Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Practicing Hospitality: Overnight Guests

For years, my husband and I have purposed in our hearts that this home isn't ours.  Sure, we pay the bills, do the cleaning, and keep up with the general maintenance.  The title has has our name on it and it's our cars parked in the driveway.  But it's really not ours.  (Shh!  Don't tell)

A long time ago, we decided that no matter where we lived, the place would belong to God.  Whether it be  a two bedroom apartment, sharing a house with a friend, or now living in our home, ... wherever we make our bed and make our bread belongs to the Lord.  So having an open door is just a natural extension of that philosophy.

In a hurried pace world, neighbors don't know each other.  Friends keep in touch via text.  Families are living farther away than ever  So when the opportunity arises, we determine to lay aside our agenda and welcome others into our home.

Because our families live so far away, one of the ways we do this is by offering our home whenever they come to visit.  Our home is small, but again, it's not about us.  It's about blessing others.  So whether we have much or little, we desire to use what we have to the glory of our Lord.  These are just a few ways we try to bless our overnight guests:

*Clear an personal space for your guests.  Even if your guests are stay in a kid's room, try to give your guests a place to relax and call their own.  Be sure to clear as much clutter as possible, and layout clean sheets and towels.

*Stockpile some extra toothbrushes, shampoo, and conditioner in case your guests has forgotten something.

*Try to reserve a bathroom specifically for your guest.  If that's not possible, as is in the case of our 3/1 home, take an early shower to clear the bathroom as guests wake up.

*Prepare muffins or an overnight casserole for the next morning.  Try to make it something special, but something you can do ahead as well.  This way you have more time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with your guests.  Sometimes I will mix up a batch of Gingerbread Waffles the night before and make them the next morning.

*Plan your meals ahead.  Include lots of variety.  This past 4th of July weekend, we hosted 6 guests as well as additional guest for the holiday.  By planning our meals ahead, I was able to buy supplies on sale and prepare items for the freezer.  We also planned in a few meals out for the families favorite spots.

*As the evening winds down, turn down the volume and turn on some music.  I love Pandora's Classical Piano music.  Brew up a pot of yummy coffee with favored creamer or steep a yummy hot tea, and enjoy the evening in conversation.  And when you've talked yourselves out, then pull out the favorite movie.

Practicing Hospitality with overnight guests takes just a little time, a little forethought, and a willingness to open your home.  And let me tell you, you won't be sorry.  Opening our home has blessed us more than we could ever recount.

How are you Practicing Hospitality these days? 


Anonymous said...

thats great! we practice the same thing. But we have always agreed to never make our kids give up their rooms. If we want to give up ours, then we should. But why have our kids do it if we arent willing to give up ours? Something ive always thought about.
We do however, always make our apartment living room very comfortable for any guest...including a queen air mattress. lol.


Stacey said...

This is excellent! Speaking as one who has stayed in your home before, we still talk about what great care you took of us. I'll practice this on my brother this week. =]

Stephanie said...

This is a great post! My craft room/office is also our guest room, so I always make sure to tidy up whatever I'm working on when we have overnight guests. My Dad was here last week, so I put a picture of him with his girlfriend up on my bulletin board. He really liked that little touch.

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