Open Heart, Open Home

Table ready for friends to sit and eat and talk 

Hi friends– The year we lived in Costa Rica, we attended a small church in a village, a bus ride and then a kilometer walk from our home.  We loved those people, who opened their church doors and their arms to us.

One Sunday Eunice asked us to her house for tea after the church service.  She stopped by a little roadside market for a couple tea bags and a small packet of soda crackers.  We sat in her small home cobbled together from scraps of boards and a tin roof,  talked over the tea from chipped cups– and never felt more cared for, more welcome.

I learned a lot about hospitality from dear Eunice.  And learned how to meet friends at the door with welcoming hugs from our buddy Jenni.  And from Tim and Jill, how to make conversation around the table sparkle. I’ve learned impromptu meals can be the best from Carmen–as we carried the table and chairs up stairs onto the roof on a sweltering summer night in southern Spain, to sit and talk and sing over plates of simple tapas.

I’ve learned from Jen Hatmaker, who wrote in her book, For the Love–

“A shared table is the supreme expression of hospitality every culture on earth.  When your worn-out kitchen table hosts good people and good conversation, when it provides a safe place to break bread and share wine, your house becomes a sanctuary, holy as a cathedral.”   (page 116)

There’s a joy to setting plates around a table, anticipating friends in the door, praying for them and the time you will spend together.  And also there’s chocolate cake–that’s always good too.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.   Romans 12: 12-13

22 thoughts on “Open Heart, Open Home

  1. What a beautiful post! I love the warmness of it…you’re right, it doesn’t matter where you are, in a fancy mansion or a dirt floor shack, friends sharing a dinner is what’s important.❤️😇🙏

  2. Wow. Rhonda, this post really opened my heart. That quote from Jen Hatmaker blew me away. Where did this book come from? ❤ Have a wonderful week, and may you be blessed in all ways. Love love love, Debbie

    • Hi Debbie– She’s written a few books–a new one out soon. I follow her on facebook too. She has so many smart and super funny things to say! — I’m wondering about your writing… hope it’s going well! hugs blog-buddy!

    • Hey friend!! Fun to hear from you here. You and Tim are my models on inviting friends to share a meal. Besides feeling us so well– you know how to make the time together warm and worthwhile. Love you. xox

  3. What you and Larry have done is create a home-away-from-home, indeed a second home for so many of us. Knowing we’ll sit at your table, in any of several rooms of the house, or under a spreading tree in the backyard, just makes my heart happy. SO MANY lovely memories!

    • Hey Jenni– you’re so dear– I could say the very same about days at your house– love your hugs, your lemon cake, your funny and sometimes serious conversation. love you and Jim. xo

  4. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Rhonda! You’ve encouraged us to practice hospitality. Your guests are blessed to be invited to share that wonderful meal and time of fellowship with you!

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