Hospitality

Do Good to Your Fellow Mom

Do Good to Your Fellow Mom

Right before my second son was born, my husband had emergency back surgery. Following my c-section, neither of us could lift more than ten pounds which made things really interesting as we tried to care for a newborn and a 30-pound toddler.

I remember calling an older mom the day I found out my husband needed surgery and just weeping. How were we going do this?

Thinking back on that season, I smile (and tear up) remembering each mom that did good to us. Some of them I knew and others I only recognized from a polite smile at church, but God knit my heart to theirs because of their kindness.

That’s what God does—he uses our acts of love to bind us together in unity.

Trying to do good to other moms in our own strength is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, God doesn’t expect us to do it alone. His word tells us that he is ‘able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.’

It’s reassuring to know that we don’t have to come up with the grace on our own, isn’t it? He’ll give grace to you too, friend.

This week, mama, consider the opportunities that God has (or hasn’t) prepared for you, lean on his grace, and look forward to your reward in Heaven.

May he knit our hearts together as we do each other good.

 

The Gospel is our Guide to Guilt-Free Eating

The Gospel is our Guide to Guilt-Free Eating

It started less than an hour after she was born. Still exhausted and overjoyed after delivery, when the long-awaited newborn daughter I cradled began rooting for her first meal, I fed her. Three years (and a baby brother) later, feeding these children remains my primary task in life.

When so much of my brain space is occupied with thoughts of my children’s meals, it’s no surprise that it comes up in conversation with fellow moms. A new friend at a playground exclaimed that watching my toddler son devour a hardboiled egg made her feel guilty about her kids’ chips...
I guess even I feel some guilt about feeding my family sometimes.

...if you can’t shake your longing for guilt-free eating, the gospel reminds us we are in good company. We’re all groaning for the redemption of our bodies at that marvelous feast, but we miss the mark when we assume food choices can provide us a bit of moral superiority on the way. It’s not that caring about food or farming is bad, or that God doesn’t care about it himself. It’s that dividing food into categories that signal our success as a parent, maybe thinking that a “clean” or “natural” menu is a way to uphold our virtue or that feeding our kids more vegetables than crackers can ease our guilt, can go too far...

The Christian life is not about what we’re putting in our mouths, but what has come out of God’s. Our food choices are of some value, but not eternal value; God’s word stands firm forever.
 

Momma, Your Home Is Holy

Momma, Your Home Is Holy

Sometimes, in the chaos of children and cooking and cleaning and errands and just generally managing a household and family, I forget why I'm doing what I'm doing. I forget who I serve. I get so focused on the here and now, I forget Him and eternity. Last night, as I was cooking dinner, dad was working late and the kids were whining at my feet, I felt exasperated. Strung out. Overwhelmed.

And then, I stopped and sang,

"Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord"

Five Ways To Involve Your Young Children In Hospitality

Five ways to involve your young children in hospitality:

1. Have them help clean and prepare for guests. Set the table, run a handheld vacuum, decorate place cards. 


2. Let them help in deciding the menu and preparing the food. Is there a simple desert or side that you can work with them the day before on? 


3. Have them greet guests at the door. Coach them ahead of time on what to say. Tell them they can offer guests a "hug, handshake or highfive!" Allow them show guest where they can put their boots or coat. 


4. During and after the meal, help them to "see needs and meet them." This usually means mom or dad "sees" the need and helps the child in meeting it - getting new napkins, handing someone a drink, finding an age appropriate toy for the youngest of guests.


5. Teach them to walk their guests to the door, thank them for coming and help them find their shoes/coats.

My children are two and four (next month), and both of them are capable of most of these things - admittedly - with lots of help from mom and dad. (But isn't that like everything in parenting?) We find the main key is in communication. Prepare your child beforehand for what you expect and how they can love the guests that come to your doorstep. Gently remind them of their responsibilities as the evening goes on. Talk about the why to point them to the gospel: We want to bless people through the blessings God has given us (skills, abilities, material things). Everything was given to us by God. We serve because Jesus first served us, etc. (Lots more "reasons" on this week's show!) Most children that are really young still find this exciting and fun – not dutiful – so it's a great chance to capitalize on their willing attitudes.

Hospitality in the little years does take extra work, but if we're thoughtful and plan ahead, we can use it as a wonderful teaching tool for our children to learn to love others more than themselves and show people the light of Christ.

For more about hospitality, listen to Episode 55 | Hospitality in the Little Years and Episode 43 | Serving Others Right Where You're At


"See Needs and Meet Them"

"See Needs and Meet Them"

"See needs and meet them."

My mom pounded this phrase into me as a kid. All she had to do was say, "see needs..." and I knew what she was going to say and (more importantly) what she meant. Today, I'm finding myself repeating that phrase to my children. Whether it's someone needing a tissue because they're crying, a cabinet door that needs shut, or toys spread across the floor that need cleaned up, my prayer for my children is they will grow to be people that see needs – and instead of waiting for someone to ask them to help – they are the first to stand up and help without ever being asked.