One of the largest hindrances women have to sharing their homes for hospitality is that they are not happy with their homes. Let’s talk about that and move toward loving your home.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5 What a verse. Think about it in the coming days:
- We are not to wish we had what others have.
- Be content with what we have.
- God dwells us with; He won’t leave us.
That is a perfect setting to share hospitality. Women are generally nesters, unless that characteristic has been dampened by incidents in their lives that have dulled our nesting gene. Most of us are drawn to the womanly arts. Like any art, development and practice will improve our passion. Would you enjoy hospitality more if you thought your home looked better?
In coming posts I will make suggestions about improving your home’s appearance as well as your heart for it. Today I will begin by telling you about mine and how it evolved. I love homemaking. I love freshening the appearance of my home. I always have. This began before I was married. My mother would leave for a convention or something and she would return home to things changed up some. Sometimes she appreciated it; sometimes she thought I was interfering into her territory. (I was.)
God has a sense of humor, I think. He gave me homes in America and in India, requiring creativity and resourcefulness. I have been homemaking for over 35 years. With time and experience, I have developed a style that feels more permanent. My homes have changed but I have not so much. I have always enjoyed having people in and think that my home was a reflection of our lives, but it never was about the home. It was about the people and memories made. I never felt anyone was critical of our home. Comments and notes sent after a get-together bear that out.
I never really had a particular decorating style. I incorporated what I had with what I purchased. I made them work together. When I look at pictures of our home thirty years ago, I still think it was nice. I did my best. It was always homey and that is a good word to describe the place we lay our heads down at night.
As we age and mature, so do our tastes. I still appreciate almost every decorating style, but I don’t embrace them because I prefer my own, a style that works for me, because of budget, because of what I already own.
I am content, thankful with what I have though the creator in me can always change something and fortunately I can do this frequently with little or no expenditure.
I do have a “method to my madness.” Here are some things I favor:
- Muted greens, celery, sage and a hint of robin-egg blue, with the green tones more pronounced.
- Whites and beiges are neutrals to blend everything.
- Rust and sienna are colors that I lean to for accents.
- I have no specific furniture style but lean toward things with softer lines.
- I have splashes of Americana, but my style is more European/Indian.
- Decor may appear haphazard, but I usually have a reason for placing things where I do. Sometimes it is haphazard too, until I figure something out or get someone to help me correct an issue.
- I have few decor items that do not serve another purpose. Beautiful pitchers become vases and become pitchers again. Baskets are lovely but also nearby to assist in many useful and beautiful ways. Things that are frequently used don’t gather dust as quickly.
As much as I love all colors and most decors, I have counted some out almost entirely. I love blues and yellows, but you won’t see them. I love a home that has been Americana-styled, but it won’t be mine. I love rustic or primitive looks but it won’t be mine. Contemporary and Asian styles are lovely, but not for me. The point is that we can’t mix everything we like or we may end up with a chaotic look that will be difficult to pull together. I have learned to continually curate my surroundings.
I developed “my style” over time. I freely shared things that I had and was not using. Some of them are now favorites to others. Give things away or donate anything you are not using. I don’t want to be depressing, but someday everything is going to burn anyway. If I do not love something, or have a use for it, it goes. I love pretty things, but things are still just stuff.
I am not fastidious in housecleaning. I don’t clean baseboards as often as I should. You would not want to eat off my floor, but would you want to eat off anyone’s floor? A little dust does not bother me, but when I notice it, I add it to my mental list of tasks. Sometimes I get right after it; often I don’t. If I knew you were coming, I might fly through the house while the coffee was brewing. Ladies, we have busy lives. We do what we can and that is enough.
What if someone “popped in” on me? They have. They may notice the dust, but what they mention is that the the house feel peaceful and a nice place to be. Because I keep some level of order, preparing coffee or tea, hot or cold is effortless. Served in pretty cups with a linen serviette makes any occasion an occasion; a little mood music and we are set. Hospitality is opening your home, but a little entertaining is not a bad thing either. I want my guests to feel special – because they are to me.
Remember, friends come to see you. Yes, they look at your home, but it is you they come for. Let me end with a story. I had a Sunday school teacher that I liked very much. She lived in big farm house, a big, cluttered farm house. Without fail, each time I stopped by, she cleared a place at the table for us, made tea and offered a piece of cake. Her serve ware was mismatched, but pretty. What unified them, I remember, was that they had wildflowers on them. I wonder now if she collected individual pieces with wildflowers, regardless of the pattern they were. I never thought to ask. I could never have functioned in her home, but it was welcoming and I loved visiting. She never once made an apology for any of the clutter. I am thankful she did not; that would have made me uncomfortable.
Walk through your home. Thank the LORD in every room, for you have rooms. Ask Him to help you make simple changes that will make your home more welcoming to others and a place that you want to be. God has an eye for beauty. Look at the world He created! It is not shallow to want to create a lovely home. You can do that.
First step is to access what you see and what you’d like to see. Perhaps my thoughts will guide you in these considerations. Count this as an installment in our hospitality series. Creating a place that feels like home to you and then let others in to see who you are. We will love it! We already love you!
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it. George Moore.