 129)
- How do you feel about the culture you have made in your home? Good. Is it something worth charing with others? Yes, and to me how I make someone feel in my house is more important than if they are totally impressed with the home.
- What are you favorite restaurants, cafes, and speciality shops to frequent? Cracker Barrel and Bob Evans. What is it that you like about them so much? The decor and the food say "home" cooked. Are there any ways that you can take some of these elements into your own home for hospitality?
- Think of Abraham's hospitable attitude. How does this compare to your own? What are some of your most frequent excuses and complaints for why you do not welcome company? We have a low maintenance living room that is easy to invite people into that area. The rest of the house I have to work at, and have been doing that for a year, going through the Christian book The House That Cleans Itself. I am getting used to NOT saying "excuse" my mess. If I make people comfortable in our home, that is the goal.
- Think of some of the different elements of hospitality: welcoming strangers, equalizing yourself with your visitor, serving them, offering protection and guidance. With hubby getting out less now, it occurred to me to tell people to stop by after calling. How has Jesus Christ ultimately done this for you? I think of how Jesus was rejected, but how He was a known friend of sinners. Make your answer personal. In my non-Christian neighborhood there is a group of people that are not acceptable to one man especially who has called all kinds of authorities on them, and without cause. We put a fence in our backyard so they can come over easily.
- How can you make these elements practical in your hospitality to others? People often ask "What can I do for you?" I realize that I can say "come by" and then I can serve them tea and cookies or maybe fruit. How is hospitality just a practical part of living our God's truth? We are called to exercise hospitality. The Gospel Coalition also posted HERE about nursing home ministry for pastors, but it is also important for laypeople in churches to visit.
- What blessings do you have from God? A gentleman is now taking care of our yard in exchange for some of the equipment that is hard for me to use. Saturday he got the trailer we don't need to use with the riding lawn mower he uses to mower own lawn. We give him gas money to come here, but he doesn't charge us. Monday he mowed the grass and trimmed my the circular driveway. How can you be a good steward of these through hospitality? It's been great to get rid of things by giving them away. Young couples in our church received kitchen items we did not need. What do you have to give and share? I always offer water and a meal.
- What does your house say about you and your family? We have a pool table and other games and invite people to play.
- What are some skills that you feel creatively gifted in? Sewing. Rapping. How can you hand these down purposefully? I am making quilts for my husband's grandchildren. Who would be interested in learning? I teach calligraphy and cursive informally when I teach. What would you like to learn and who could you seek out? More quilting tricks and I have Fabric Warehouse in Lakeland, FL to help.
- How can you be hospitable in places other than your home? A picnic or an outing, although this is difficult with husband's current condition. I was stopped in the school hall by three students who wanted to hear a rap yesterday and I was friendly and entertained them with my "heed God's Word" rap. When I don't have time to make someone a meal after they have lost a loved one, it occurs to me that I can order out at one of these restaurants I mentioned above and bring them this comfort food.
- Journal about your discernment struggles and weaknesses concerning hospitality. Actually I have had people take advantage of my hospitality as I wrote about in Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill. Consider those you have been shutting out whom you may feel convicted to welcome in, as well as those you have been welcoming in whom you may need to turn away. When you invite a homeless person to stay in your home as I did as a widow, there are lots of ramifications. One lady brought pot into my home and I had my pastor at the time and the police come out and she left. The police just asked her, "Would you like to stay some place where you are not welcome?" However, the police informed me that it is legally not always that simple to ask someone to leave. Instead, I should have directed this woman to a shelter.
- Do you think pride interferes with your hospitableness? Probably it does, although I have been writing about The House That Cleans Itself on another blog and showing my messes shamelessly. It helps that I have conquered a lot in this area, but it is taking a long time. In what ways, specifically? I think there is pride that we think we can do it all, and we can't. We just have to accept that we are in process, and have not arrived.
- Does your family receive your hospitality? Yes. I have a guest bedroom for when they come from out of town and a queen-size pull-out bed in the den. What messages are you passing down regarding your daily tasks involved in keeping a home and sharing a home? My messages are that it has been a struggle, but I am admitting it and working on it.
- Start a hospitality journal. Each week record invitations plans, challenges you may face, preparations for the occasion, and ideas for purposeful conversation. Go back and evaluate your time and growth in relationships. Probably this is just a good calendar and I see myself doing more of this. I posted a link on Facebook and suggested that people come by (after calling) because we can't get out so much. Two people have been helping us voluntarily. I love how, while I was gone yesterday, the caregiver made lunch for the man mowing and trimming yesterday. Probably I need to be spontaneous about the hospitality, because of my husband's condition so I don't have to call and cancel invited company. I need to have prepare ahead meals.
Questions in red above are from pp. 130-162 of chapter six of Housewife Theologian.