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Practicing Hospitality Before You Have a Home of Your Own

By: Bethany Baird

Daydreaming. One of my favorite things to do. I love sitting on the porch swing in my backyard, sipping on ice cold sweet tea, and just dreaming about life.

Dreaming about what the future holds. Dreaming about what God has in store for Girl Defined. Dreaming about what God is doing in my life and where He might have me next year.

Just dreaming and thinking about all of life’s wonderful possibilities.

I remember a few years ago I had a “dream” that I thought couldn’t become a reality until I had a house of my own. My dream? The art of hospitality.

In my mind, hospitality meant having a home of my own, welcoming people in, and having my husband grilling up some killer ribs for dinner. I imagined that hospitality could not come into play until I had a house of my own.

I’m sure many of you feel the exact same way.

You want to practice the art of hospitality, but, you feel like having a home of your own is a must. You dream of the days to come when you can run your home the way you like, decorate the way you want, cook your way, and welcome people in for a meal whenever you think it’s best.

I get it. I’m right there with you.

Despite the fact that I am not the “lady of the house,” I’ve come to realize that hospitality is so much more than just having people over for dinner.

During one of my swinging-on-the-back-porch-sipping-sweet-tea daydreaming moments, I had a realization. I realized that the goal of hospitality is to build relationships, love, serve, and bless those around me.

Hospitality is a heart attitude that says, “I want to bless and serve you.”

That’s when it hit me. I can practice hospitality right now, as a single, without a home of my own. If the goal of hospitality is to bless and serve those around me, I could make that happen. I could start building a lifestyle of hospitality that could carry into my future years of marriage and having a home of my home.

Instead of waiting around for the “one day when I’m married and have a house of my own,” I’ve decided to practice the art of hospitality right now and I’m inviting you to join me.

Here are 5 creative ways to practice hospitality before you have a home of your own:

1. Host Monthly Game Nights

One of my super sweet girlfriends, Liz Halcomb, is a true inspiration of a girl practicing the art of hospitality. She’s a super sweet single girl, living with her parents, and working her way through college. Instead of waiting until the “one day in the future” to practice hospitality, she’s already putting her people loving skills to good use.

Liz is the hostess with the mostess when it comes to her monthly game nights. She began these game nights as a way to build Christian community amongst the young people in her area. Every month she, along with her parents, invites a group of young people into her family’s home for a time of fun, fellowship, and encouragement.

She took initiative, she came up with the idea, she organized and planned. And I can tell you from personal experience that her game nights are an incredible blessing to the young people in her community.

I really encourage you to consider stealing this idea for you own. Begin practicing the art of hospitality in this way. It has the potential to be a ton of fun and a huge blessing at the same time.

2. Plan Brunches, Lunches, or Coffee Dates with Girls

Fellowship with other young women is such a gift. The conversations, mutual encouragement, and delicious coffee make for the perfect blend. Often times these sweet gatherings do not happen because there isn’t someone to take the lead and plan it.

I want to encourage you to be that person. Be the one to give of your time and energy to bring young women together. This is an incredible way to love and serve the young women around you. If you want to begin practicing the art of hospitality right now, this is a great way to do it.

3. Ask Your Girlfriends Questions and Listen

The art of hospitality is about serving and blessing those around you. One of the best ways to show hospitality is by being a question asker and a listener. So often we as girls are too caught up in our own lives to slow down and notice those around us.

I encourage you to take the time to slow down, look at those around you and truly get to know them. Ask good questions and listen well. Be a girl who is willing to give up her time and energy to invest into the lives around you. This is a fabulous way to practice loving, serving, and blessing those around you. And that is the core of hospitality.

4. Go Out of Your Way to Love Others

Earlier this year Kristen and I had a book launch party for the release of Girl Defined. During the celebration, I noticed that several people had made big efforts to attend our launch party. Their willingness to give up their time and drive long distances meant the world to me.

I felt so loved and cared for knowing that these people gave up their time, energy and focus for me! It was a beautiful gift of loving and serving that I will never forget. Be that kind of person. Be the kind of girl who gives freely of her time and energy to bless those around you.

