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Hospitality - its about the Heart - Issue 305
July 05, 2013
|Hi there! ....
Today is my husband, Peter’s birthday. We've already had our traditional family breakfast, gift giving and photo shoot! Tonight he watches the football with friends – so there is really only one thing he wants for his birthday and that is that the Wallabies win!! (and for my overseas readers and Australian women who don’t care: there is a Rugby Union game on tonight, tie breaker, between Australian team and the British/Irish Lions) The girls are making a dessert that is doubling as his birthday dessert but it has an Australian theme of green and gold.
Let me introduce Peter to you: Though Peter grew up in a Christian home, he made his own decision to follow Jesus around 13 years of age. From that time since he has loved God’s word and makes it a priority to read and ponder the things of God regularly throughout his week. He works as a vet – mainly with large animals: cattle and horses. He flies around a large area of the top end of Australia servicing the cattle industry, and when he is at home, he treats the local horses. Unfortunately his work has taken him away from home for many years though he works hard at keeping in touch with the happenings of our family, with nightly phonecalls to me, and making sure he touches base with the kids when he gets home. His heart is to show God’s truth, in all areas of life, to the community in which he works and lives. He has a standing as a man of integrity and real-ness which not only reflects him, but becomes the standard for our family. I love you Peter!
Live life with your kids!
If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
Hospitality is about the Heart, not the Home
Recently Peter and I were travelling and we dropped in to visit some people we don’t know very well. They had been away for a couple of days and only had half an hour’s notice of our arrival. It was interesting to see what the lady of the house did in that half hour to prepare for our quick visit. In amongst all the living that goes on in her house, she cleared the table, laid a small table cloth and had tea cups waiting for us. Not any ol’ tea cups but beautiful fine china tea cups, all in different shapes and designs – very beautiful.
As we sat there and got to know each other – over a few cups of tea – I was reminded that this was real hospitality. So often we put off sharing our time, energies, home, food, love with others simply because we don’t have time to make it perfect. We are too busy and our house work builds up, we don’t have time to cook a meal and we get tired.
But hospitality is about sharing our heart, not a perfect home, a perfect meal, or making it a perfect event. Hospitality is about sharing us.
Over the years I’ve worked on different things that have helped me be hospitable regardless of my circumstances.
There are many ways that we can share our life with other people we need to be creative and resourceful.
Being hospitable does not need to be a whole family activity. I like to catch up with my friends, one on one and of course, as my children are now older I can do this more easily. But even when the kids where little I would take them with me, and expect them to play quietly while I visited with my friends. I remember explaining this to them one day, because they particularly loved one of my friends dearly too. We had a little pact going – they would get 10 minutes with their Aunty-BeeBee and then they’d leave her to me. This was a part of my children recognizing that I too was a person, and that I too had friends, and that they weren’t the center of everyone’s world!
Being hospitable is one of the important traits we want to pass onto our kids. Another blessing while we were away was to hear how our kids were hospitable in our absence. It really does lift your heart when you see your children carrying the same passions and purpose as you do.
We can intentionally teach our kids to be hospitable:
In summarising my thoughts on hospitality I have forgotten one important aspect – be hospitable towards our family. If being hospitable is cheerfully sharing food, shelter and friendship with others* then our family should be the recipients of our hospitality all the time. Just as tiredness and busyness stop our interactions with other people it is easy to let these things affect our interactions with our family. Some years back I was challenged about how I dealt with the family evening meal – I compared how I approached a meal with friends, and how I approached a meal with my family.
Now, of course some of this is just family life, but some of it, some of the time was a habit I grew into where I lost the value of sharing a meal together with my family. I lost the joy of opening my heart and instead just fed everyone. We still have some meals that are like that – over and done with quickly – but on the most part the evening meal is a highlight of our day where we come together and can enjoy food, time, and friendship.
Remember, hospitality is about the heart – not the home. You can share life with others wherever you are – if you have it in your heart.
*this definition came from Character First
During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I've shared:
Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool
Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.
Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.
Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?
This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.
Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you.
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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!
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