Some things really do take practice. Being that I’m an introvert, hospitality is a challenge for me.
I don’t really consider myself socially anxious anymore, but in many ways I’m no different than our cats; brand new situations can sometimes cause me to stress right out.
A Hero Heart
Have I ever mentioned that my husband has a hero heart? It’s one of the things that I love about him. Though I don’t give him enough credit for being an example to me, he has been.
It was the Lord, in Andrew, that drew me to Him (literally John 6:44 ), and it’s his protectiveness of those who are weaker, or considered different, that makes me proud. Andrew is also very protective of his family and will go the extra mile for any one of them.
For the Love of Family
Andrew and I both understand what it’s like to be cooped up for too long, so when my hubby learned that his cousin, Tammy, was stuck at home as a consequence of her health problems, he suggested that she come spend some time at our home. It’s unsafe for her to drive in her condition, so he also offered her what I’m calling a “road trip rescue.” Roundtrip, the drive takes 2-3 hours. When I say Andrew’s willing to go the extra mile, he’s willing and then some.
My Comfort Zone
There are certain times when I learn a lot about myself. This was one of those times. I’m not a spontaneous person. I don’t appreciate sudden changes. I need time to think and wrap my mind around things.
I Wasn’t Alone
Both of our cats were surprised by our guest’s appearing, especially Jessie who immediately took to the hills. However, Sheya surprised me. She showed some uneasiness, but she didn’t bolt as Jessie did. Instead she remained present, even if she did keep her distance.
Growth Requires some Discomfort
I wasn’t about to object when Andrew extended the invitation to Tammy. I love that he wants to help others in need.
Scripture tells us to take people into our homes. (Hebrews 13:2) We’re to take strangers into our homes even. I have to admit, I’m not too comfortable with this idea simply because hostessing doesn’t come naturally to me.
I consider myself very much a people person, however, I minister in other ways (such as writing, messaging, emailing, and sometimes Skyping.) I love the idea of real-time, offline fellowship, but when presented with that opportunity, I can be awkward. (And just like our kitties, depending on the situation, I can’t always completely relax.) Andrew is the same way, except he’s the opposite; when he’s nervous he talks even more. I pick up on his insecurity, which in turn stresses me. (Cats also pick up on anxiety.)
I’ve accepted that I’m an introvert. This makes me more of a listener than a talker. Still, It’s good to challenge my comfort zone, and we’re told to practice hospitality. (This definitely gave me some good practice.) It stretches me, but growth always does.
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” –Romans 12:13
Part 2 to come soon…