- 2. the central, innermost, or vital part: Oxford Dictionary
- 4. The seat of the affections and passions, as of love, joy, grief, enmity, courage, pleasure &c. Noah Webster 1828
- the friendly and generous treatment of guests or strangers. Oxford Dictionary
- The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality. Noah Webster 1828
When I hear that someone really knows how to practice hospitality, I immediately think, that person knows how to make someone feel right at home. It is not just greeting someone with a smile but an atmosphere that embraces and welcomes you. It requires an open heart not just an open home.
The better part of the last six years, folks as far north as Quechee, Vermont and as far south as Naples, Florida, as far west as Houston, TX and a lot of places in between have opened not just their homes to us but their hearts. My older daughter, Grace has enjoyed it even wider and farther than that. It is my desire for our family to have a place of our own where we can practice that type of hospitality.
As a young wife and mother, I had a lot of fear about having anyone over. With a lot of encouragement and support from my husband, I walked through the fear again and again and again. There really is no way around it. I really had two choices: live in fear or grow through it. I am so grateful that I chose the later. Not only did I grow through it, I learned to love it!!! Friends have been made, relationships strengthen and needs have been met.
Things are strange at the moment. There are lots of unknowns but one thing I do know, that hospitality is a mindset. It is not something that you just do, but a way of life. First I learned to practice hospitality, then I learned to receive hospitality, now I am thinking about living a life of hospitality.
I can't really say, I know exactly what living a life of hospitality is, although while Grace was in Holland last summer at L'abri I read Edith Schaeffer's book L'abri Fellowship and I would say that the Schaeffers and those that have picked up the work where they left off do indeed intentionally live a life of hospitality.
I have been reading a book by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Edith's daughter) called For the Family's Sake, The Value of Home In Everyone's Life and the message is clear, people matter and that is why hospitality matters. The book is inspiring me. The whole feel and attitude of the book is so inviting as if Susan is saying across the miles, "come sit down with me, have some tea and let's visit." That is what I want to be like. I do believe that Susan and her husband Ranald have been living and continue to live the life of Hospitality.