Transitioning into a new season encourages outdoor living as well opportunities to invite others into our home. Some times are best for outside while others draw everyone toward the coziness of the fireplace. When the focus is on serving instead of being self-conscience or striving to impress others, the stress of hospitality evaporates. Serving and ministering to others transforms the giver even more than the recipient. Whether creating a happier home for your family or serving others, our home should be a place where doing life together creates wonderful memories. When considering ways to nurture in your home, few habits are more impactful than hospitality habits. These ideas apply to those close to you as well as others you might want to invite into the warmth of your home and activities.
Warm-heartedness creates a hum in the home. Remember that those who live in your home are the people that you are doing life with right now. This is intentional homebuilding.
Indulge in the rhythms of the seasons, of celebrations, of traditions, of birthdays, of graduations and just regular days.
Aim to sit together for meals.
Take road trips for the fun of it. Make memories and soak in long interrupted hours for talking.
Make every birthday a birthday week or month. Celebrate longer! Don’t limit planned activities to one day.
Listen to books together. Read books together. Maybe you could read a chapter of a book each time you purpose to read together. When the weather is too hot, too cold or even too rainy, grab a book to read out loud.
Tell each other about what you are reading as if you have your own family book club. If you make notes and highlight the books you are reading, use these clues to talk through a book you are reading. Share what you are learning. Explore how this material might grow you, how it might spark a new activity or how you might be inspired to change.
Help each other get to where they are going on time. Remember, if you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late.
Make an extra sandwich if you know someone is going to need a lunch. Sometimes planning ahead to be kind is exciting because you launch out with the intention of finding someone who needs your kindness. It is like being on a secret mission!!
Practice technology free meals as well as creating conversation spaces.
Try international foods together. (I taught everyone how to make sushi this past Thanksgiving Day. Why? Because I could. Everyone loved it. I might have started a new tradition.)
Celebrate snow days. Take pictures. Go sledding. Ride a huge cardboard box down the best hill in the neighborhood.
Sit by the fire.
Make hot chocolate.
Take Sabbaticals. Rest together. Worship together.
Read Scripture out loud together. Sing together.
Be loyal always. Speak positive words about your people in public when they are standing near you or when they are absent. It will quickly get back to them when you have spoken well of them to others.
Ask those that live in your home “What makes you feel loved? Cared for? Nurtured? If you are married, ask your husband, “What can I do to help you? How can I help you to be successful?” Some time ago when my children were all going to their orthodontist, I remember telling him that on most mornings I ask my husband what I can do for him that day. He almost fell on the floor. The next time I saw him he asked if I had asked my husband what I could do for him this morning. Of course, I had. I recited his response. This seemed so common to me, but not to him. It made me think that we need to be thoughtful of those we live with first and then practice kindness outside our home. It is not that we should be a doormat or embrace entitlement or encourage a lack of responsibility. Be sensitive to serving others that actually live with us in small and meaningful ways. Sometimes intuition will give you ideas. Practice kindness every day at home. It is a lifestyle pattern.