November 25, 2020
I grew up in the country – we were nestled deep in the woods. My grandparents lived 13 hours away and made the trip to see us maybe twice in all of my growing up years. My dad had a shotgun above the door and any fella that was brave enough to venture out to our home rarely made a second trip. As a result, I didn’t really get to watch my mom ever entertain or serve anyone other than our family unit.
I love hosting events in our home and serving others, but honestly, I learned much of the art myself. I always wanted a home with a formal dining room table, one where I could lay out placemats and have a beautiful centerpiece. Simply, I wanted something that was above the trailer house I grew up in with patchwork carpet squares that covered the plywood floor.
My cowpokes and I got to experience the most remarkable, incomparable hospitality I have ever seen. This delightful family invited us over to their home and although our life of home education provides amazing flexibility I still try to guard our time away from our “school work.”
As I’ve pondered what learning really is, I keep thinking that it is so much more than the traditional book work and lessons and worksheets and checking off the boxes. Learning is embracing the moments of joy and wanting to pursue the next. On this particular day we did not open a single book but all learned the most amazing things about hospitality and contentment.
There is something beautiful about welcoming a complete stranger into your home and being pleasant while doing so. Their hospitality was deliberate, planned, kind, efficient and done with excellency. This particular family spoke to one another with such kindness and respect – it was not like anything I’ve ever seen before. They were clear in their communication to one another and worked perfectly as a team.
They had games planned for my ‘pokes, not video games, but ones where their bodies were up and moving and they were using their muscles. They used simple things like ropes and lumber and sticks and everyone had such a grand time! We all laughed and smiled. There was so much joy and merriment I could feel it in the air.
When it was time for the noon meal it was as big as any holiday feast – homemade rolls, homegrown beef roast, hand-churned butter, corn fresh off the cob, steamed potatoes, pressure cooked beans, delicious peach cobbler with homemade ice cream. Again, I was in awe at the absolute deliberate and planned hospitality.
Here we are with Thanksgiving at our doorstep and I am challenged to think about my own level of hospitality in my home, but even more so, what does the atmosphere of my home feel like? Is it warm and welcoming and so inviting you wonder why you didn’t get here earlier or could stay a little later? Are we laughing and smiling and enjoying the delight of the moment?
2020 has been a really rough year for so many, so my sincere challenge to you is to swing the door of your home wide open and invite those in that are hurting and broken. You have an opportunity to show incomparable hospitality – are you going to take advantage of the prospect?