5. Slow Down and Give Up Your Time

Most every Tuesday and Wednesday I wake up and take one of my sisters to Starbucks for good sister convos. Most every Tuesday and Wednesday when I walk into Starbucks I see a sweet old man sitting in his usual spot. For several months I just walked by this old man and didn’t say a word. And then one day I smiled at him and he smiled back. That smile turned into a conversation, which turned into a friendship.

I no longer just walk by my sweet friend. I stop, I talk, I listen, and I ask about his wife who’s stuck at home due to poor health. A sweet friendship has developed and I now look forward to Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s when I’ll get to spend a few minutes with my friend.

Do you know how many people would love to be noticed? Do you know how much a smile can mean to someone? I want to encourage you to slow down and take the time to get to know the people around you. Maybe it’s an old man at Starbucks, maybe it’s the cashier you see every time you go to the grocery store, or, maybe it’s your neighbor. You can practice giving up your time and welcome people into your life in this way. It’s a beautiful display of hospitality you don’t want to miss.

If you want to read more on this topic, I encourage you to check out Why Modern Girls Should Embrace the Lost Art of Homemaking.

Developing habits that will last a lifetime.

I want to challenge you to take initiative and practice loving and serving those around you. These habits will help you develop an attitude of hospitality before you have a home of your own. You don’t have to have your own space to be hospitable

Remember, hospitality is more about a heart of love and service…not just opening up your home and letting people in. That means that whether single, married, with a personal home or living with parents, we can all practice hospitality.

Will you join me and begin practicing the art of hospitality?

PHOTO CREDIT

Table Setting

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  • Renee

    Thanks Bethany! This really changed the way I see hospitality. I always thought it had to mean being the “lady of the house” like you said, and like you I always dream about my future husband and my future house and my future life that God will have for me. But you really inspired me to open up my heart to my friends and family. Much love!

  • Rachel M.

    We were talking about this recently on The Rebelution. So many great ideas came from all the input we had. It is a great place to check out more great ideas than those given in this blog. Great post Bethany!

  • Anne Isabelle

    This is such an awesome and inspiring post!!! I love having people over so I will definitely try some of these ideas. I think it’s especially important in this day and age because no one seems to invite all their friends over for no reason– why would they go through all the fuss for no big occasion? I, on the other hand, really want to now reach out and have a good time and fellowship with my lovely friends. So thank you very much Bethany– I will be trying all these out as soon as I can convince my mom 🙂

  • Rebekah Teravskis

    Thank you Bethany! Great post. You definitely have the gift of hospitality and friendliness. It is written all over your blog posts! What an inspiration. I too, love to show hospitality. I was inspired by an older couple of our church who seem to have a continual revolving door at their house! They have weddings at their house, family reunions, birthday parties (all of these usually for people they don’t even know that well), Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, communal dinners twice a week. On top of all this they have had several people and sometimes families live with them for extended periods of time while the families were looking for work or going through tough circumstances. Their hospitality really encouraged me to be hospitable with what I have. The Biddle’s house is known around town as a welcoming house that is a safe place for people to come and enjoy themselves and also a place of godly counsel. What an example for me. Your blog post confirmed what I have been thinking about for a few days. Thank you!

  • Calista

    I love these great ideas! I am always dreaming about my home one day. Thank you for this encouraging post!

  • Emma Grace

    Thank you for these great ideas!

  • Clara

    Thank you Bethany!! This is such a great thing to start thinking about!

  • Claire

    Great post! I find myself making cookies for some gals who are coming over to my dorm and I hear Satan whisper, “This isn’t hospitality. You’re not married.” Thank you for helping me to think about hospitality in a new way and to learn to ignore Satan’s opinion in this area!

  • Thea

    I really like this post. I do agree that displaying hospitality can start at any age. I have been baking since the age of four. I have always helped my mother bake desserts for her friends at work, and sometimes, I have baked desserts for Coffee Hour after the church services.

  • Hannah B

    I love these ideas. Thanks, Bethany!


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