Growing up, my mother was a wonderful example to me as a hostess. She took her time in the kitchen over every meal to make her family and guests feel loved. She went above and beyond to meet the needs of those who pulled up a chair at our table. And no one ever left our house hungry to say the least. Because of this, hospitality has always been an important element in my life.
While I’m undoubtedly an introvert at heart and tend to relish the time without a full house, I’ve always enjoyed making others feel at home when the opportunity arrives. Just like Mom, I want my guests to feel special any time they’re under my care.
I want them to know that each and every one of them matters.
So over the last few years I’ve found myself throwing tea parties in my home. As a lover of tea this is not much of a stretch for me because I enjoy spending time with ladies as we sip from dainty cups and saucers, discussing the comings and goings of our lives in celebration of another day together as friends. While you won’t find any hats or frilly boas at my tea parties, delicate china and white linens are a must. A variety of finger foods and a wide selection of teas are always on the menu so that when the guests go home they feel restored and refreshed.
I guess you can say that I’m a girl that’s all about the splendor of it all. The more I can do to make my guests feel loved and refreshed, the better.
It reminds me of a verse in Isaiah that frequently speaks to my heart. One that talks about a time in Israel’s future when oppression would no longer exist and their weary, mournful spirits would be restored and refreshed. He would “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3, NIV)
God truly wanted total restoration for His people. Not just to fix them up a bit, but to completely revive them into a strong, righteous nation. If there is anything I’ve learned over the years as I grow in my faith and love for Christ it is how much we matter to Him. We are His splendor. And our willingness to follow Him brings Him much glory.
And when we choose to treat others with that same attitude of wanting to restore and refresh through various means of hospitality, we too are bestowing a crown of beauty on their heads. We too fit them with a garment of praise as we work to strengthen each other through fellowship and acts of kindness.
It is then that His kingdom can more clearly be seen here on earth. We unveil His face to others and those who share our moments recognize His majestic splendor.
Whether it is through something as simple as a card accompanied by a plate of cookies, a dinner delivered to a busy family, or even over the clinking of fine china as we sip tea and enjoy a sweet treat together, I want to make certain that I am all about the splendor of it all.
I want them to know how much they matter. To me and to Him…
Linking up with the following authors this week: