Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hospitality

Recently I posted about my passions. You know, the things that God has put in my being to make me excited, fired up, and motivated. The last item was hospitality. I mentioned that this was a new area of passion in my life. Interestingly, this area received the most commentary from you, my precious readers. I thought it would be fitting to tell you all how I became so passionate about hospitality.

* Author's Note: I am NOT naturally hospitable, and I didn't have an example of hospitality growing up! God is in the miracle working business! LOL!


I bought a copy of this book, "A Life That Says WELCOME", by Karen Ehman.

The book is a delightful read. It is full of real life stories and humor. It is also full of practical advice on how to start opening up your heart and home to others. I encourage you to buy a copy of this book and start to read! You won't regret it, as a matter of fact I think you'll be glad you did!

This book has transformed my thoughts about hospitality. Until I read this book, I always thought that hospitality was really about having a perfect home. I now realize that hospitality is a heart thing, not a home thing. Don't get me wrong, your home will get involved, but it's about your hearts state of being more than anything.

Karen did several surveys while writing this book. The outcome - women don't really care if your home is fabulous or not, as long as it is generally clean (clutter free) and they feel welcomed and loved while they are there. What an eye opener for me!

I have six children so I have always thought that the toys and kid stuff would hinder my ability to be hospitable to others. Not so!

God has planted in me the desire to start a new ministry called, "Titus 2 Ministries". If you aren't familiar with Titus Chapter 2 I recommend you grab a cup of tea, open your Bible and read it! The gist of it is this, the older women (no laughing about me being older!) should teach the younger women how to ... (Go read it if you want to know what it says!)

The best way to teach others anything is to come alongside them and lovingly show them how. I believe this is where hospitality will fit into my life and this new ministry. God has not showed me the big picture yet, regarding Titus 2 Ministries, but I know that He is molding me and changing me to become the woman He needs me to be in order to run with this ministry.

* Another Author's note: After reading the book, and implementing some practical tips, I prayed and surrendered my heart and home to others. This past Sunday, I had 3 different families just show up unexpectedly at my home! In the past I would have been upset and stressed out, but I was delighted because I knew God was growing me, yet again!

I could go on and on about this new passion, so I will just stop here! God Bless you all!

14 comments:

Nancy said...

What a pleasure to visit your blog and this book sounds very interesting, something we all need to read. I will check it out soon.

I am short on time, but plan to return soon to peruse a little more.

Blessings,
Nancy

Chatty Kelly said...

I love it! God certainly holds us accountable - 3 unexpected visits! I'm afraid that might throw me over the edge.

Perhaps I need to work on the "clutter free" atmosphere. LOL!!

It does sound like a great book.

Bonita said...

Isn't Karen's book wonderful? I think she has about ten times as much energy as I do having met her in person, but I still got a lot from the book. Hospitality is a weak point for me and one I almost dread to work on. My mom is Martha Stewart incarnate and I just never felt I could measure up in the hospitality department. Plus, to be honest I really like just being "us" at home and not having to do a lot of entertaining. I'm glad you're doing such a great job with it and hosting three families in one day! That's quite an accomplishment!

Sue J said...

Do visit II and III John for his thoughts on Christian hospitality. John writes that Christians are expected to open their homes to other Christians, especially. Do you think anyone was worried about the condition of the home with all that dirt on everyone's feet?

The challenge for me is more about knowing what to say or not to say, and having that environment be warm and inviting, since I don't consider myself to be all that warm and fuzzy. (And you just can't put your kids in the closet with the clutter! HA!)

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

We could be twins separated at birth...every time you write a post, I feel like I could scribble out your name and put my own (except the growing up with hospitality...it oozes out of my pores, and the fact that you actually put some wonderful time into typing your post as opposed to my write off the cuff without an ounce of editing....heee hee).

Julie Gillies said...

I think it's wonderful how the Lord is placing those desires in your heart and granting you peace when the doorbell rings unexpectedly!

Have you ever visited Sandy Coughlin's blog, "4 Reluctant Entertainers"? (reluctantentertainer.com) You'd love it, because she stresses that our homes don't have to be perfect to practice hospitality!

Blessings in your new endeavors.

Sharon said...

Sonya,
Great post and I bet the book has some great insight in it. I will look for it the next time I had book shopping.

I know about the visitors, I use to feel the same way. But I have been working really hard to keep things up just incase this ever happens to me again too. I don't fret about things like that as bad anymore.

Thanks for sharing about the book
God Bless
Sharon

On Purpose said...

Woo-hoo...you are so awesome to show us all how God takes a passion (that He gave you) and He uses it to bring glory to Himself. Isn't He just so awesome and amazing that way. I am praying and knowing that God will do some great big stuff through Titus 2 Ministries!

Debra said...

Hello my friend, and thank you for your kind comments on my blog. It helped ! I would say you are very hospitable-just by reading your blog and your comments I can see that.
I can feel the excitement you have about your new ministry-it's awesome!For some reason I was reminded of the movie "Harvey" where Jimmy Stewart plays a pleasant fellow who hands out cards with his name and phone number on them, and invites anyone to come to dinner. He sees beauty in the lowly, even though he's a tad 'touched.'
I guess that's hospitality at the most stretched out level-and the world would be so nice if we could all be just a little bit like that!
God bless you in this new venture...
Love, Debra

Miss JulieB said...

HI Sonya, I saw your post on Karen Ehman's blog. I love A Life that Says Welcome too. At our church's women's conference last Saturday it was one we couldn't do without on the bookstall. One of the workshops was on how to be more hospitable and what the Bible said about it, it was fabulous.

Another blog I like to look at is the Maxwells. They also have a ministry called Titus 2. Here's the link:
http://www.titus2.com/

Kind regards, Julie
Sydney, Australia

The Patterson 5 said...

Sounds like a great book. I will have to read it! May your home continue to be as hospitable as your warm heart in welcoming others to Christ!

Melinda said...

I love this! Hospitality is something that I've had to rework in my life to be about serving others instead of what others would think of me - people pleasing has been a life-long struggle! I actually wrote about it here, if you're interested:

http://travelingtheroadhome.blogspot.com/2008/07/it-aint-nothin.html

I also love Titus 2! I'm a BIG believer in mentoring those younger than us and searching out those older than us to help grow us in our walk. In my own small groups, I've referred to this as the "Titus 2 Principle". I'll look forward to hearing more about your ministry!

Blessings,
Melinda

sailorcross said...

I know exactly what you mean--I grew up in a home that I used to call "Better Homes and Gardens". We never had friends over because they may "make a mess".

I still struggle with this--whenever I know someone is coming to my apartment, I drive myself crazy trying to make sure everything is just perfect.

When I was grown with children of my own, and my mom was coming to visit me, I would drive everyone else crazy, too. My son was just about 5, and I was cleaning--just for the sake of cleaning--and he asked me if Grandma was coming to visit!!

This is something I definitely need to change in myself--realize that being hospitable is not being perfect--just being welcoming and having good fellowship with others!!

Thanks for sharing this. Your post has made a really deep impression upon me.

Beth

DidiLyn said...

What a wonderful example! Seriously, you took your mission and ministry to heart and followed the Lord. This is truly inspiring.
I need to read that book by the way. I would be totally stressed if someone showed up unexpectedly, too. But I want to be welcoming...