Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Open Homes, Open Hearts (Five Minute Friday)

32 Comments

Open doors, open hearts

At my house hospitality is messy. The floor’s not vacuumed, and the guests may get a glimpse of our bottomless pit hall closet since the door is always left open. That recipe I was trying doesn’t always work out, and sometimes the food is late getting to the table. Just last weekend I mistakenly invited someone for after dinner snacks at 6:00 p.m., and of course they understood I was inviting them to a meal. I felt two inches high.

Even if things get messy, I like to think of hospitality as opening my heart and home to those God sends for us to love. As church leaders, my husband and I have noticed that opening our home has a greater impact than anything else we do. More impact than leading Bible studies, preaching, or leading worship at church.

Even so, our own attitudes tempt us to shut our doors.

  • We get busy. Hospitality takes time and effort.
  • We focus on ourselves and think, “I need Friday night off.”
  • We hold on to perfection. “Unless we have a perfect home and scrumptious food, we can’t have people over.”

I want to let go of perfect and open wide the doors to my home and heart.

Will you join me? Let’s open our doors and invite someone in. Even if it’s just for takeout food or a simple soup and salad, who could we bless this week by inviting them into our homes?

  • A single mom with her kids?
  • An international student we met at church?
  • A co-worker?
  • A neighbor?
  • Our children’s friends?

Let’s open our doors and invite people to come on in.

Now it’s your turn: What do you enjoy about having company? What do you find challenging?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Writers all around the world join in a flash mob of free writing. This week’s prompt was “Visit.” Join us over at Kate’s place for fun and encouragement. Also linking up with Susan B. Mead’s #DancewithJesus and Barbie Swihart’s Weekend Brew.

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

32 thoughts on “Open Homes, Open Hearts (Five Minute Friday)

  1. I understand the bits of stress that happen when guests are coming over for a visit! I might be the world’s most unorganized host. Lol But it does feel good when everything settles and visiting becomes such a quality time with family and friends….Your friend at #fmfparty.

  2. Hi Betsy, lovely post – I enjoy the idea of hospitality but don’t always invite them in like I should because I put too high expectations on my self, my home, my family. Thanks for inspiration today for #dancewithJesus. Kim Stewart
    http://www.kimstewartinspired.com

  3. Betsy you have shined the light on some of my own feelings. I get so caught up in it being “right”. Thanks friend. I needed your words stepping on my feet today. Love you.

  4. I’m an introvert, so I love having guests over, but I’m usually exhausted and glad they’re gone when they leave. That sounds horrible, doesn’t it?! During the visit, I love talking and listening. I’m more of a listener than a talker, though. That’s an unwritten rule–if you come to visit, please hold up your end of the conversation ;)!

    • I can totally understand where you’re coming from Anita. I love guests too, but I’m also EXHAUSTED when they leave. However, I love the happy memories I have the next day thinking about the good time we had. (or the funny bloopers that came up, usually mine.) 🙂

  5. Hi Betsy, I’m having trouble commenting. Sent you an email. Blessings!

  6. OK, my comment above looks silly, lol! WordPress comments didn’t work, but Facebook did. Here’s my comment:

    Bravo, Betsy! Thank you for putting single moms and their kids at the top of your list. I will never forget the times you invited my kids and me into your home. Hospitality makes a huge difference for single parent families, as they often feel shut out from regular social life.
    I love having a houseful of teens over for “Game Night.” It is a huge effort for me, but so worth it to see all the kids happy and relaxing. We try to do it monthly, but busyness sometimes prevents. Thanks for the reminder to make it a priority!
    Love to you and your family!

    • Wow, Lisa! I’m impressed by your once a month games night! Girl, you rock! I think hospitality is an even bigger effort for single parents. So my hat’s off to you. I used to have my kids’ youth group over about once a month, but now the logistics of the group changed, so that hasn’t happened for a while now. Do you know that when I put single moms at the top of the list, I was thinking of you? Love you!

  7. Hi Betsy – that was so refreshing to read. Hospitality is so important. It was one part of my return to the Lord. As we are now oldish (80 but don’t know it) we don’t do much full on hospitality any more, but friends and family still drop in for cuppas or we to them. My hospitality includes talking to the person in the supermarket queue, the person on the train or from wherever the Lord sends them. (and leaving my web site card in restaurants or giving them to people spontaneously. It’s all good, even when its not!

