Hosting a guesthouse has taught me many things and helped me get outside myself. Here are a few blessings about hospitality.
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.“
I Peter 4:9
Never say “never.”
It’s been my motto for some time, and honestly, I should know better by now. Because from moving to Nashville – and back to Oregon again – to homeschooling our children (something I’d never do), I keep eating my words.
Or, to make it sound more spiritual, I keep having opportunities for humility.
So, I shouldn’t have declared it. But as my visionary husband frequently throws out these wild ideas of “Let’s run a Bed-and-Breakfast!” or, “How about we start an Airbnb?” and “We should restore this old, creaky house and turn it into a historic Inn…”
What could I do but clearly communicate my feelings on the matter?
Never, honey. NEVER.
And yet, as you’ve probably already guessed, what d’ya know, here we are, hosts of the Cascades Ranch Guesthouse.
The Surprising Blessings of Hospitality
Someday, I’ll have to tell you the whole story, but we’ll skip to the good parts for now. Because as it turns out, I’m thrilled to be running our Guesthouse and I’m surprisingly thankful for this stretching. I’ve already learned many sweet life lessons and would gladly share them with you. And the best part? You don’t need to manage a short-term rental to enjoy these same blessings!
A chance to express your creativity.
If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. So having guests in your home – whether renters or houseguests – can help get your creative juices going. Yes, practicing hospitality is about your guests (more about this further down), but it’s also about you. I love sharing my tastes and interests with my guests, such as my particular interior design flare, a few favorite books, and a strong preference for French Press coffee.
A time to put “others’ interests before my own.”
With this one, you may wonder, “Are you kidding me? I get to ‘lay my life down’ every day around here!” Trust me, I’m with you. That’s why I was unprepared for how much joy I’d find in looking for little ways to bless our guests: offering a simple breakfast, ironing the linens, slipping small chocolate bars into baskets, and other such “luxuries.” All I have to do is consider what I might find fun or delightful!
An opportunity to learn about others and hear their stories.
If I were to pick the single most unexpected blessing of hosting our Guesthouse, I’d say it was this: meeting new people and hearing a bit of their story. We’ve not only met folks from all over the U.S., we’ve hosted people who have come from as far as India and Poland. We’ve talked with people who were celebrating special occasions and others who were grieving a great loss. We’ve laughed with our guests, literally cried with a few, and prayed with many (when invited). Their stories helped me get outside of my own, and I’m all the better for it.
So, while offering hospitality might mean thought and work to our already busy lives, I believe it’s worth the extra effort—blessing the people you welcome in, as well as yourself.
In His Word
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. ~ Romans 12:13
In Your Life
- Who is someone you’d like to invite over? Maybe it’s a new acquaintance, an old friend, or a stranger.
- What are some fun or thoughtful ways you’d like to bless your guest(s)? You could offer a unique blend of tea, make homemade cookies, or pick up a specialty item from a local business.
- What might add a touch of beauty or make for a unique experience? Often it’s the simplest things that make an impact: a freshly picked bouquet (my current favorite is to make a “bouquet” of fresh herbs from my garden) or a simple tray of fresh fruit and chocolate.
- What is a “secret” talent that you can share? Are you an aspiring artist, a poet, or a designer? Here’s your chance to shine using your gifts.
- What is one intentional question you could ask your guest? Something that communicates “I’m interested in you” or “I care about your life.”
Lisa would love to welcome you to their Cascades Ranch Guesthouse! You can take a peek here. And if you’d like more tips and inspiration on practicing hospitality, we recommend Reach Out, Gather In: 40 Days to Opening Your Heart and Home by Karen Ehman.