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Hospitality is a Gift from God

Hospitality is fantastic and I love to practice it on an almost daily basis!

But, if I’m being honest, it’s very misunderstood in western cultures. We think of elaborate meals and beautiful tablescapes (which can be a fun part of it if you want). Truthfully though, we should think of it as a mighty tool in the hands of God for the good of His people! 

Because you are here, I know there is a good chance the reason you want to practice hospitality is probably twofold. You desperately want to obey the command to be hospitable that you see in Scripture (1 Peter 4:9, Romans 12:13). You also want to experience deep community.

You can sense from your reading of Scripture and your own soul’s uneasiness that God designed you for more than passing hellos and occasional dinner parties.

It seems obvious that God must have designed you for some sort of relationship as you read all of the 59 “one another” commands in the Bible. But you don’t know what that looks like.

You’ve probably hosted people before or at least been hosted by someone else. But the connection wasn’t deep and eventually it turned into saying “hi!” when you see each other in the grocery store. There wasn’t anything wrong with that experience but it certainly didn’t fulfill your desire for real relationships.

You might have a good friend or two that now live far away and connecting with them is great but it can’t meet today’s need.

You know you are supposed to be content in your current circumstances (Philippians 4:11) rather than just longing for a different situation but you are struggling.

Sometimes in the midst of running errands, work, and household responsibilities you feel a deep sense of loneliness. You feel unseen, unknown, and isolated.

But no one else seems to be talking about this. No one else seems bothered by this at all.

So you go on with your day and try to stuff that loneliness away with Facebook and T.V. and it works  for a little while.

You feel slightly less lonely. But then the show ends or you have seen everything there is to see on social media and the feeling that you are really unknown comes back to haunt you like something rotten you cant find at the back of the refrigerator.

You know there has to be a better way but you just don’t know what it is.

So you have turned to a site about “hospitality” to give this another go-around.

Do you want to know how I know that?

Because that was me!

A few years ago I became a stay-at-home mom when my daughter was born. It was simultaneously the most difficult and the most beautiful time in my life. 

I spent my days caring for this little person I hardly knew but I loved with my whole heart. I nurtured her and gazed into her perfect blue eyes. These days were few and precious and I could sense it even then.

But this was also such a difficult time for me. When my daughter finally slipped off to sleep for the night, I would stand in her nursery, overlooking our neighborhood, and cry.

I questioned why I felt so lonely and unseen. I longed for deep connection and real relationships but I had no idea where to start.

I posted pictures of the pretty stuff on social media, just like all of my friends – photos of me holding my napping baby or videos of her sweet belly laughter. It all looked like roses and sunshine, but in my heart a struggle was brewing.

Little did I know that most of my friends, with the perfectly dressed Instagram kids, were feeling the same way. They felt small and isolated too.

But we were all afraid to let each other in on that.

That was the start of this journey that has literally been building in my heart, my home, and this site for more than 5 years. 

I knew a solution was out there and, after a million failed Pinterest searches and motivational speeches, I turned to the only place I know I can get truth 100% of the time – the Bible. 

But honestly, I didn’t do this on my own initiative. God had to slap me in the face with it. This is how He did just that…

 

I was convinced I was rocking the hospitality game because I have always LOVED to have people in our home. Planned parties were my jam and I was always inviting this person or that couple over for a meal or a game night.

So, as I studied through the book of 1 Peter using Jen Wilkin’s phenomenal study, I felt no conviction when I read the words, “offer hospitality without grumbling.” I was convinced I was an authority on this matter.

The day came for me to facilitate this Bible study with a group of women from my church. I was busily preparing snacks and going over final details on my notes when my husband called to say he was on his way home but was going to be about 20 minutes late.

That alone frustrated me because I knew I would be blowing past him as he walked in the door so I could get to the Bible study in time to set everything up.

Then he told me the reason he would be late was that he was picking up one of the college students from our church so he could do laundry at our house. This is not a rare thing so my poor husband was shocked when I got upset.

I immediately started running through my list of reasons that was NOT a good idea. I had no time to clean and our laundry room was Christmas central – filled to the brim with wrapping paper and presents. I didn’t want anyone to see it like that.

