7/31/08

Dripping with Soul


Hospitality in our home is usually centered on food. With a very busy life, that seems to be the best situation for connecting with people – around a meal.

But even if it’s just a glass of water, or an evening with dessert – with our without a full meal – we’ve found that cherished time with friends is just about being together.

You can take our house away, our garden, pool or yard. We are still who we are - our family unit revolves around who we are as individuals and not around what we have.

I read this Mother Theresa quote awhile back: Kindness has converted more people than zeal, science, or eloquence. Around that same time I was able to meet with a new, very special family who popped in one night for a visit. They were on their way to California to stay for a few weeks, where they were part of a “house swap.”

As we talked and got to know this precious family, something clicked. We connected with these strangers as we opened up our lives and became real with them. We showed love, concern and interest in each other’s lives!

Later I received an email from this friend, who shared with me that although the home they were staying in was quite lovely, it was rather cold and sterile. She shared with me:

… there are many warm and open people and your family definitely fits into that. This house may rock but it certainly doesn’t have much soul from what we are feeling. Your house dripped of soul and kindness …

These words have stuck in my head for a month now. When we meet strangers and show hospitality, how do we come across to them? And what is the essence of our home? Does it drip with soul and kindness?

I don’t know about you, but this is challenging to me. As Eugene Peterson says in The Message’s Phil 4:15, “Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.”

Good living to me is about loving God and people. It’s as simple as that.

What does it mean to you?

(Top photo: I like to keep Costco’s salmon patties on hand because they are easy to cook. Pan fry with light amount of oil. To dress this 10-minute dish up even more, drizzle with balsamic glaze. )

8 comments:

Gina said...

I am new to your blog and just want to say what an inspiration you are! It makes me look so forward to what our future holds as a family of four with 2 children under 5. Being Italian Americans, food is the center of everything for us! We're in our first home, and it's not huge by any means, but reading your blog has helped me realize it's not about the house or the things, but the feeling, the "soul" of the home.
Thanks so much for the inspiration!
Gina

Anonymous said...

Kindness has converted more people than zeal, science, or eloquence.

I love that!
Today I hosted my first women's luncheon. I invited neighbor ladies and friends I have known for a little while and for a long while. We were from all walks of life and yet it was so wonderful to feel the love of each person there. My goal today was to show kindness and just give of myself and make others feel comfortable. With God's help I think it happened and I hope to do this again. Thanks for taking the time to write about your experiences because it has changed my life. Lynne

Julie said...

Sandy,
This was lovely.

Last year we had a couple who came to stay with us for the weekend. It was a God appointed time. I had met her at Captivating. It was a glorious weekend where we shared laughter, joy and our hearts.

Thanks for sharing.
Julie

sarah @ a beachcottage said...

thought provoking, thanks, you know I think that with 3 kiddos here at the Beach Cottage, I don't have much choice but to let there be soul and life...my blog shows the pics of when it's tidy and they are all at school

just to let you know I dipped out of my Reluctant Entertainer Week 3 this weekend, I have to admit partly because the next invite takes me out of my comfort zone and partly because Saturday is such a long hard day of sport in this family, all 5 of us have mathes and training of some sort that by the end of the day we kinda just want to hang, however there are only 3 more weeks of soccer and then Saturdays are free and I am on a mission to REALLY get back to entertainer, take the bull by the horns and show people some kindness with food

love coming to visit your blog, everytime I just sigh and think to myself, it's ok, it's ok, you can do it, just jump right in, it's not about you and your perfectionism

thanks for popping by too

S

Kirstin said...

oh, that is very good Sandy! It's true people can go into a home that seems to have it all, but it lacks warmth and something that just invites you in. I desire our home to be a place of refuge, a place where people can come and be themselves, throw themselves on the couches and just hang out. Thank you for being so inspiring. As I drove to Portland last night for something I thought of you and how it would be fun to take a road trip to see you someday.

AmyOK71 said...

I am a fairly new reader to your blog, but I am so inspired to entertain more. I don't know if this means that my house has soul or not but I will say that I want everyone who enters my home to feel comfortable enough to put their feet up either on the ottoman or underneath them in the chair or on the couch. I hope that makes sense. I don't want to see my guests sitting...all proper...feeling like they might mess something up. To me it feels great to see someone feel so at home in MY home that they can do this.

Jen said...

I think you nailed it. God is the center of our home...without him you have no home.

Debbie said...

What a compliment - 'dripping with soul and kindness' - that is what I would love to have people feel when they come to my home. I always hope that my family and friends feel the love, the kindness, the humor and I try to replenish all of our souls. You clearly have a strong sense of what is truly important in life. Enjoy the day.