Last spring I was asked by my women’s ministry coordinator to speak at a workshop our church was holding in August. The topic was originally, “Decorating on a Dime.” After thinking about it for a few minutes something didn’t sit right with me. I wrote her back and asked if I could expand the topic. There are ENDLESS websites, FB pages and instagram feeds dedicated to thrifty decorating ideas but I feel we are missing the greater issue of hospitality in our society and especially in our churches. Using what we have dominion over for Gods glory to bless and refresh others….what does that mean? What does it look like to live and use our homes as Jesus would. Whether it be a hut, apartment or a 3500 square foot house we have a space that is ours that we choose to use or hoard. She was totally on board and the workshop became “Cultivating a heart of hospitality and creating beauty on a budget”. I’m about to open a can on this for a few posts.
It’s time to unshackle.
Maybe I’m sensitive about this topic but in its various shades this topic is on women’s minds continually and satan can pluck our mind and heart strings like a concert cellist.
DO more, BE more…WHY ISN’T YOUR LIFE AND HOME PIN WORTHY?
Whats wrong with you, you inferior woman/wife/mom/homemaker? Can’t you whip up a gluten free, nut free, dairy free feast while homeschooling your four children and making sure they have engaged their five senses in tactile crafts using glitter, paint and markers? Haven’t you curled your freshly colored hair and put on your boyfriend jeans cuffed just so, booties, army inspired jacket, perfectly plaid flannel with your scarf tied in the latest trend? I hope you built that rustic shelving unit and spray painted some animals gold, turned your porch into a fall scene out of Martha Stewart? Did you get an hour to work out today? I hope you implemented the five steps to keeping your husband hooked when he comes home from work. (Please note some of these examples I actually do or love but NEVER EVER in the same day. Heck..week. There is NO SIN in them. It’s the pressure to accomplish them all in pin-worthy, instagram post fashion STAT)
IT. IS. MADNESS. Make the bad man stop.
I had a friend tell me once that she didn’t invite me over to her house because it wasn’t “pretty and creative enough” and she didn’t want me to see it. WHAT THE WHAT????? Man that is a slap in the face to both of us.
1- It insinuates that I show up with a clip board and check list grading my friends homes. Yeah….NO…I’m sorry you didn’t make the cut. I refuse to play, eat lunch or breath the same air in this drab home. NOT EVEN CLOSE. So hurtful.
2- It shows that she is bound mentally by a measuring stick that only a beautiful and creative home is one worth inviting others in to. What a shame, what a lie that is!
I was sad for me, I was sad for her. Something has to stop ladies! She literally put up a ten foot wall to our friendship. It wasn’t going to go any farther. What a disservice.
I was THRILLED when I saw that “She Reads Truth” started a study on October 27th on HOSPITALITY!!! Oh my word…if you are not currently doing a specific study PLEASE PLEASE click over to this one and do it! For the record I asked my friend, Sarah about doing an interview/house tour the week prior to SRT releasing this study…..so I’m totally pumped they are giving me some serious back bone to this topic. I mean here is a taste of some pinables. Ddddddddddaaaaaaannnnnnnggggg and Yes please!
And a small excerpt from SRT.
““In our culture, the concept of hospitality has lost much of its power and is often used in circles where we are more prone to expect a watered down piety than a serious search for authentic Christian spirituality. But still, if there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality. It is one of the riches biblical terms that can deepen and broaden our insight in our relationships to our fellow human beings.”
– Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out
The Greek word for hospitality is philoxenos. Phileo meaning “brotherly love,” and xenos for “strangers.” God’s original design for hospitality is extending ourselves in love to strangers. It’s not only hosting dinner parties on special occasions with people we know, but embracing a posture of the heart to welcome even—and especially— those we don’t.”
I happen to have some pretty savvy decorating friends in my life. Its their HOBBY. It holds their interest and is a source of creative expression and relaxation. Can I say that again? It is a source of creative expression and relaxation for them. Much like someone who paints or someone who bakes extraordinarily tasty and beautiful desserts. I do not look at a painting and scoff ” I can’t paint that well I’m not even going to hang that painting in my house because it’s better than what I could do.” My friend, Candace, is an exceptional baker; her goodies not only taste incredible they look like they are out of a magazine. Come my children’s birthday time I can sit and pout in the corner that I have horrible baking instincts or I can ask her to not bring a present but please make my child’s cupcakes for me. DO YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING PEOPLE?
So I’ve wanted to expand the category of The Good Home by adding some house tours. I appreciate these homes because they are so interesting to look at, creative naturally/organically and I feel SO WELCOME in them. My friends also pay next to NADA for what is in their homes or they just flat out make it. Now were talking. I love that my friends have TOTALLY different taste, that’s what makes the world go round.
That’s the crux right there….THE SPIRIT OF INVITATION is on the table. Come weary and heavy Kelly and find some rest on my couch. Just scooch the toys onto the floor, kick that wrapped up dirty diaper I forgot to throw away off to the side and just rest.
The spirit of invitation say: “I want you here, I delight in your presence, I want you to feel cared for”. This invitation has happened to me in third world countries where there was not one “pin worthy” thing in the house and yet I will never forget the honor and love I received sitting on their floor or the one chair in their one room house. Nothing is more humbling than being served hot tea out of someones only glass dish and a huge dinner you know cost them their last penny and with sheer and total delight they chose to do this. The selflessness I have received in my life makes me want to cry.
And so consider this the “introduction” to these segments on The Good Home. I am thrilled to show Sarah’s uniquely decorated home that meshes her Swedish heritage, vintage treasures and her incredible talent of refurbishing furniture all rolled into one. They built this house with one thing in mind…using it for others.
Here is a small sampling of what’s on deck for next week when I roll out the full tour and her interview. If you are feeling up to it…tell me what you struggle with when it comes to using your home and resources. What holds you back or what lie to you fight?
I told Sarah she has that urban meets country hot mom down pat.
Much much more coming early next week!