Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Interior Decorating and Hospitality

If you are at all like me you put off the Biblical mandate to be hospitable because your home is not...well...up to standard. A standard you have set for yourself or perhaps the standard you have set is one of other people's perceptions of your home.
I have cleaning to do, rooms to paint, carpet to pull up and a yard recently renovated by a Border Collie that needs a nothing less that a miracle to resemble the yard I had last summer.
A good friend and I were talking recently about the desire we both share to improve in the area of hospitality. My friend is much, much, better in the area of opening her home than I am, so I was surprised when she confided that she struggles with many of the same feelings I do.
There is more to being hospitable than having a clean or well decorated house. I have a friend years ago that never let anyone through her front door because she says her house isn't clean. Another spends an exorbitant amount of time cleaning but she doesn't entertain because -she's cleaning. Most of us fall somewhere in between as far as our housekeeping skills.
To make another comparison I have two friends that model hospitality well. The first had a gorgeous home beautifully decorated the allows groups of jr. high kids to move freely about their home on a regular basis with no concern to their beautiful decor. "It's just stuff" my friend reminds me.
Another friend opens her modest home up regularly. My fondest Christmas memories are spent here, eating or singing Christmas carols, elbow to elbow around tables -that have in the past been sheets of plywood covered with a simple table cloth-with a candle for decoration. Of course having a tidy home is important but hospitality is much more. All of us have been in nice homes that have felt cold and lifeless. Hospitality is about ministering to the spirit of the inhabitants of our home and our guests.
Let me challenge you with this wonderful quote by Edith Schaeffer, "
Interior Decoration...is not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which you home ( even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all of the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not.


Katie Gregg said...

You are so correct--and yet I still shudder at the thought of inviting people into my home! This is a huge challenge for me. Thanks for the inspiration. I will think long and hard about your words.

muddy mama said...

I know that modest home with the plywood table tops! I have always loved the way my mom has welcomed people into her home, despite the concerns that things weren't "fancy" enough for company. She is a great example and your post was a beautiful reminder.
God Bless,
Muddy Mama
a.k.a. My mom's oldest daughter.

Melissa Telling said...

You might enjoy the book Open Heart Open Home by Karen Burton Mains. She addresses this same subject.

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