It seems to Jeff and me that in today's world, many people live insular lives. Their family is a little island whose accessibility is limited. If someone were to drop by their house out of the blue, it would be considered shockingly rude. From early on in our marriage, we desired something different for our home. We always wanted our friends to feel that they could come by any time. Never has that been more true for us than when we took on a College and Career Sunday School class! We've learned a lot about hospitality from hosting this group, believe me. It's incredibly motivating for me as a homemaker to know that at any time we may get a text message -- "What are y'all doing tonight?" or, sometimes, "What r u doin tonite?" No time for panicked cleaning then! Obviously this means that they sometimes get treated to dirty dishes on the counter, or laundry on the couch. I'm not perfect, so I don't have to pretend to be! I just try harder to keep up with the daily household chores in order that our home might always be presentable.
Food is my favorite part of hospitality! I love cooking for the group, though I've certainly had some humbling experiences there, too. One night I had to give someone a frozen dinner. Trust me, it was difficult for me to do. But the important thing is not that our home is a showplace (it's NOT) or that I always have gourmet meals ready (I don't), but that our hearts and our home are ready -- "instant, in season and out of season" to receive friends. Whether it's a college student with a broken heart, friends coming for dinner, or guys coming for video games, we want to be ready to receive them with the love of Jesus. Here's a quote from a great blog by Lydia Brownback, "But, primarily, every time we open our homes and hearts to someone in need, it is Jesus we are serving."