I’m trying not to over do the pool pictures on social media, but that’s how we’ve spent our summer. I like to document everyday life so I am remember. So, there are pool pictures.
On a recent Instagram post about another afternoon at the pool, a college friend commented with some wisdom that reiterated what God has been doing on our porch and in our life this summer.
“It seems like there’s a different set of kids in every group of pool photos you post. I love it! I grew up with a pool in the backyard and having friends over every day to swim was just part of life. It’s an excellent way to make hospitality a normal thing for your kids!”
That is what I want – for me and the kids.
Often hospitality is about being available and willing. Hospitality is showing up, living generously, accepting help, and offering help.
“Hospitality” and “hospital” have the same
word origin, so no wonder hospitality heals.
Around here, the pool and porch have been good excuses to invite people over to our house and into our lives. The kids who come over are making memories while they swim together, but connections beyond the pool also are made too.
“Who’s coming over today?” is a daily question from my kids.
I want my house to be a gathering place for people and their stories, and this summer has taught me some things about that.
1. Feeding people can be simple.
Get carry out. Order pizza. Have a taco bar. Buy the birthday cake. Host a potluck. Nobody cares that you didn’t make the chicken salad from scratch.
2. Keep items on hand to make hospitality happen.
We have a caddy of plastic ware right next to the stack of paper plates and an extra fridge stocked almost entirely with drinks. I keep Wyler’s Italian Ice in the freezer to share with friends who come to spend the afternoon at the pool. (Sam’s is a good place to stock up on these goodies!)
3. Connections happen when we let them.
More than once this summer I’ve wanted to break out with that song about “Make new friends, but keep the gold. One is silver and the other’s gold.” This was especially true when my long-time best friend told my newer, fellow-adoptive mom friend who she had prayed for her throughout the couple years I have known her.
4. Kids are kids regardless of their backgrounds.
Kids don’t care about skin color, whether adoption or foster care is part of their family’s story, or what kind of house they call home. They make up games and play them together.
5. Hospitality can happen anywhere.
You can meet poolside (obviously!), at a restaurant, or a picnic table near a playground.
Of course, hospitality doesn’t have to involve a party. We obviously like parties and gatherings around here. But hospitality can mean making a phone call or sending a text. It may means showing up with a meal or a McDonald’s Coke. It’s about letting someone in your life and being willing to walk into theirs.
Hospitality heals, so let’s take care of each other. It really doesn’t have to be complicated, so let’s jump in together.
What’s one way you have seen hospitality in your life lately? How do you regularly provide hospitality and what’s a tip for doing so?