You probably know by now that I am passionate about simple hospitality. I believe that opening my home and my heart to those around me is just part of the way I live out my Christian faith.
Now, I’m not talking about fancy entertaining. I have had my fair share of Pinterest-fail heartbreaks that have left me feeling like a less than worthy hostess and have turned that whole day on its head, making it about showing off my uh-mazing *insert cooking, decorating, activity planning, etc* skills instead of about giving myself to the person at my door.
Summer lends itself to simple hospitality. Your yard can function as an extension of your house. Grilling (aka, preparing the meal) is something you can do with your guests. Messes inside can be ignored and messes outside can be washed quickly with a hose.
Friends, I’m here to encourage you, keep the simple hospitality going into fall.
Don’t neglect to invite someone over simply because there’s laundry on the couch that hasn’t been folded, invite them over and let them see that you live in real life too. Go deeper and let them see the parts of your home that are messy and real. I’m not saying there’s not a place for tidying up, I’m just saying you shouldn’t let the reality of actually living in your home stop you from enjoying it with others.
Utilize potlucks. Break out the paper plates if you must. Do whatever you need to do to make it manageable for your home.
But share your hearts. It doesn’t matter what you have to offer, it matters that, whatever it is, you offer it.
In Mark 12, Jesus and His disciples witness people bringing their offerings before the Lord, some bringing an abundance, proudly, and a widow bringing only her 2 pennies. Jesus comments to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44, ESV).
Like the widow offering her pennies at the altar, we are called to offer whatever it is we have to share.
We all have different things we bring to the table, as we retreat into our homes, let’s be sure to bring our friends with us. Put on a pot of soup and ask your guests to bring a loaf of bread. Spend Saturdays with friends, a bowl of chili, and football. Keep pressing into your friendships and opening up your home to neighbors and strangers.
This is a special time of year. The spontaneous days of summer are behind us and the hectic holiday season is yet to arrive. Take advantage of the predictability of the in-between to establish a habit of hospitality.
Focus on what you have to offer. You have gifts. You yourself are a gift to those around you. When in doubt, simply give that, yourself, to those in your circle. Some of my favorite memories are the times, not when I was proud of the dinner I’d brought together or the decor I set-up for a party, but the quiet conversations spent over coffee or iced tea.
These quiet moments, the ones where we are offering simply ourselves, are the ones we remember. So take advantage of them this fall. Create space in your schedule for quiet hospitality and offer what you have to your friends and family around you.