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!