Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the art of hospitality

Recently, our family has been reading "the Hobbit" before bedtime. The children absolutely love the story so far, it is my first time to read it as well so I am just as riveted.  We read chapter three last night..the words were tantalizing...
"His (Elrond) house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley. I wish I  had time to tell you even a few of the tales or one or two of the songs that they heard in that house. All of them, the ponies as well, grew refreshed and strong in a few days there. Their clothes were mended as well as their bruises, their tempers and their hopes. Their bags were filled with food and provisions light to carry but strong to bring them over the mountain passes. Their plans were improved with the best advice."

As I read this aloud, I couldn't help but think that this is such a wonderful example of what we as women should strive for in hospitality. Our plans and goals shouldn't be perfection in a clean home, having things "just so". But rather our goal should be refreshing those around us. Whether that be our family, our friends, or perfect strangers. Our goal should be to bless, to be merry, to feast well, to make one comfortable. Our children should have this regularity in their lives, not only the way Mom makes the home, but also in the way they serve others as a means of hospitality. We need to desire to mend and heal those who are hurting and bruised as well as their tempers and hopes. We wives need to do this most importantly for our husbands: to greet them, mend their tempers, fill them with good food, make them strong again with our love, mend their clothes, sing, sit and think with them, pray with them and send them off each day with good provisions and even better advice. May you be challenged and encouraged by this sweet little passage to an adventurous book!

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