It’s Only As Big As Your Heart Is

09052013 visitors

The last few weeks have been a whirl!

We have an awesome house guest who’s staying with us for a couple months while he finds a place to live.  He also relocated from Portland, and his amazing wife and son will be joining him soon.  I’m thrilled to have familiar faces become part of our normal out here!

My wonderful Mother-In-Law also came for a short visit, accompanied by her brother (David’s famous Uncle Paul!) and niece Sophia.  We had seven people in the house– people were on the bunk beds that the landlord left in Maya’s room, on the futon on the third floor, in the guest room…  The walls were bursting with conversation and fun!

Just about a day after everyone left, my super sweet sister-in-law and her family came up for the labor day weekend.  Maya loved playing with her cousins!  The house buzzed with activity from everyone.

This week it’s back to just us and Chris, our housemate… Until the weekend when my sister and her boyfriend arrive!  I.  Can’t.  Wait!!!!  My sister is one of my all time favorite people in the universe.

And even though I’ve had laundry up to my eyeballs and I’ve washed and changed the sheets numerous times, I am sooooo grateful that even for just this year we’ve had this home with enough space and room to welcome and host our friends and family.  Even eight people all at once!

For a moment I get a little sad thinking about having to leave this house.  I think about how small our next place will be, wondering how on earth even two people will fit in our little abode comfortably.  I stare at our dining room table and wonder if it will even fit.

But then I remember…

Hospitality is only as big as your heart is.

I read an article years ago about a woman who lived in a small house and her best friend was coming to visit from out of state with her family.  Panic seized the woman in the small house; she didn’t have a guest room for her best friend and her husband, let alone her two kids.  She hemmed and hawed and finally, after much worrying about how comfortable they would be, decided that all the kids (hers and her best friend’s) would sleep camp-out style on the living room floor and the adults would have the kids’ room.

When her guests arrived, she didn’t apologize about the small space.  She explained the sleeping arrangements, and of course the adults were totally cool and the kids could not be happier.  A camp-out on the living room floor became the highlight of their visit!

When her friends left, what she was left with was a happy, full heart.  Her best friend would not leave thinking “my best friend has such a small house!” but instead with “we had such a wonderful time!”

No, the size of your house does not determine the amount of fun, warmth, or enjoyment people will experience.  The size of your heart does.

It sure is fun to have a large home to entertain.  I’m not gonna lie– I love, love LOVE having tons of room for people to go and come and sit and stand and lie their heads down at night.  But even in a small place, a camp-out on the living room floor might be fun.

I don’t want to be known as the woman with a small or big house.

I want to have a heart big enough to be hospitable no matter the size of my home.

May I remember this when we move in a few months and are faced with the reality of a small home!  I encourage you today to practice hospitality no matter the size of where you live.  The front porch can serve cocktails well, the yard is a perfect place to picnic, and the living room floor makes a great movie theater. 😉  Your hospitality truly is only as big as your heart is!

On another note, download this now.  The worship team from our church in Oregon put it together.  It’s free, beautiful, and I’ve been listening to it all morning. 🙂

Rachel Signature2

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5 thoughts on “It’s Only As Big As Your Heart Is

  1. I love this post. I can totally relate! Dan & I have a beautiful home but it is pretty small for hosting guests (although I really enjoy having people over). I will certainly remember this post next time I begin to apologize for the limited space. Thanks Rach! We miss you loads here in Oregon.

    • Thanks Em! I miss everyone out there sooo much too! I wish I could come see your new home, I’m sure you’ve made it absolutely beautiful. I hope you are enjoying married life! It’s such a blessing!

  2. Love your post! You’ve always been so hospitable…even back in high school. I remember the Christmas dinner that you put on for all of us. That was so fun! I’m trying to learn to be more like that. I wish that having people over came more natural to me, like it does for you. But this was encouraging and a good reminder for me, as just recently we offered up our home for our church group and it’s our turn to host game night with some friends. I’ve lamented over the fact that we have awkward spaces that aren’t really great for good groups. But my friends have been so gracious and I know they don’t mind. But it’s good to remember that it isn’t even about that and that shouldn’t be my focus 🙂

    • Thank you Sara! I totally remember that Christmas party! I was so happy you all came! I know you will be a fabulous host- I wish I could come to your group game night! Sounds like fun! 🙂

      • I have fond memories of that party! I was going through pictures the other day and came across a few of that night. You were always a natural when it comes to that kind of stuff…I think God must have gifted you in that way! I wish you could come too! It’s been a long time…one of these days when you are down here and have time, maybe we could get together for a visit! In fact, maybe I could host you for a change 🙂

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