My brother Daniel left on Sunday morning, and after a busy day at a big chuch event and then our monthly Centering group get together, Matthew’s 18-year-old cousin Abbie arrived Sunday evening to visit for part of her Spring Break. My introvertedness is catching up with me…I’m plumb wore out from being around people all the time for over a week.
I feel bad saying that, because I don’t ever want that to come across to the people I’m around as an insult. It’s not at all – Daniel and Abbie are both wonderful house guests and great people, and I enjoy their company. It’s simply a factor of my personality. (I don’t want to use “my personality” as an excuse for anything, especially not for shirking hospitality, a Biblical command and also something Matthew and I enjoy…but I do want to be aware of my own limits.)
Abbie spent the night last night with her Aunt Barbara and cousins Joanna, Amy and Daniel, and Amy took Abbie to URI for some of her classes today. Katherine is taking a nap. I am relishing the alone time, and I feel myself recharging like I’m plugged into an outlet.
This has made me think about a dream I’ve had for a while – someday building a beautiful Rivendell-esque home in the woods and creating a bed and breakfast-type retreat for missionaries on furlough. I’ve written about that previously here. How well would I be able to handle having many people around for long stretches of time?
First of all, I count on God to stretch my character as He sees fit to make me ready to accomplish His plans for me – “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 – we have this verse on our bathroom wall in the prime meditation location.)
Second, I’ll have to depend on my husband. God made us a team and perfectly fitted us to work together. I am not good at handling hospitality on my own. Matthew and I realized in our first year of marriage that we make a great hospitality team. I love all the behind the scenes stuff like preparing our home, planning meals, cooking, attending to practical needs like towels, sheets, etc. Matthew has no parallel at entertaining guests. He is very people-savvy, noticing when someone is feeling left out or not having a good time, and he’s good at pulling them in. He’s also good at networking and connecting people. On our own, we’d both be lost. His idea of cooking is…well, making a sandwich is too hard for him. Left by myself to entertain people, I feel awkward and out of my element, and I end up leaving them to play with the cats while I cook.
Third, I think it will be a huge blessing to have capable children to help. I know that God will gift each of our children with talents and skills, and I look forward to seeing how they will fit into the hospitality equation and make it even more possible for us to serve our guests.