My daughter, Emmie, was trying all of Lilli’s shoes on her recently, as she had seemed to have a bit of a growth spurt in her feet. They were going through each pair, when Emmie asked Lilli a question.

“Lilli, if you could wear any shoes you wanted every single day, what would they be? Which is your favorite pair?”

She thought for a minute, then replied.

“I’d wear my most beautiful, perfect boots at Mimmie & Papa’s house. Can we live at Mimmie & Papa’s? They already have that bed for me in the playroom, and Brody can sleep with the laundry. Please?”

I fell out laughing when I heard this, but mostly, I was filled with delight. Lilli’s getting to be old enough that she remembers a lot of detail about where she’s been, especially if it was fun. I’d really worked hard to make my grandkid room a fun place, and was tickled to death that she wanted to come live in it. But I thought it was hysterical that she remembered Brody’s pack-and-play being in the (pretty good-sized, quiet and DARK) laundry room while they were here!

This might make me sound hopelessly old-fashioned, but hospitality is important. And, sadly, kind of on its way out. We used to place a high value on making our homes comfortable and welcoming; really, if done the way I believe it was intended, they were to be an extension of our hearts to anyone who may enter through their doors. Now, we drive into our garages and shut the door before we get out of the car. We are too exhausted to open the door for the UPS man, much less a neighbor, and when we get home from our day of beating back the world, all we want to do is SHUT IT OUT.

Kevin and I used to entertain a lot in our home. A LOT. But we kept inching further and further from town (too far for people to drive, we reasoned), and we got older, and more tired, and finally, the idea just began to seem too much, to be honest. But as I’ve thought about this conversation of Emmie’s and Lilli’s, I’ve realized that I’ll go to the ends of the earth to make my house hospitable for my grandbabies. All my excuses go out the window when the focus shifts to them, and I pull out all the stops. I want them to KNOW that I’m happy they’re here. I want them to KNOW they are important to me. I want them to KNOW that I love them. And I want everywhere they look to be a reflection of that.

I’m really convicted that I’m willing to give like that to them, and to my family, but apparently it stops there. If I believe my own ideas about homes and hearts, I’m closing off a part of mine that I should be using to reach the world for the One whose heart is ALWAYS open, not shut it out. I’m thankful for the reminder.

I think I’ll plan a couple of get-togethers, and maybe start with my own neighbors. And, really, I need to give some thought about getting Brody out of the laundry room, before it’s any further engrained in Lilli’s mind, or he get’s old enough to remember it himself!


“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2 ESV

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9 ESV

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself…” Leviticus 19:34 ESV