Hey you guys! I'm so excited to kick-off Hospitality month in the Inspired series today! Four ladies will be sharing their own unique stories about hospitality and the people who inspire them to live hospitably. This is a topic that's close to my heart. I was raised by a Southern mother who always worked to create a home where others would feel welcome.
My first guest is a fellow Southern girl with a great lifestyle blog! Rachel has such a lovely spirit and devotes a lot of her blog to growing community and sharing her faith with others. Enjoy reading her story (it resonated with me for sure)...
Hi there! I am Rachel, and I blog over at Oh, Simple Thoughts. I write about Jesus, marriage, food, and handmade goods. I am so happy to be here today as part of the Inspired Series! :)
Hospitality. A word that is beat into every Southern girl's head from the day she is born. I feel like I have always loved being around people and hosting parties, I attribute that to my extrovert personality. However, in the past few years I have realized that true hospitality is so much more than what is portrayed in Southern Living or Martha Stewart...it is a lifestyle, a character quality, and a mark of a truly godly woman.
When Anna asked me to share on this topic in particular, instantly my grandmother came to mind. My "Grammy" as we all knew her was the epitome of class, grace and hospitality. My grandmother welcomed people into her home all the time, she would invite people in for coffee, dinner, or to live with them for a few months if needed. She was constantly loving people through food, and selfless love.
I could literally tell countless stories of the way my grandmother showed hospitality to so many. From baking homemade sourdough bread every week simply to give it all away, to paying for a poor man's rent so that he would have a roof over his head, my grandmother loved people, and she showed kindness to everyone she came in contact with.
My sweet grammy passed away last summer, just a few months after my wedding. But the legacy of her life will forever live on...I lived just a few miles away from her my four years in college and learned so much from her in that short time. She taught me how to make chicken salad, baked beans and pork loin...my grandmother always had a smile on her face and always saw the good in people.
I think the biggest thing I learned about hospitality from my Grammy was that it does not come naturally. We are not born selfless, we have to strive to perpetuate a lifestyle that draws people into our homes and makes them feel safe and loved. It is a lifelong journey of laying down ourselves. I believe that hospitality is vitally important in the Christian walk because through hospitality people can see the love of Jesus. It is counter cultural, people expect you to watch out for yourself. They expect for you to build walls and fences around your homes and tables, they do not expect for you to fling open the doors and welcome any and everyone in (yes, even those not like you)...this is what I saw from my grandmother, welcome arms for people of all ages, social classes, and walks of life...and that is true hospitality. Not having a perfect meal planned out, or the most stunning tablescape...no, hospitality is loving with a brave unconditional love, share life with others, and selflessly laying your life down for them.
Thanks so much to Anna for letting me share this today, such a joy to be here and I hope some of you will reach out over on my blog so I can meet you!
That was incredibly sweet, Rachel! Thanks so much for being here today. :)