Hospitality- Sometimes we make it complicated and stressful. Some of us are gifted at it, some of us are just not. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a few simple steps to make your home a haven for the guests who come through your door.
When it comes to hospitality, I like to use the analogy of deep and narrow. You don’t have to have a perfect, huge home with a wide assortment of appetizers and fancy drinks. You simply have to be you. Be genuine. And share life with your guests. If that means you haven’t dusted and your cookies came from a package IT DOESN’T MATTER! You can build deep, real relationships and show genuine love to your guests without a fancy perfect presentation.
Remember- our time is our most valuable, precious ingredient. When we say yes to one thing we have to say no to something else. So don’t waste your time saying yes to all of the world’s “expectations” of hospitality. Instead, use that time to go deep, be genuine, and make your home a haven for anyone that walks through the door.
Tips for Creating a Haven for Our Guests!
1. Be Real
Sometimes it’s hard to let people into your home to see the real you: The real dishes. The real dust. The real laundry pile. But if you’re spending time with people who are judging you on the state of your home or the quality of your food, you may want to reconsider the people you hang out with. Or at least reconsider the value that you let them place on your life. When I go into someone’s home, I am not there to critique. I am there to be with my friend. I want to talk. I want to laugh. I want to cry. I want to share life with YOU. And I promise… that’s what your guests want, too. So don’t be afraid to open up and let them see the real you.
And never forget that a little hospitality goes a long way. You don’t have to be the hostess with the mostess. You can be you. Simply offer a glass of water. Open up a bag of chips. Clear off a comfortable seat. And be yourself.
2. Break Bread Together
Like I always say, the kitchen is the heart of the home! In my Titus Woman Time periscope I shared how desperately I used to try and get people to sit in the great room and visit, but they always gravitated back to the kitchen. It’s just where people end up! So make the kitchen part of your hospitality. Whether you’re making coffee or pulling out a casserole, your guests will enjoy being with you where you are and breaking bread with you. Have some snacks on the counter. Let them put ice in the glasses. Don’t worry about the dirty dishes in the sink. Real, deep life often happens in the little moments and lots of little moments happen right in the heart of your home!
If you look in the Bible, you can find so many stories of God’s people coming together around food. Many of Jesus’ deepest connections happened at the dinner table! A Passover feast, dinner with sinners, breakfast on the beach. God created food to bring people together and food can help make your home a haven for your guests!
3. Don’t Get Too Comfortable
I read a great blog post once about Biblical Hospitality. It is easy to open our home to our families or our close friends or our small group- in essence, people who are like us- but whatever happened to inviting others in? People who are different from us or people we don’t know well or people who have different diets or religions or views? Talk about stressing out about hospitality! But in a neat little twist of God’s design, we find that when we step out of our box and open our home to someone new, it stretches us and grows us and makes our home more of a haven to everyone! Opening our home to a wider audience opens our minds, opens our palates, and opens our hearts. And when we have open hearts, it makes our homes a haven for anyone who walks through the door!
What are some ways you make your home a haven for your guests?
Now You’re Cookin’,
This post originally aired on Periscope ChefAlli@maketakebake in February 2016.