Hospitality and Making Space

Space-Maker- one of my new phrases. I stumbled upon it when I was trying to say “pace maker” and it slipped out wrong.  But something about the phrase stuck. I kept finding myself thinking on it and every time I did I felt strangely connected to it. These two words started summarizing things I had felt or wanted to describe for a while and didn’t know how when it came to hospitality.

I always thought that in order to be a hospitable person I had to enjoy making coffee, a homemade meal, have a clean house, and always happen to have a safety pin in my pocket when someone needed one.  I, in no way, am trying to belittle any form of hospitality, but I clearly had a very limited perspective on what hospitality meant in a bigger sense and specifically how I wanted to express it in my own life.

I began to think about hospitality more when my children were born and I thought on what I wanted them to experience in their home growing up.  I wanted and still do want them to see that our doors are open, that our table is welcoming, and that whatever we have is to be shared.  I want my children to experience a home that is open to all kinds of people; people with all kinds of stories and a variety of interests and gifts.  

Yet, I remember sharing with my husband not that long ago that sometimes having people over for dinner or just in general causes me stress.  It’s not the cooking or potential cleaning, or other personalities in my home. It’s the longing I have for people to feel safe in my home.  I over think it, put pressure on it, and then create the exact opposite of a peaceful space.

So the other day in the midst of a conversation about all things hospitality I realized that all I need to do, is what I really truly WANT to do--- and that is, be a “space-maker”.  Nothing defined by a fancy meal, or a clean house, or a safety pin in my pocket- but a break, a moment, a rest, in which space is made for another person that says, “i’m here with you”. I want to be someone who others feel I am really in the room with them when we are spending time together.  Not thinking about my lists, or what is happening out the window or answering or solving the other’s questions or situation. I think I am redefining what hospitality looks like for me, my family, and in my life.  

What does hospitality mean to you?

Top 10 Ways to Start Your Day Off WRONG

*I have not attempted any of these

10.  Set the Glee version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” as your morning alarm.  While vocal harmonies are where it’s at for me, one million voices blaring through a tiny iphone speaker at 5:45 am is is not pitch perfect.  From irresistible to VERY IRRITABLE!

9.  Pushing snooze when you have to pee.  It just starts to hurt.  If you have to go that bad, you might as well jump in the shower, so you can kill two birds with one stone.  Just sayin’.  

8.  Randomly decide that you are going to start drinking caffeinated coffee.  While this ritual is normal to quite a few, if you are not in that few, you have no idea if caffeine will help you chase your little squirrels or make you start talking like a squirrel.  

7.  “Journaling”.  This only applies to those who own 80 journals with only the first entry written in it.  It normally says something like, “I’ve decided I am going to start journaling.”  This is not helpful friends.  This is journal hoarding.  

6.  “Exercising”.  This only applies to those who own 80 workout DVDs that haven’t been touched since the first time you said, “I’ve decided I am going to start exercising.”  This is not helpful friends.  This is DVD hoarding.  

5.  Tell your husband you will be up in “just a minute”.  You will not.  You lie.

4.  Step into the kitchen and see all of the dishes you said you’d “just do in the morning.”   I don’t know why crusty, sticky food, and the smell of a stale potluck always seems to sound better the night before then just getting the dishes done.  Animals could grow in there.  

3. Telling your children you will make some sort of design of a face out of their breakfast.  The nose will get you every time.

2.  Roll over and greet your husband without brushing your teeth first.  That is just mean.

1. Look at Facebook, check your email, make your lists-- before you take a breath and simply give thanks.  (Note to self)