31 Days to Hospitality:: Day 25 The Paradox of it all

This is day 25 in a 31 day series on hospitality. Start from the beginning here.

If I learned anything from being a christian, it’s this—-life is full of beautiful paradox.

Nothing is as it seems.

The first shall be last.

You must die to live.

Lose your life to find it.

Give and you shall receive.

And so it is with hospitality.  I’m the host of this series, the ‘host’, if you will, of this website.  I pay the hosting fees, I write the content, I take the pictures,  I ‘set the table’—–and then I invite you all to come to here and be my guests.

But guess who reaps most of the blessings from opening this ‘home’ to you.

I do.

Meeting you here for the last four years has been life-changing and life-giving for me.

Because you have loved me and accepted me and encouraged me, I have a better understanding of myself.  I am more ‘me’ because of opening myself to you.

I understand my gifts, my weaknesses, my prejudices better .  You have helped me to know myself.  I am reaching my potential as a writer, mother and wife because of you.

So don’t approach hospitality as if someone else needs your love and acceptance.   Enter into  hospitality because you need it most of all.

I have written this series with much anguish and emotion, not because I can’t think of what to say but because I can’t decide what to leave out.

Kathleen blessed me so when she said,  ”You’ve found your sweet spot in this series.”

And if I’ve found my sweet spot, it’s because of you.   Because you have  helped me to see.

C.S. said,  ”I do not write to be understood, I write to understand.”

And isn’t it so with all of us?   The things we’re most passionate about are the things we’re wrestling with and struggling to understand.

I don’t have it all figured out but as I write and you respond and encourage, the truth shines in my heart.  I begin to grasp the beautiful tension that exists in every true thing.

Hospitality blesses people, for sure.  But none more than the host.

So, thank you, for ushering in this treaure trove of blessings.

I am most humbled and grateful.


By popular demand, I’m working on a post on ‘the well-appointed hostess’ with some tips on readying yourself for guests, along with some advice on listening, difficult guests, and even my sister’s amazing hospitality as she hosted a square dance.  Pray that I have the strength to finish strong.  We’re almost there!

Also, Jessica, who  is a dear, long time friend of mine that I met in my first year of blogging is sharing over at lifeingracegirls today!   We were both homeschooling at the time and both trying to find ways to make it through the days! Then, we had the privilege of meeting at Blissdom and she became my forever real-life friend too. She blogs about health and running at her blog Sweat is my Sanity.  Go give her some love:)))




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  • Julia says:

    Perfect-thank you so much Edie-
    We are all woven together-like a big quilt. Or spider web-
    The more we give, the more we receive. I ALWAYS receive more than I give-
    Being willing to die to self each day so He can live through me-
    The tree colors are gorgeous-
    Hope all of you have a golden Saturday :-)
    Much Love- Julia

  • One of the many gifts you offer us, dear Edie, is your mastery with words. Your willingness, ability, and persistence to capture Truth, share insight, inspire change, shepherd hearts, and live openly before God, family, and friends far and wide is what draws me in and fundamentally moves me.

    I’ve always hoped to be an encourager when I comment – life is surely full enough of negative voices. But, now, I hope to affirm and “fill your cup” even more as I understand more clearly the willing sacrifice you make to be here – with us, and anyone who will come.

    Your words, “I have written this series with much anguish and emotion, not because I can’t think of what to say but because I can’t decide what to leave out.” give me grateful pause as a fellow writer and sojourner.

    Thank you for the struggle and then with courage and grace, clicking “publish”.

  • Susie Davis says:

    Love that CS Lewis quote. And so love what you’re doing here.
    We met briefly at Blissdom ~ and I remembering thinking: She is just as lovely in person as on her blog.
    Thanks for sharing your life and your passions so authentically.
    I’m blessed because of it.
    In joy!

  • Trudy says:

    “Thank you” for sharing in such precious love and humility. It is truly what sets you apart Edie. You feel like a sister!
    Sincerely (Love and Hugs), Trudy
    P.S. I have told everyone I have met in the last few days about your Corn Chowder. Superb!

  • Southern Gal says:

    You’re in your element for sure. I’m so glad you decided on this subject for your 31 Days series. I’ve gained so much from reading here. Thank you. You will finish strong. I know it.

  • Angie Mathis says:

    I love this series! So many things that I need to hear. I used to think that hospitality was a duty. A chore to check off the list. But wow, it is so much more.
    I learned in a Bible study about how to respond when thanked for your generosity of hospitality. Most people say something about how it was nothing….I enjoyed doing it for you….it wasn’t any bother…..you know all the polite answers. We learned that a different response is that you are helping in Jesus’s name. It changed my outlook and I no longer feel like I am checking a list.
    It’s all in Jesus’s name!

