'A car not my own sat in my driveway this morning. Two other cars were in its spot last night. This is the new phase of parenting we're in, one where my kids and their friends drive. Not only do they drive, but they now choose where they want to go and hang out.
As I was pondering the bittersweet beauty of this season, I reflected on a few of the recent comments made by my kiddos' friends:
"Thank you for always letting us crash here."
"I feel at home in your house."
"You always make us feel welcomed."
I share these comments not to brag on myself, because it's not me, it's Jesus. Yet since I gave birth to my firstborn, I wanted to be the house where my kids and their friends wanted to come. Making that a joyful reality is a daily feat in itself because there are
- Shoes and dirt and wrappers and pillows everywhere.
- Late night laughter and early morning pancake making guarantee a less than ideal 8 hours of sleep for this momma.
However, I wouldn't have it any other way.
It's not about a beautifully clean house or a pantry abounding with snacks. It's about loving and accepting my kiddos' friends as if they were my own. Noticing them, loving on them, feeding them (ha), and speaking life to them.
It's having the eyes and ears of Christ.
The command to "practice hospitality." (Romans 12:13) and "show hospitality to one another without complaining." (1 Peter 4:9) is not bound by age restriction or stage of life requirement. It's just a command to share your life with those who walk thru your door:
Open your home to young and old alike with a cheerful attitude.
And oh, my friend, the ministry opportunities I have as they are noisily eating salsa and dip at my table or quietly slipping in my door at 10:30 at night. These are the opportunities to speak life and truth and peace into my kiddos' friends, these friends they choose to hang with, listen to, and do life with. Priceless!
Hospitality. It certainly is not what I pictured 17 years ago as I was rocking my firstborn to sleep. It's much more beautiful. It's an always/anytime open door to my physical home, but more importantly, it's an open door to my heart and my time, regardless of age or season of life.
Come on, Mommas! Throw open the door! This generation needs us. Who better to speak truth and life into our kiddos' friends than us Jesus Girls!
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11