“He won’t care Kate. Don’t worry about it.” Was all my husband could muster.

But obviously that wasn’t going to work for me. When we were off the phone I went into full blown panic mode, hiding things in random places and making stacks of random things in order to condense the mess.

My husband walked in and I left, still fuming, for the Bible study I was convinced I would not have time to properly take care of.

I sat down to do a final reading of the text before the Bible study started and these words jumped off the page and punched me in the gut – 

“Offer hospitality without grumbling.”

It was as if the Holy Spirit put my name at the end of that verse. He was speaking it directly to me in that moment and I was undone. 

Not only had I failed miserably in this area, I had been prideful about my ability to fulfill this command. I was arrogant, believing myself to have already achieved holiness in this way. All of that came slamming down around me. 

And so did the reality that perhaps I had misunderstood the purpose of hospitality this entire time. 

Perhaps hospitality was more than nice gatherings between friends. Perhaps, when wielded in the hands of God, hospitality was a tool for war. Maybe God had bigger plans than small talk over hors d’oeuvres when He commanded His people to make this a priority. 

At the time I wasn’t sure but I knew I was missing something. 

I confessed my sin to the women at the Bible study that night and went home to apologize to my husband but the reality that I had missed something profound stayed with me for a long while. 

I knew I needed to figure this out and that is how Hospitable Homemaker was born. 

When we started, it was me working through a journey to be more welcoming and learning what this really meant in my life. 

But that was years ago, now I want to help others gain a vision for what I struggled with. I want others to see the beauty and importance of simple gatherings for the glory of God. I want to equip Christian women who face social struggles and the feelings of loneliness and isolation with the tools they need to build community right where they are. 

And that is what we are doing here. Get ready because this is only the beginning. 

We are meant to live life in community.

But community doesn’t happen by accident.

Community is cultivated day after day in homes, at coffee shops, over service projects, in church services, and a million other places. It is something we must intentionally do. Making connections and forming community is good for our souls and it is transformative for society. 

But it is also HARD at times. People don’t connect with us the way we want. It all starts to feel a little pointless and like way too much work. As happens with a lot of things, the day to day nature of hospitality makes it feel insignificant. But, I assure you, it is NOT! 

God cares about hospitality and I believe that is because He designed it to be a powerful, transformative tool that, when rightly used, changes things. 

Hospitality is the chance we all have to join in God’s story of reaching people with relationship and intimacy.

Cultivating community is our chance to fulfill the “one another” commands of Scripture in real life. This is the context in which we evangelize and disciple. This is the context in which we live out our theology. 

It is powerful, it is beautiful, it is ordinary, and it is accessible TODAY. 

But it isn’t quite as simple as just opening the door. We need real advice, practical tips, and fellowship with other people who are just as passionate about this to maintain our excitement about seeing this through. 

If we really want to build sustainable lives as community cultivators we are going to need each other and some practical helps and inspiration along the way. 

That is where Hospitable Homemaker comes in. 

Here you will find an ever growing place for resources, practical helps, ideas, and inspiration to maintain a lifestyle of welcome. 

Being a community cultivator is more than hosting an occasional dinner party. It is an intentional decision to commit your life to God’s plan and put forth the daily effort to live life differently. 

Do you want to cast aside the loneliness and isolation you feel? Do you want be known and seen and understood? Do you want to help other people feel that too? 

Then come on this journey to living life differently with me! Together we will explore how God designed the Christian life to look, why our society feeds into isolation, and what we can do about it TODAY.

I’m so glad you are here and I can’t wait to see how God uses you as a community builder! 

The next step is getting plugged into our resource library. 

Here you will find a constantly growing array of resources to keep you encouraged and inspired in your journey PLUS you will receive our weekly newsletter with even more inspiration and updates. 

Hospitality is a beautiful ministry God has designed for His church to participate in. It is also the BEST way to fight isolation and loneliness. It is a God-given gift for us. 

And it is easier to enjoy when we are part of a growing community of people who are passionate about this transformation as well. 

So, if that is what you are looking for… you’ve come to the right place! 

Feel free to email me anytime in your journey at hospitablehomemaker@gmail.com

Let’s get started…