Hospitality, a word that we have to come to define beautifully decorated homes and perfectly executed dinner parties, can actually be defined biblically as generosity towards guests, both friends and strangers. Generosity, to sacrifice and give of one’s resources, gifts, and time. To be available to love on people in both big and small ways; in the planned and unplanned; both when life is put together and when life is messy.
Oftentimes I fall in to the former category. I have long since defined hospitality as a clean, organized home with gorgeous table settings and a 4 course dinner. And yet, over the years, God has been changing my heart, pulling me towards that which is uncomfortable, a place where I get to see Him more fully.
The beauty is that my home can still be clean and organized and I can still cook a really yummy dinner. It isn’t about not doing those things, rather hospitality is a matter of the heart.
Am I striving for those things to establish and validate my worth? Am I performing to impress others? Impress God?
The beauty is that my worth, my validation, my value lie in my Savior. He has made me righteous. Him alone.
Not a clean house. Not a beautifully decorated house. Not a beautiful dinner party.
God graciously let me see that I was finding so much worth and value in my performance, in my ability. And when He began to change my heart He took away guilt over not attaining perfection and in it’s place gave me freedom.
Freedom to not always be put together. Freedom to be a mess. Freedom to love others well, despite the circumstance.
A few months back I was commissioned by She Reads Truth to create the artwork for one of their most recent Bible Study Packs. The topic was Hospitality. And I could not have been more excited. As a woman who has struggled with having a biblical perspective of hospitality, a Jesus-centric view of hospitality I couldn’t wait to interpret that visually.
We chose the hospitality icon, a pineapple as the focal point. I watercolored the pineapple and did so very purposefully. Although I love watercoloring, specifically in this case, I chose that medium because it represented the messy beautiful work that hospitality is. It is never perfect, but it is so very beautiful. And the same thinking was applied towards the lettering. After a few attempts at beautiful and almost elegant type for the title, I chose to do a quick marker written title; again representing that it is not perfect and it is often messy but it works. True hospitality works. And lives are changed because of it.
It was a joy working with the She Reads Truth team and together we created a Study Pack, Art Prints and Bible Verse cards. They all hold the same symbolism and are all so beautiful.
If you have never joined the She Reads Truth for a bible study, do so! Spend time in the Word and see His promise to renew your mind, heart and soul. And the She Reads Truth team has graciously offered a 15% discount to my readers with the coupon code: ASHLEE through Friday, November 21. I think that is a great deal too amazing to pass up. So, go get your Hospitality Study Pack and ask God to work in your heart His desire for you in regards to true hospitality.