Here’s my favorite parts from ch. 11 of Jill Savage’s My Heart’s At Home.
(Italics are direct quotes, regular text are my comments.)
When home is a hospitality house, it’s a place that feels safe and welcoming to anyone who enters its doors. Whether kids are hanging out at your house or company is coming for a long weekend, it all comes down to understanding hospitality. If hospitality doesn’t come naturally to you, you can start simply with an open heart and an open door.
An Open Door
- If our home is to have an open door policy, it starts by realizing that our home really doesn’t belong to us. Everything we have belongs to God–He just asks us to be good stewards of what He gives us.
- 4 Important Elements that make a home a hangout:
- Emotional safety–A hangout home has emotional safety that assures that anyone who enters that they won’t hear family members screaming and yelling at one another or sense unspoken anger or emotions.
- Hospitality–Feel cared for and welcome
- General Cleanliness–What is needed is a balance between the two–lived in enough to be comfortable, yet organized and clean enough so that you don’t have to worry about where you will sit.
- Entertaining puts the emphasis on you and how you can impress others. Offering hospitality puts the emphasis on others and strives to meet their physical and spiritual needs so that they feel refreshed, not impressed, when they leave your home.
- Offering hospitality is much more about the condition of your heart than the condition of your home.
- Boundaries still need to be in place that help keep home in balance with the other roles that home needs to play. Those who benefit from an open-door policy at your home need to also respect family time you set aside.
Thinking of Others
- We make decisions through a filter of thinking of others.
- Jill gave some great practical examples of how to make your home more welcoming to people of all ages: keep these items handy for your guests– box of baby toys, classic childhood toys (legos, blocks, etc), board games, step-stool, sippy cups, bibs, snacks.
Home as a Bed & Breakfast
- Jill also suggested keeping a hospitality basket in your guestroom for guests. Include toiletry items, snacks, fruit, etc.
Home Away from Home
- For any of us who don’t have a large enough home to entertain, or if we have unwelcoming family members, etc. Jill gave some great ways to still practice hospitality…away from home.
- For moms who need a little help–bring them a meal, do their laundry, drive their children where they need to go, do their grocery shopping, clean their homes.