Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Wherever you are, be all there"

On the heels of one of my previous posts, of sharing on Hospitality, ...I must say, Wow-zers! I cannot believe myself sometimes. This past weekend was a real opportunity to shine (if you will) in this area, this "gift", of hospitality and, once again, I realize what a long way I have to grow.
You know. It's easy to read books and quickly assess that "you've arrived". If not at the top, at least somewhere in the middle is deemed "do-able". Let me at least share a little of my heart...
The weekend plans were plenty packed. We were invited, on Friday evening, to our elderly neighbors for dinner. She made dinner, I took dessert. Great!! The little ones did phenomenal. I couldn't have been more pleased. It felt good to just be...
Saturday, began quite early with a "work day" at our house which meant; cleaning up the yard and emptying out the attic. Both equally "yucky" and exhausting. Of course, I have family around here who often get included in days like these. Thanks everybody!!!
I was teasing one of my brothers, by saying, "If we move to NC... just
think, you'll never have to do this again". "Yeah right!", was his response.
But, at the end of the day, I overheard my hubby ask my sister and bro-in-law to come to our house for lunch, after Church, the next day. They attend a different church then the one we go too. And it is right around the corner from our house, and they needed to come by anyway to pick up some more stuff that couldn't fit on the truck from the first load. (different things we were getting rid of). So it made sense for them to come for lunch... yet all I could think about is; How will we feel comfortable hosting them amidst boxes, boxes and more boxes?

I know hospitality, can come and go in seasons... and this could be one of those for me. But I don't want it to.
Well, (I know my sister reads this blog) Scott and I love my sister and bro-in-law to death. Their hearts are bigger then anyones knows or gives them credit for. Maybe even bigger then they realize themselves. They next thing out of their mouths was; "We're bringing lunch along, and well, why don't you just come to our church in the morning"? gulp...

Chapter two of this book has been one that I'll find myself reading again and again. In it, the author, Karen Ehman, challenges the reader to have a welcome heart, to "Offer Hospitality... without grumbling". That's actually a verse found in Scripture - 1Peter 4:9.

Then there is the challenging example of the two sisters, Mary and Martha. I WANT to be Mary but SO OFTEN, I am Martha. I like how the author relates that so often we can say "good sister, bad sister" but that Jesus didn't say that about them. Planning and prep-work are both good and honorable things in the realm needed for hospitality. Yet, Martha's efforts we're out of sync. She was concerned, frazzled, distracted, and preoccupied. In fact, her attention was riveted on the trivial rather then on the important. Though she thought she was "doing well".

The author goes on to share a quote of the late missionary, Jim Elliot, that says;
    "Wherever you are, be all there".

That gets me every time I read it. Because I often am "not all there". I, too, like Martha, can be concerned, frazzled, distracted and preoccupied. I want to "just BE"... in peoples lives -wherever I am.

So, Sunday Morning we found ourselves visiting their Church (although we've been there several other times) and yet I wasn't there - in my heart. I was, needless to say, displaying a grumbling heart. And I knew it.

My poor husband, bless his heart, has to really put up with me sometimes...and while we were talking together later that evening, I apologized for being such a "sinner"...he assured me that he forgave me a long time ago - meaning much earlier in the day. For that I am grateful. To have a man in my life, who loves me, and takes me as I am, is such a wonderful, "undeserved" gift from God.

The time together over lunch, the afternoon and into the evening spent with my sister and her family was indeed a special time. I just wish I could have embraced the opportunity to be hospitable - without grumbling. And to really just be - all there! Will you forgive me, Rach?

It's tempting to play the blame game of: " I was just down right exhausted from Saturday's huge work day", or "My attitude was affected because I just got my period", or because, "We're moving - there's a lot of changes going on in our lives right now" perhaps, because of the time change. Although those may be (or really are) legit reasons... it's not enough to excuse the calling that God does bring to us... and that is to
"Offer Hospitality without grumbling". ~ 1 Peter 4:9

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