“Hospitality is really just the way we wrap our people in love and care in the most basic, non-elaborate, meaningful ways.” – Emily Ley, A Simplified Life.
Those are three great adjectives right there. No frills. No fuss. But purposeful and selfless.
That’s what I want my hospitality to look like.
I was so excited to read this chapter because, when I read the title, I thought it would be about how we need to get over ourselves and be more welcoming in our homes. Make it less about us and what our homes make other people think of us and more about others and the value they have that we recognize in them.
There was some of that. But her take that hospitality and turning it inward to our own families really made me think.
Serving Our Spouses Well
I cannot possibly be the only person who puts life’s every day demands before my marriage. AND I married a guy who’s love language is quality time, so you add his extra need for time focused on him, and I struggle.
Her long-term view of marriage helps me think about this differently. A healthy marriage can never be “achieved”. It is an ongoing, day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute decision. That’s exhausting and exciting at the same time.
Serving Our Children Well
I often view parenting through the lens of “How do I help my children become healthy adults?”, which isn’t bad or wrong, but reading this chapter made me realize how much of their individualization I am not considering.
I had to think really hard about how each kid feels loved. And I’m not 100% confident in my answer.
But I know that one-on-one time with each kid is paramount. I heard a speaker once say that kids spell trust differently than we do. Kids spell trust T-I-M-E; meaning it’s built over time by spending intentional time with the child.
Emily Ley’s ideas on the bottom of page 107 for low-key families memories are excellent. So often, we feel the need to over-complicate or make an event of one-on-one time. There is an occasional time for that, but generally, it’s just doing what we were going to do anyway, but doing it alongside our children with giving them our attention being our first priority.
Serving Friend & Guests Well
This is about attitude more than anything. Is my main goal in hosting centered around me? Or is my home simply the location where people can come together and enjoy conversation, laughter, food and build community.
I certainly hope it’s the latter.
This was a gut punch. I actually wrote “ouch” in the margin of page 113.
Far too often, I am too busy to do the little things that matter. I have big things to show for my productivity and how I spent my time, but the little stuff that matters; that builds people up and encourages their hearts gets left undone in my rush.
Creating margin in other areas of my life and has helped me gain a little ground in this area, but not enough. The last page of the chapter was the kick in the pants that I needed to be better about what I want to be remembered for.
At the end of each chapter, Emily Ley has a ‘Simplicity Challenge’, which are 5 steps that you can do right now that make big strides toward achieving your goal.
Comment on each blog post with the number of simplicity challenges you completed that week. I will track each person’s progress (this is a total honor system thing) and the person with the most challenges completed at the end of the book will get some swag. Like good, helpful swag. No clutter-y stuff.
Don’t forget to take photos of the process AND the progress and use #simplifiedsummer so we can all celebrate together!