Growing in Gratitude: A weekly series on “Daily Musings on Life Together” The psalmist wrote, “Sing a joyful noise to the Beloved all peoples of the earth! Serve the Lord with a glad heart! Join hands in the great Dance of Life!” (from Nan Merrill’s Psalms for Praying). Join me in this dance each Monday as I practice giving thanks for things big, small, tangible, and intangible. Feel free to count your blessings in the comments.
Amazingly enough given how small our seminary was Caleb and I managed to only take 2 classes together during our 3 years there. The first was “Church History 2” before we began dating and I hate to admit that I don’t remember him being in the class. I sat in the front and can be fairly oblivious to a lot of things when I’m in scholar mode. [smile] The other class was “Hospitality” during the semester that we were engaged. I can’t quite imagine a better class for the two of us to be in together while dating and through our engagement. Not only was our professor, Dr. Amy Oden, simply a fantastic teacher, but cultivating a welcoming and hospitable home is something we both desired/desire for our marriage. In class, we discussed the broad themes of the importance of preparing our spirits and spaces to welcome; of how genuine hospitality may be at times risky and is self-sacrificial; and how hospitality is modeled on God’s divine, triune nature.
As wonderful a class as it was however, there is only so much you can learn theoretically about hospitality before practical experience must come into play. Over the last seven weeks of transition into our new home, Caleb and I have been the recipients of such gracious hospitality that I feel like my understanding of what it means to welcome and receive people in love has been stretched by leaps and bounds. [smile] There really are too many people to thank us for making us feel at home and welcome during our transition so I’ll just list the top 3 below:
- We are grateful for the hospitality of our parents, Raymond, Lisa, Bill and Sue. We’ve been alternating time between both families for about 6 weeks now and our parents have been so understanding about our need to go back and forth.
- We are grateful for the hospitality of the parsonage committee and the volunteers at the church. We had church volunteer at the parsonage from last Wednesday thru today cleaning the parsonage and preparing the space for our arrival tomorrow. As a PK I have lived through a number of parsonage horror stories and so I had prepared myself to move armed with cleaners and mops in hand. [smile] Thankfully we have had the exact opposite experience!
- We are grateful for the hospitality of the church on our first Sunday. We were embraced yesterday with such care and love. My heart is full. After worship we were treated to a wonderful spread and celebrated “dinner on the grounds.” We were also “pounded” or showered with housewarming gifts. Aren’t southern church idioms charming? [smile]
Today I am thankful for genuine hospitality.
What are you grateful for?