Be my guest

We are now past the half-way point of our family leave time, and these weeks away spent with our families have reminded me of the power of hospitality. Embracing our family for days on end and sharing life and space with us is no small thing. Whether it is Aaron’s fascination with buttons (any and every–I think he has reset every clock in every house), Elijah spitting up on couches or blankets or clothes, or Mercy eating the tops off of a plate-full of muffins, not to mention my morning grumpiness after a long night with the baby, we bring with us certain challenges to even the most gracious of hosts. It is humbling, really, to see the chaos and messiness of your life put on display in your parents’ homes. And as we receive grace upon grace from them, I ask myself if my own life and home offer these same gifts to others.

I have been struck by these things:

When someone stocks up on diapers and wipes considering even these something to host. It is too easy for me to practice a much more measured generosity…

When someone goes out of their way to purchase the foods our kids enjoy. It is much easier to offer my preferences to those I welcome…

When someone shifts the dinner hour to accommodate little tummies used to eating early. I too often find myself willing to give as long as my family’s needs are not interrupted…

When someone genuinely does not seem bothered by our family clutter that, no matter how hard I try, seems to seep out onto every surface. How many times do I find myself annoyed by the dishes or toys or stains left after the guests have gone?

Grandma Peggy just finished reading the story of the nativity with Mercy, and as I paced the living room with Elijah in my arms I was reminded of how hospitality played a role in that story as well. The Jewish people knew something about how to practice hospitality. Welcoming the stranger was a very regular part of their life as a people. Jesus went on to exhibit this same commitment in his life and ministry, most notably to those least deserving of it.

I have been given a timely reminder these last weeks of the ways I still have to grow…


  1. As for growing…me too. Thanks for these observations and reminders to be both giving and grateful.

  2. The house is now clean and tidy…and quiet. WE MISS YOU SO MUCH!!

    Much love,
    Grammy & Pop-Pop & Laylah

  3. Holly,

    I feel like I am never done learning in this particular area! Glad to be in fine company 🙂

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