Friday, June 15, 2012

Flowers Fade Friday: The Hostess

We are having a party at our house tonight. In fact, it starts in a couple of hours.

This is not unusual.

I am pretty sure we host parties at least once a month. If not more.

And real parties too. Like 10, 20, 30+ guests.

Cake makin'

We also have a LOT of overnight visitors. Like all the time. Like a few every month at least. Sometimes overlapping. Sometimes we could use an extra guest room. We often borrow air mattresses from friends.

And most of the time it's really, really fun. And quite the honor.

But sometimes I get tired of it.

Tired of changing sheets on the guest bed. Tired of stocking the guest bathroom with clean towels and toilet paper. Tired of organizing my grocery list around special events. Tired of sweeping crumbs off my floor after thirty guests leave.

But you know what? I need an attitude adjustment. I need a heart change at the core.

Because I keep stumbling across this one verse. And gets it me every time.

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Romans 12:13

Notice that one sneaky verb... SEEK.

Seek to show hospitality.

Sure. I'm hospitable. Everyone knows the Russums will host your party. Celebrate your birthday. Throw your baby shower. If you need a place to stay in Phoenix, we have a bed for you. If the real bed is taken, we will provide an air mattress, a hot shower, a towel for the pool and a hearty meal.

I know how to be hospitable, but am I seeking to be hospitable?

My actions pretend I am, but my heart is another story.

Because I have a bit of anxiety in my heart each time I host a party. I have a smidgen of bitterness in my heart each time I clean up after said party. I feel a pang of annoyance each time I hear that an unexpected visitor will be dropping by for the night or the weekend.

But this is not the way of the Lord. God tells us to seek hospitality.

He doesn't say to offer up your home when no one else volunteers. He doesn't say to tolerate house guests with a false grin on your face. He doesn't say I can delight when my own friends come into my home, but harbor bitterness when I have to host people I don't know well or feel particularly close to.

He says to seek hospitality. To delight in opening my home. To find joy in blessing my visitors whether I know them well or not. To provide food and shelter to the sojourner. It's always been His way. He said the same thing to the Israelites thousands of years ago as they wandered in the desert {Exodus 23, Leviticus 23}. They were poor and had not yet settled into their own territory, and yet He told them to host sojourners and bless visitors even in their nomadic community. And he says the same thing to me now. Seek to show hospitality.

Hey, freaks. Come over to my house. {Totally kidding. You know I was in the front row of this chaos!}

Seek it out. Gladly volunteer. Be the first to offer to host dinner. Warmly invite strangers and acquaintances into your home.

I would continue to preach to myself, because the Lord knows my heart needs a good dose of this truth, but I have to go. I have a party to host. And I am going to host this bad boy with JOY.

*Linking up with Casey Leigh*


Alesha said...

Wow! Thanks! I really needed to hear this. =)

Cassie said...

You guys sound like loads of fun, and I'm sure it is so, or all those people wouldn't want to party it up with you regularly!

What a good woman you are to want to have the heart of Christ in all that you do. That in itself, shows a wonderful heart. x

Sarah B. said...

What a great post! It's hard sometimes to get our hearts and our actions aligned!

stacey said...

this is great jen. i desperately want a bigger house and backyard because i want to be able to welcome people into our home more! we have no room for kids, and all our friends have them, so that's out. your house sounds like SO much fun!

keep it up. :)

dailydoily said...

Wow! :) We hardly ever have people over + have had no parties haha. We live in a pretty small condo, but I look forward to it when we have a house. Sounds like so much fun! That cake looks so yummy! ♥Lindsay

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

I hear ya girl! I always say I love throwing parties and get togethers and I really do! But when you are always the one doing it, always the one having to clean up, etc... it's hard to be so happy about it! Good lesson though! And have fun with your party and weekend!!!

nthecity said...

This is great. I remember the last party I hosted, my heart got grumbly as I was cleaning up after and Jesus reminded my soul that everything I do is for Him. It was a good reminder.

Mimi Finerty said...

i love this post! your house sounds like sooooo much fun!!! :)

Esther said...

wow ! good for you! we love to host too but mostly do it in the summer since our house has little entertaining space. silly new jersey real estate market... cramping our style.

ps can i come over next time? just to eat the cake.

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