  • Maria Hanson says:

    What a lovely series! I love how you began with hospitality and our hearts. SO TRUE. I like to think of hospitality as my thank you note to the Lord for all the hospitality He gives me, starting in Genesis, Chapter 1. I am just blown away that He made this climate controlled earth for us. And I am amazed by how much more He gives us today – education, money, food, homes, jobs, etc. WOW! Isn’t He glorious? It just fills my heart with thanksgiving and love toward Him. Then I can pour the overflow of love and thanksgiving on others. THANK YOU JESUS! And thank you Edie for this series.

  • Edie, I could write a book on this post alone. You have no idea how much you have helped me. I am at a unique place in my life. I have mentioned before that I recently lost my husband and I have been trying to pull my life together, to see what the next few years might look like. I have thought alot about who I am and what brings me joy and how I can make a living. My Pastor reminds me to follow my gut, so I have been playing with the idea of starting a business inviting people into my home to craft. I absolutely love to gather people, always have and I love being creative and teaching, so these 3 things seem to fit so well together. When I saw your series I wanted to follow it so that I could get some ideas on how to make people feel welcomed in my home, with this new business. I’ve enjoyed much of it and have gotten some great tips, but this one validated what I am doing and why I am doing it. My life has taken a drastic change, I’m not the type to sit and loose the days I have left crying. I loved my husband deeply and he me, and I miss that love. Opening my house to others can help fill that void I think. This small little thing (and I mean that in terms of the universe) has been life changing for me. You can’t imagine what that means! Bless you dear one!

  • Christie says:

    I’ve loved this series, and look forward to your “well-appointed hostess” post. I think its neat how the series has been about why, how and who to host. It would be good to read your ideas on who we are as hostesses.

  • A paradox indeed, but you did capture it well. Have you heard Charlie Peacock’s song on “Cheer Up, Church?” It captures this too. God’s grace is all we need, even when – especially when – we’re worse off than we think. This series has blessed me, and I’ve realized how blessed I am through writing on my site. Thank you, Edie. Thank you, indeed.

  • Cheryl says:

    Edie…..I just want to say…thank you, thank you….for sharing all of this with us……your series has been breathtaking….honestly….you have covered hospitality from beginning to end….the whys and the hows……and you have filled the space well…….as I read through the 31 dayers…..it’s clear some of them didn’t have 31 days of things to say about their subject….and I’m not dissing them……I don’t blog…but I can see how hard this is…….so some of them have tried to stretch out their subject by only posting such small snippets…….or they are in such a quandary as to what to say on their subject…..you, on the other hand, have taken a whole approach….going through about what hospitality is, how to get it, how to give it, how to set up your home from the guest room, bathroom…to the kitchen…….to what to cook and why……it has been a pleasure to be on this trip with you…..thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!

  • bonnie says:

    Edie, You have blessed me today. My heart is stirred and tears in my eyes as I know I will ponder all you have said in this post for a while. I have enjoyed all this series.

  • Gina says:

    I have really enjoyed this series so much. You have done a fabulous job writing about hospitality!! It is near and dear to my heart and have wanted to have a women’s meeting at church for the past couple of years on the subject. Now, I just need to direct people to your blog. ;) Looking forward to your post on “difficult guests.’ My husband’s family is a bit loud and rowdy (the adults) and as much as I love them it is hard sometimes to host. I have really lowered my expectations, shifted my focus and I make sure I am “prayed up” and “read up” when we have family gatherings here. ;)

  • Jackie says:

    Beautifully written and full of truth. Thank you.

  • Meggan says:

    God is blessing His people through your beautiful words & loving example. I just have two simple words: Thank you.

  • LLH Designs says:

    Love the CS Lewis quote. My thoughts exactly! xoxo!

  • Ruth says:

    Edie-you truly are a blessing to those who visit here with you. You’re superior skill with words and ability to openly share your heart and thoughts with us has inspired many of us to move beyond ourselves, clinging to our Savior, and reaching out to serve those around us. Through this series you have opened our eyes to the necessity of hospitality, not only for some but for all. The impact of this marvelous city will be far reaching.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening my own eyes.

  • Devon says:

    I love, love, love this series!!! Thank you for blessing us with your words, but more importantly your heart. You shine Jesus and my heart is full from this beautiful and challenging series.

    Thank you!

  • saraspunza says:

    Dear, dear Edie,
    You have built something truly lovely here. I keep coming back to your site because it is the place of grace. I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination. My very use of the word religious reveals that! But, I do find so much grace in your blog.
    Grace in spirit.
    Grace in bread-baking.
    Grace in The Odyssey.
    Grace in cowboy boots and black walls.
    Grace in fire and ashes.
    Grace in redemption and rebirth.
    You have caused me to really search myself and my life for answers. Thank you.

  • That C.S. Lewis quote speaks to my heart. It couldn’t be more true. I am loving this series, it fits you like a glove!

    Thanks for the shout out and the chance to guest post over at Life In Grace Girls. You’re a doll. xo, Jess

  • Kathryn C says:

    I am seriously going to print out each post and make a little book for me, and (eventually) for my girls to reference. This has truly been an amazing month of posts that show your beautiful heart and grace. Praying for a finish…it will be great, of course, because you speak straight from your heart.

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