Thursday, January 31, 2013

Come on Over!

It's one of my favorite phrases. I like saying it, and I like hearing it.  I love spending time with people I love.  I especially love spending time in their homes or having them spend time in my home.  Someone's home says a lot about them, so sharing these environments help you know people better.  My closest friends are the ones with whom I feel most at home, and I hope they feel at home with me.

I think this has a lot to do with the ministry of hospitality, which I feel like is a topic that I have come across over and over lately.  I've found that when there is a theme that becomes recurring in my life, I need to push pause and pay it some mind.  

I think this recurring concept of hospitality is related to my border-line obsession with the concept of home.  I love home.  I love my home (all of them).  I love visiting other people's homes.  I want a big house someday to make into a home.  

I've lived in a bunch of different places, so all of them have become home to some extent.  Clarion, Pennsylvania was the first place where I got to really settle down long enough to love a place and the people there, so it gets home status.  My parents live in Fort Myers, Florida, and if "Home is where your mom is," then it gets called home.  I have lived in Lynchburg, Virginia since I was a freshman in college (with the exceptions of a few summers), and now I've lived in the same house here for going on five years (shout out to ChezMK!), so this place is home.  Saying "I'm going home" could easily indication me going to any one of these three locations.

ChezMK - Home with my wonderful roommate
I have dreams of a future home.  Something I really, really want is a house.  A big, old farm house that I get to make my own and share with people I love.  And decorate it really cute and comfortable.  With lots of white furniture.  And tons of pictures.  And my little brother's paintings.  And my mom's quilts.  And plenty of purple.  But not too much.  And at least one window seat.  And sunshine in the windows.  With white, flowing curtains.  And a big dining room table.  With lots of chairs.  And a china cabinet full of white dishes that don't match.  And a front porch.  With rocking chairs.  And a porch swing.  I haven't thought about this or anything. 

All that to say, the place you call home matters.  But what you do with it matters more.  Home is an opportunity for ministry, the ministry of hospitality.  When we show hospitality, we have a chance to live the Gospel.  John Piper says:
Our homes need to be open.  Because our hearts are open.  And our hearts are open because God's heart is open to us.
As a lady, I think I have a unique opportunity to show hospitality. At least, I should make it a priority to ensure that my home is a welcoming place for guests.  Not just because I'm a girl but because I love Jesus.  Maybe it's just a little easier because I'm a girl.  In her book on biblical femininity Radical Womanhood, Carolyn McCulley says, as she discusses how our culture debates a woman's role at home:
The point of being a keeper at home is to provide a haven for a godly family to thrive, to offer hospitality to fellow Christians and non-Christians alike, and to provide a place for the church to meet. (p. 104)
She goes on to say:
No one will find fulfillment in the latest applications or gadgets that run a home. Nor will one find lasting fulfillment in attempting to decorate and entertain like the lastest hospitality doyenne.  Material goods and self-glorifying domestic perfection are definitely not the heart of the home.  The heart of the home is found in the relationships nurtured there and the comfort offered to one another--comfort we have first received from God, the Father of compassion, and then share with one another. (p. 115)
Ouch.  I can often get caught up in the desire for domestic perfection that I can forget that what I have in hostessing is an opportunity to love like Jesus loves not show off my latest crock pot recipe or apron-wearing cuteness.  It's less about a perfect-smelling candle or appropriately coordinating serving dishes than it is about sharing the comfort of home with people I love.  

I'm abundantly thankful for the people who continuously open their homes to me and the chances I have to open my home to others.  I desire to be someone who not only welcomes people into her home, but also takes advantage of these times to serve as Gospel-ministry.  

So, come on over! 


  1. Kristi - Great post! I needed to hear this sentence especially, " Material goods and self-glorifying domestic perfection are definitely not the heart of the home." I can get so caught up in trying to be the perfect wife and perfect care-taker and put tons of unnecessary pressure on myself and live in constant disappointment of myself. "The heart of the home is found in the relationship nurtured there and the comfort offered to one another..." LOVE that reminder! :)

  2. Come to my home! One of my goals for this year is to practice hospitality more often, to a wider range of people. You're welcome to be in that group :)