From my earliest childhood, I remember Christmas as a time of lights, sparkles, smells, color and delight. Most nights in December, I would sit under our tree and look at the lighted lovliness and dream about life and what I might someday become. Romantic thoughts of every kind floated through my head.
One of the gifts my mother gave to me through this sacred season was a love for hospitality--sharing this sparkly life, love, friendship, beauty with those in our community.
My father was, for most of his life, a real extrovert. He loved people and the more the merrier. Often, we would have 100 people in to our home--they just spread all over the house and the yard and the porch and everywhere. Sometimes it was friends from church or neighbors and kids or other times, business associates and people in a larger arena. But all felt comfortable to spread all over our home, on furniture or sitting on the floor or on a blanket in the grass--people everywhere coming together to share in moments of life.
In preparation, all of us kids were given rooms to clean, goodies to make in the kitchen, dishes to wash, lawns to mow. We were the staff that my mother learned to employ. Because it was a part of the oxygen we breathed in our home, we all became used to hosting people in our home. And so, my children have also grown up decorating tables, cooking, putting lights outside, and providing the candles and music that adorn each event in our home. Sometimes that meant they would have to share their bedroom and sleep on our bedroom floor. But always it was an adventure we engaged in together.
The messes are not all tamed ever--there is always a pile somewhere or dust or a smudge--but who would notice with all the people living and laughing and sharing life. And so perfection was never the goal, but reaching out to people to serve them was our goal.
A cake stand filled with greenery becomes an easy centerpiece. And of course books everywhere.I have collected red jars over the years for just plain candles--as the candles look beautiful--but cinnamon or apple red candles make my family sneeze, so there are odorless.
I look back to my childhood years as the time I learned all about making my home a place of life and food and fun--to my mom who taught us to work, to greet, to serve little trays of food around the house and to learn to love serving the life of Jesus in the walls of our home.
Of course, I must have a tea table--tea represents to me serving another, making a moment to really share hearts, thoughts, words of love--it takes time but restores hearts!
And of course it is hoped that all who enter will find here the peace of our precious Lord, and take His comfort and presence and worship home with them in their hearts after we part company.
Peace be with you today!
These books might be the perfect gift--inspiration to inspire yourself and your sweet friends to practice lifegiving hospitality!
Creating an atmosphere and rhythms daily through a lifegiving home will build a legacy of love and faith in your home.
A Lifegiving table, where Jesus's truth, wisdom and grace is celebrated every day, will lay foundations of understanding and convictions that will carry through a lifetime.
The set builds a wholistic picture of cultivating faith for a lifetime.
Happy Hospitality in your home this week.