(Click ~HERE~ for an index to all the posts in this series.)
Does the thought of inviting someone into your home strike dread in your heart? Or does the idea of having people over excite you? Or are you, like most of us, somewhere in between those two extremes?
Or maybe, just maybe, you love the idea of opening your home and sharing with people, but when you plan to do just that, you worry about it for days. You stress over the menu and your house and where you're going to seat everyone. You make your family miserable and you make yourself miserable, and you wonder why you've done it in the first place.
And may I confess that I could answer "yes" to all of the above questions at one time or another?
What stops us? What holds us back? And what keeps us from being relaxed and making our guests feel at ease when we do open our homes?
I humbly suggest that we have missed our focus.
We must open our homes, and our lives, not to impress, but to bless.
If my intention is to impress, then I will fret over the menu and worry that I am not a fabulous cook.
If my intention is to impress, then I won't be able to invite them over until I get new living room furniture or have my carpet cleaned or move into a bigger house or have a collection of matching dishes.
If my intention is to impress, then I must wait until my schedule allows plenty of time to make my house perfectly clean and I must wait until my children are older and there are no messes.
But if my purpose for hospitality is to bless...oh my, well that sheds some new light on it, doesn't it?
If my intention is to bless, then I will be more concerned with making my guests feel welcome than with an appearance of perfection.
If my intention is to bless, then why would I worry if my toddler spills his milk or there are a few toys in the kitchen floor?
If my intention is to bless, then I will swallow my pride, ignore my worn furniture, and open my doors.
If my intention is to bless, then I will take the time to reach out, even in small ways, to make someone feel wanted and loved.