    • Ken, what a lovely idea that our hospitality includes talking to people in the supermarket line! You are so right. Hospitality is an attitude, and it sounds like you have it. (Funny that you don’t know you’re 80.)

  8. Betsy,
    My standards for having people over have eased up greatly over the years. I find, sometimes, the best get togethers are the spontaneous ones. Dates set too far out into the future give me more time to sweat the small stuff. Great post.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  9. Betsy, I love your heart! What a beautiful reminder to simply offer and sincerely extend the love of THE LORD. Thank you so much for sharing this! You have truly inspired me. Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

  10. I love this Betsy! I have a friend who is so good at having an open door to her home. She invites people in and does it with such great ease. I wish that I had that talent and desire. I will be praying for God to one my heart and in turn open my eyes to inviting others to join me in my own home. Have a blessed weekend!

    • I think we all havae our own style, Mary, and it’s great that you have a friend like that. I have friends who invite us for takeout pizza, and we have a great time with them.

  11. Such good encouragement. We don’t have people over much – mostly because the kids are so unpredictable. Either it’s too close to bedtime in the evenings (and we hit the witching hour) or they’re bouncing off the walls during the day. Trying to have more play dates on weekend afternoon, but it’s hard. Wish I had more of the hospitality gift and time to connect.

    • Play dates are fun too. We definitely do most of our entertaining on weekends because high schoolers either have activities, OR they need to study and get to bed at a reasonable hour for school the next day, and that’s important to me. Once in a while we have someone during the week, but not often.

  12. I love that you open your doors even when it’s messy, Betsy. You inspire me to do the same. I enjoy having people over because acts of service is one of my love languages, so I like making a meal for others and making them feel at home. The challenge for me is letting go of perfection. Like you, many new dishes I’ve tried have not turned out right and I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. 😉

    • I’ve theoretically learned NEVER to try new dishes on guests, but I still forget and have slip-ups, Abby. I love to cook, and although acts of service is not particularly my love language, cooking IS. (That’s the sixth one, right?) But I have to let go of perfect.

  13. Oh, I understand your thoughts here so well. There are few other ways to extend grace and hospitality so fully as to open hearts and hearth to those who just need a table of hope to sit at and a hand of prayer to hold on to. Sometimes, that even means that all we offer is the chair, the soup, and the quiet companionship of someone who is waiting with them.

    Great reminders, Betsy.
    Bless you as you bless others!
    Dawn

  14. Enjoyed your thoughts on this topic, Betsy. Hospitality seems to be something missing from my family’s life right now, at least in comparison from the way it used to be when we had no (or very small) kids. The main reasons: now that daughter’s older she’s doing more things in the evening (e.g. youth group) so we’re not available because we have to drive her; husband works shifts so many evenings are taken up; our house is small so we can’t accommodate other families that easily (it is best if we invite singles or older couples who aren’t bringing children); and our son, because of his disabilities, is somewhat set in his ways & it’s not always easy to invite people into that. But when we are creative and work around these things, it’s always worth it — one night we had another church couple over for dinner between 7 and 10 pm when their 3 kids & our oldest were at youth group. I guess we just have to keep reminding ourselves that it IS worth it!

    • I can imagine what you mean about your son making things a bit more “interesting” to invite people into, and I TOTALLY get what you’re saying about older kids with their own activities. We also had more company when my kids were younger for the same reasons. Also, this year my son has an on-line class two nights a week in our living room, so that automatically eliminates those times for us. But we still try to do it. I’m aiming for twice a month, but that’s probably too much for some people. That was a great idea to meet with the other couple while kids were at youth group. We’ve done that kind of thing once or twice as well.

  15. We honestly haven’t opened up our own in a while. I know thing will never be perfect, but I think I was waiting for near perfection. I know God has given us a gift to bless others, even despite our mess. Thank your for sharing at The Weekend Brew.

    • I’m sure your circumstances make it especially challenging, Barbie. Praying for you now, friend. God is using you to bless many. Your blog is one of the most hospitable I know. 🙂

  16. Hi Betsy! I love your attitude. My house is usually a disaster (especially now), but I grew up in a house of eight children. Disaster was normal. Overly clean places make me nervous…I’d be right at home with you 🙂
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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