“But oh! GOD is in his holy Temple! Quiet everyone—a holy silence. Listen!” (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2‬:‭20‬ MSG)

I’m at home with the littlest lovelies. Chailah has a cold and the deal-breaking fever that kept us from attending co-op. It’s cold and quiet and tiny flurries whip through the sky foreshadowing the storm to come. It is well with me. An impending storm and the holy hush that silences a city is perfect for quiet hospitality…indeed the simple celebration of being at home. In this season, my home is the temple. I welcome the silence. It’s sacred. 

I’ll make soup. Bake bread. Along with a fair measure of Motrin shots I’ll hug and kiss the cooties away. I’ll have coffee ready when my husband comes home and listen to my teenaged son talk about attending high school next year. I’ll draw angry bird figures with Ade and teach him to play Go Fish. I’ll let Ila stay up late tonight. Maybe over tea we’ll discuss life – woman to woman.

But if someone stopped by today, unannounced, I’m not sure I’d answer the door. I shouldn’t admit that right? For more reasons than I can name here, my family needs all the hospitality I can offer. What we need is quiet. I need to listen for the yes, and for the no. The “as for me and my house WE”. I need to hear His holy affirmation of a hospitality that is quiet.

It’s no surprise God whispered slow to me back in May. I didn’t listen and set myself up for the non-stop action of a hectic year of homeschooling, the unique ball of crazy that is the NYC High school application process…and life at the skating rink with two girls. Did I mention I also have a super demanding four-year old? We’ve fallen prey to the carved god of fast family life. We’re doing it all – and we’re paying the price.

So knowing this, “EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU SAY YES TO ONE THING, YOU HAVE TO SAY NO TO ANOTHER.” –  I’d pray it wasn’t an emergency and let the buzzer ring. “Please Lord let me not have turned away an angel unaware.”  Sometimes the only hospitality I have to offer is reserved for the little village of people I love in 5p. We need a family retreat in the worst way. I’m scraping the sides of my alabaster jar for the last drops of oil. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have enough. Sometimes I have to choose. 

…….ahhh.

Looking up to God_GT2

Yes. That was the release of a holy exhale. The breath I held thinking I had to be everything to every body. It was me breathing a sigh of relief when I heard my surprise guest turn away. God forgive me.

Listen. It’s quiet. The kind of quiet that gives us time to actively apply the meditative salve of hospitality – to take seriously, the call to serve our families. To walk the length of our homes, anointing with touch…every door. To open the windows…just a bit. The blessing of brisk midwinter air might awaken the bones…enliven whatever’s left of the Holy Spirit in our homes. Quiet hospitality might be the fresh wind of faith needed for our families.

Lately my hospitality feels quiet and small. I’m leaning into the grace of that. There’ll be time for more, a season of open doors…even room for uninvited guests and invitations to stay…as long as you like. But for now…it’s quiet.

Sometimes you won’t have enough. Enough love and energy to pour into every passion-filled cause and project. You won’t have enough to solve the problems of your friends. Sometimes you’ll have to love well in your lane, settle, selectively into a quiet hospitality that covers only the people within the hallowed halls of your home. It won’t be clean or pretty. It won’t qualify as a Pinterest-worthy posting of Good House Keeping loveliness. But it will be rich. And it will be well. Loving well within the gates prepares us to love well beyond them. If you respond to the call for quiet hospitality He’ll bless and break your offering. Your just enough…your little bit of love…will be enough.

QH_GT

Lisha Epperson / Posts / Blog
Lisha Epperson is a hopeful romantic, lover of Jesus and most things antique. A happy wife and mother of 5, she joyfully shares a warrior song about her 14 year walk through infertility and the semi-sweet miracle of adoption. Lisha works out a life of faith with fear, trembling, and a whole lot of grace in New York City. Follow her blog at www.lishaepperson.com, and here for Facebook and Twitter
  • Jolene

    I recently found this blog, and I love this post, Lisa! I’ve never thought about the way I serve my family as a former of hospitality. