I am working my way through Rosaria Butterfield’s The Gospel Comes With A House Key, and it’s deeply inspiring (and convicting).
Culturally, hospitality is often defined solely by Martha Stewart-guided hosting or HGTV-inspired decor, but refreshingly, biblical hospitality is far deeper.
Butterfield’s theme throughout her book is ‘radically ordinary hospitality,’ a new vision to see your home as something that terminates on you and your desires, but “as God’s gift to use for the furtherance of his kingdom.”
Hospitality is making others feel like they matter. Hospitality is someone walking out your door feeling more loved and heard and cared for than when they walked in.
Hospitality, an arm of John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Like many other things in my life, this intention is one that will continually have room to expand and deepen. I’ll never arrive at being spectacular at hospitality, because there will always be someone I don’t know, a chance to listen to a friend or stranger, people to love well, and one of my personal favorites, we will always need to eat.
Hospitality is an adventure of life I haven’t taken by the horns, though it’s available to me every day.
When radically ordinary hospitality is lived out, members of God’s household are told that they are not alone in their struggles or their joys.
Honesty time: cooking is not my favorite thing to do.
I am growing in meal-creating knowledge, hallelujah, and I’m truly happy to serve my family this way. But meal planning, grocery shopping, preparation, wisdom to use ingredients with completely different recipes…. not necessarily a fountain of joy for me.
I confess I even ask God for help in this area. He’s Provider and Helper, so He’s gracious.
Here I share a few small changes I made tin my role as Predominant Meal Creator in our home:
I always try to start with an empty sink and dishwasher.
This didn’t hit home with me at first.. until the first few days I implemented it. Then I told J it’s a new kitchen rule. It seems tedious to clean before you start cooking, knowing you will ‘dirty up’ many more dishes, BUT it’s worth it when you can chop or prepare and immediately put a dish into the dishwasher, out of sight.
I’m a (although not perfectly executing) clean counters are happy counters girl. I’m also the girl who likes to clean up as much as possible before J and I get settled in on the couch reading or watching a movie, to eventually fall asleep there, and mosey our way to the bed. No one wants to clean the kitchen at 10:30pm. No one in our house anyway.
Can they be lovely? Of course.
Can they be elaborate? Can they be simple? Definitely, whatever your taste.
Can they be overwhelming? Sure, if that’s how you like it.
Can they be nonexistent? It’s your December.
Can they be more than decorative elements? Yes! I think they can.
While putting our decorations up, I noticed an interesting thread. Most of what I put up had an obvious, uplifting, and sweet reason for being there.
The snowman on our steps was my grandmother’s. We were close and she died almost 10 years ago from pancreatic cancer. We once tried to count all the snowmen in her home and became tired before we passed 50. Christmas was a joyous season for her, and I love that I have a few of her favorite things to decorate our home with.
Prints and scripts that prompt our hearts to worship and admire God. (And drawings from good friends’ kids. The best.)