by Emma Carsey
Runaway Imaginations Damper the True Vision of Hospitality
“This belief (or unbelief) frequently keeps me from opening up my home. Because it’s not perfect. It’s not how I imagine it to be. It’s not the way I *want* to host or prefer to host. It’s not the beautiful experience I so desperately wish I could offer.”
Early morning sunlight streams through the large windows in the kitchen and dining room. The windows are almost the length of the wall. We wanted our home to be bright when we were in the process of buying and thus, we even opted out of window treatments. Coffee is brewing, the diffuser is going, and I hear the sound of little feet upstairs. Our home is open concept so from my kitchen I can see the bar, the dining room, and the living room. The kitchen sink looks out over our property so I’ll be able to watch the kids play outside later this afternoon.
I start cracking eggs for breakfast that our chickens laid. My sister-in-law and her girls will be up soon. I’m so thankful we have a space to be able to host them. Our guest room is a beautiful bedroom with a Queen bed with the most comfortable linens, more big windows, and a huge fiddle leaf fig in the corner. Plus, it has its own bathroom. Plus, it’s got extra space for cots and we keep a crib in there as well. They came to play for a couple of days. We love hosting them. And the chance for our kids to be able to just play.
I stop for a minute and stare out in our home. My heart full of gratitude. My husband made our farmhouse table. I love that table. There are only five of us in our family but it seats twelve. We have a large extended family (by blood and by choice) and there are almost always people coming and going from our home and gathering at our table.
It’s easy for me to believe that this needs to be true in order to be a good host. My current kitchen has one small window over the sink, it faces the side of our neighbors house. The paint around the window is peeling. I don’t have a dishwasher or counter space. My house is divided by walls so I can’t see my children play in our living room or our dining room unless I physically turn around or walk out to see them (mostly because I’m always doing dishes). My husband works from home in our bedroom so space there is tight. Our middle two kiddos share a room and the baby gets his own space because he wakes easily. While we have a liveable third floor, the temperature isn’t regulated and if someone were to stay up there, I fear they’d wake the baby going up the creaky old stairs in our 106 year old home.
This belief (or unbelief) frequently keeps me from opening up my home. Because it’s not perfect. It’s not how I imagine it to be. It’s not the way I *want* to host or prefer to host. It’s not the beautiful experience I so desperately wish I could offer. Instead it’s a blow up mattress in our living room and metal folding chairs at our table to seat additional guests.
This weekend we actually hosted my brother and sister-in-law and their four children. It was not ideal, simply in that it’s not my ideal vision. But it’s ideal in the fact that my home does not dictate my hospitality. I read once that hosting is about you but hospitality is about them. And I can be (hope I was) incredibly hospitable in the home the Lord has given us now. Yes, it’s more work. But grabbing their favorite foods, leaving out glasses for water at night, having extra blankets and pillows, making them meals – none of that requires a big, beautiful farm house. It simply requires a heart that says “what’s mine is yours and you’re welcome here.”
…”none of that requires a big, beautiful farm house. It simply requires a heart that says “what’s mine is yours and you’re welcome here.”Emma Carsey
With this renewed vision I will focus instead on what I can offer. I can offer a place to sit and gather around healthy food. I will let my creativity run wild in helping other busy moms put beautiful and affordable meals around their table so they can enjoy their loved ones. I will enjoy the sweet presence of Jesus in each one of the guests I welcome in, knowing that I would not have known that facet of God’s character but through them.Will you join me? Let’s embrace real life hospitality and remind our imaginations of the beauty that each interaction holds, set there especially for us.
About the Author: Emma Carsey is a wife and homeschool mom of 3. You can typically find her in the kitchen baking sourdough, cooking from an actual cookbook, or fetching snacks. She says, “If we were to grab dinner, I’d suggest tacos. We’d stay until closing and I’d ask you a ton of personal questions. I love drinks – all the drinks – red wine, black coffee, oat milk lattes, margaritas, white apple juice, ice water, mimosas, craft beer, hot tea, I love ‘em all! I’m just as much a breakfast enthusiast – breakfast burrito, waffles, frittata, grapefruit, donuts, oatmeal bake – yes, please! Also, a big fan of being outside, audiobooks, true crime, house slippers, hotels, Valentine’s Day, fleece pullovers, and of course, avocados.”
She is the master mind behind Avocado Meal Plans. At the heart of Avocado Meal Plans is coming together around the table. She believes that at tend of the day serving a healthy meal is a beautiful way to serve our loved ones. Emma knows that taking her passion and knowledge for planning affordable, healthy meals gives moms more time to gather around the table with their families. You will be glad you checked out her meal plans and find yourself having more time to savor the people around your table.
I hope you have enjoyed this encouraging story from my friend Emma. To make things even more exciting there will be a giveaway up on IG inviting you to savor life everyday!