Being in the midst of teenhood, again, and having survived a, shall we say: "interesting teenhood", with our eldest I was stuck by how much teenhood and terrible twos are so alike. It is here that we really must be very aware of how God is calling us as mothers.
Hospitality is one of the major themes of the 14th Sunday Gospel, but what is Hospitality?
Hospitality, which is a serving gifts, seems to me to be one also needed and hopefully given to mothers; or at least some aspects of hospitality is being learned. Those with hospitality are usually those who provide an open home and warm welcome to others in need of food, lodging, and fellowship.
People with this gift:Sounds very much like something every mom needs to pray for receiving and I know for myself it isn't always an easy gift to accept or use. It really requires that we give up much of ourselves, much like Jesus was asking of the 72. We have to trust that we can go out on a limb and provide for others from all that we are -- sounds like mothering to me.
- provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for
- meet new people and help them to feel welcomed
- create a safe and comfortable setting where relationships can develop
- seek ways to connect people together into meaningful relationships
- set people at ease in unfamiliar surroundings.
But it is also what toddlers and teens need most in their lives if they are to feel confident and comfortable going out of our homes into the big wide world. We have to give these very vulnerable developing persons every blessing of peace that we can. Let's look at each aspect of hospitality individually:
-Provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for, not only for those who come to our home but also for those in our home. Abuse can and does happen, often it is the result of feeling vulnerable and unsafe. It can and does create feels of being undervalued and uncared for. But we can overcome these in both ourselves and our children with much work from a trained professional who can help. We can prevent them when we remember that we are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore we deserve respect of ourselves and human dignity.
- Meet new people and help them to feel welcomed, instilling confidence comes when we allow our children to have positive experiences with others, help them deal with positively with situations and people who are difficult.
- Create a safe and comfortable setting where relationships can develop. Of course creating a home where peace and love reign.
- Seek ways to connect people together into meaningful relationships. Eliminating sibling rivalry, dealing positively with children who have learning differences, helping foster common values, goals and family culture of love and respect.
- Set people at ease in unfamiliar surroundings. Giving our children and ourselves experiences beyond their and our comfort zone. When we work with others, help others in need, and just focus more on others and not so much on ourselves we not only reduce personal and family isolation, depression and a feeling of entitlement, which I contend comes because of feelings of inadequacy, we are helping in Christ's mission.