I frequently hear people say that they don’t have the time to practice hospitality.

I wonder if they really don’t have the time, or if they just don’t know how to make it a priority?

My niece, who is a new mommy again, made it a priority with our family last week. I say a priority, because with a brand new baby and a two year old, you don’t just snap your fingers and have a perfect house and a beautiful meal to serve for your guests!

You might call our dinner last week a “spur of the moment” meal – but Addie made it happen, first by inviting us into her home.

We worked out a time (that very day), split up the meal where she made the roast beef and mashed potatoes, and I brought the salad and bread. We knew we didn’t need dessert, and we ended the night early because it was a school night. It was simple and relaxing.

What’s in it for us – to practice hospitality like this? By inviting people into our homes, we’ve taken our minds off of ourselves and put them onto the needs of others. It stretches us to ask others about their lives, and puts our own lives on the back burner. It helps fights against loneliness. Hospitable acts put our lives into perspective.

For Addie, last week was not about how well she cooked or how well-decorated her house was. It wasn’t about the table setting or how large her home was. It wasn’t about impressing our family or coming across as a spectacular hostess.

No, with two small kids under the age of two (oh, how I remember those years), our dinner was about sharing hospitality with family. While I was able to feed baby Jaxon – and burp, change, and jammie him up, Addie was able to finish her chores in the kitchen. We worked together!

After a night of playing with the little ones, we realized it was really a treat for our family. Because we know that it takes investment of time to build relationships, and the more we reach out and share, the richer our lives become. Not in material wealth, but in wealth that lasts forever.

Yes, our night was rich. And it all started by Addie making hospitality a priority.

(Photo: My great-nephews, Gavin kissing Jaxon, taken by Grama Di. You can read my previous, ” I Didn’t Clean my House” post here).

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