This fall, Caleb + I joined a small group at our church–we call ourselves the “Soup Group” because every week, our gracious hosts, Gregg + Nancy Bergman, cook us twenty-something-newlywed-groupees a delicious soup dinner with bread AND a homemade dessert!! It’s the best : ) We are really thankful for our time each week to gather with these couples from all different walks of life + share a time discussing our faith, struggles, joys, + of course, playing your friendly guys vs. girls games!! (By the way, the girls always win ; ) ).
Anyway, about the third or fourth week of attending small group at the Bergman’s house, I started to notice that Nancy had a lot–and I mean, A LOT–of pineapples scattered around their home. Pineapple soap, a pineapple light fixture, pineapple plates and paintings and coasters. So I asked her about it. I learned that pineapples are a sign of hospitality. During wartime in the past, families would display pineapples outside their home as a sign to the wounded, sick, tired, etc., that their home was a safe haven. A place where they were welcome. A place they would be safe, and cared for. Over time, the pineapple grew to become a symbol for hospitality.
It made perfect sense, Nancy + Gregg are one of the MOST hospitable couples you will ever meet. People are welcome in their home. And the pineapples remind them of that.
Lately this word–hospitality–has been crossing my path quite a bit. What does it REALLY mean to be hospitable? Does it mean your house needs to be clean + neatly organized? Does it mean your table setting has to be perfectly crafted like those beautiful spreads we see on Pinterest? Or this time of year … that the tree has to be up, lots of wonderfully wrapped presents underneath + a pot of hot chocolate on the stove?
Or does it mean something else?
Maybe hospitality means YOU are available. When someone needs to see you, you are there. The house is a mess, you are still in your pajamas + leftover breakfast bowls are piling up on the counter. But when they need to come over to talk to you, for a shoulder to cry on or to share their exciting news, they are welcome. Anytime.
I think hospitality is about the heart. About being present. It’s SO easy to get caught up in the idea of a perfect home … or a perfect dinner party setting … you get the idea. I am the guiltiest of this. I love design! I love decorating! I ENJOY planning parties + making the table look pretty!! But am I more excited about seeing my guests or how the table looks? Am I present, available, + listening while we’re together? Hospitality begins in the heart. At least I think so, anyway.
So we recently bought this clock to hang in our living room. A little reminder of the kind of home we always hope to have.