This is post 1 of the Hospitality 2022 series, watch out for more later.
Key words for the year
I noticed something while perusing the internet a few years back. I realised that as some people were planning out their new year’s resolutions, they kept their focus on two or three primary areas. They had a nifty acronym for these focus areas and kept those words in the forefront of their year’s planning. For example, one mum might decide that her family needs to focus on gratitude that particular year (for particular reasons) and then she might strategize ways in which to increase gratitude. I’m being overly simplistic, but you get the idea.
When I first read about this, the organised, checklist-motivated part of me thought it was a fantastic idea. For years, I started my year thinking that I wanted to work on so many subject areas that even writing it down and seeing it on paper would overwhelm me. I would give up a few weeks into it. But on the other hand, being able to focus on just 2-3 primary areas meant that it first pushed me to think about what was priority, then it freed me up to concentrate on those few areas and move the other less important ones to the following year. And what better way to improve an area of concern than to spend an entire year focussing on improving/enhancing/resolving/developing it?
I loved the idea!
Biblical command to Hospitality
So in December of 2021, I took the time over the course of the month to think about it more. I decided that one of my key words for this year is hospitality. Hospitality for me includes engaging in fellowship, building relationships (as a family, for myself personally and for my kids) and investing in a community.
This is huge for us.
This July 2022, we would have spent three years in London, our new home since we moved from Dubai where I lived for more than 30 years. Building community and fellowship takes time, effort and investment and sadly, because of the pandemic we have really struggled in this area. We are members of a wonderful evangelical church where we are a part of the local body of Christ and in October of last year, my kids and I joined a Classical Conversations homeschool community. All this is great of course, however, to really get to know people and build relationships, you need to spend more time with people.
And where better to do that than in the comfort of your own home enjoying warm food with new friends?
That’s where hospitality comes in.
I love the biblical command to hospitality.
I love to cook, my husband is an extrovert and loves to be around people, my children delight in having new friends come over (especially those with kids), it’s a win-win situation. Of course, the reality is, that it’s not really that simple. We have a very busy life at the moment: with homeschooling, extracurricular activities, sleepless nights with a baby, endless laundry and cleaning. Actually, life is especially hectic now, and I am usually feeling stressed, harried and pressed for time.
But what are the wonderful benefits of hospitality?
And more significantly, what are the costs of remaining isolated?
I decided to challenge myself this year. I have a tendency that when I plan to start doing something, I typically go all out with an ambitious plan. It’s usually something that asks too much of myself (and therefore bound to be difficult to keep up with) but for now, this is what, in my excitement, I have decided to do. I challenged myself to have hospitality once a week. To an introvert like me, who enjoys quiet time to myself, doing hospitality once a week is a big ask.
I will definitely need the Lord’s help and wisdom for this endeavour!
I plan to document what I have learnt through our hospitality events here through a series of posts, so watch out for that if you’re interested.