My husband and I moved into our first home earlier this year. This house has quite a bit of special meaning to us as we built it and we were able to put our own special touches in it. From picking out the floor plan and all the hardware, to the appliances and paint colors, this house is very dear to my heart.
This past weekend we had the privilege to host some of my husband's family in our home between my sister-in-law's wedding ceremony and reception. My husband comes from a culture where it is important to "pay it forward". Whether that means reciprocating a wedding gift, or hosting someone in your house after they have hosted you. For my husband having everyone over to our house was important culturally, but more then that it was important to us because we have been taught hospitality from childhood.
Where other people would look at us and think that having 15+ people over would be loads of work and huge strain, we look at it as an opportunity to use our house for what it was actually built for...a place of comfort, a haven, a shelter...a home.
People often comment on how my parents (and my in-laws) have the gift of hospitality. Personally I'm not sure its a gift, rather a lifestyle...a choice that both our parents decided to make. As a result we have an "open door policy" in our own home, since being hospitable is essentially part of our DNA.
In the entry way to our house we have a saying on our wall beneath our welcome sign..."Happy is the home that shelters a friend." We both know this to be true as we grew up in homes where friends were always sheltered and happiness was always in abundance.
Our prayer as we were in the building process was that our home would not only be "ours" but a "home to many." We are now seeing the reprocusions of our prayers...and we're loving every moment of it!