Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hospitality in Your Heart...for Your Children

I read something by Ann Voskamp yesterday and it struck my heart.
"There is hospitality... making a safe place inside of you for a child."

It got me thinking...do I really provide a safe place in my heart for my own children?

Hospitality is easy to give to others, but my own little brood??
They have probably seen the best and worst in me many days...

I think too often we look at our mistakes in parenting and then focus on the negative.
I should have done this...I could have responded better...or I really messed up that conversation.
More and more I have come to realize that this parenting thing has copious amounts of God's grace.
He was the first to love me and the first to love my children.
My relationship with my children is a direct reflection of my closeness to God.
You see, creating that space in your heart is all about moving the excess junk crowding and filling it with God's grace.

Grace is forgiveness.
Grace is calm.
Grace is openness and peacefulness.
Grace is comfort when they hurt.
Grace is coming to the Lord before I speak and covering my children with the warmth of that kind of love.
Grace is listening...really listening.

I have teens and sometimes emotions run rather high.
Keeping perspective and responding with a calm manner has been something I have come by the hard way.
I never expected to fall flat on my face so much as a parent.
Some days, I feel like a toddler learning how to walk!
How I respond to my mistakes is what creates hospitality in my heart for my children.
They see I'm human, and how you should fix wrongs.

Giving them my full attention when they are talking.
Being a good listener.
There is hospitality at it's finest.

Accepting them at their best and worst, and knowing that sometimes their behavior is just how they may be coping with something.
Giving them a relationship based on openness and trust.
This is hospitality.

Spending TIME....down time...with them.
Engaging them in whatever you are doing in the moment.
That is hospitality.

The success in parenting these gifts given to us is in the way we change to meet needs. 
Oh, how my heart has been transformed over and over through trials!
That kind of love....the love that forms to mold each child's needs....that is the heart full of hospitality.
That is the heart that creates a warm and inviting place for your child to find rest and peace.

I hope you are having a lovely summer so far!



connie said...

Julia, Such a wonderful post.. and I never thought of it like that... to my own... Wow, makes you rethink a lot about mothering.. at least it does for me... My summer is HOT and WONDERFUl... hope yours is as well.. BLess you..

Tonya Gunn said...

This was beautiful Julia and I can relate:)

Julia said...

HI Connie! Our summer is starting to heat up. It's going to be warm today! It has been wonderful, though, and I am so glad you are having a lovely summer, too!


Julia said...

Hi Plain and Joyful,

Thanks for commenting! I think every mother has some of the same struggles... and it is so nice to know that we are not alone :)! Happy summer!


Amy at love made my home said...

What wise and thoughtful words. xx

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Julia... this is simply a breath of fresh air.

(your photos included) :)

thank you for this gracious reminder this morning.


Renata said...

I loved the wisdom you shared in this post - thank you!
We are in the middle of winter over here in Australia and it's turned rather cold, but very beautiful! Enjoy your summer!

harknessangels said...

Lovely post! Great reminder! Wonderful encouragement! Thanks!



this post is a wonderful reminder and also gives me strenght and Faith.
Thank you

Mochasgrams said...

I am a grandmother of a ten year old and the hospitality does come in a more natural way with a grandchild. It is God's way of a precious reward of surviving teenage years. Also I can smell the sweet hay and miss it from my own childhood. (Your photography is sense-sational!)

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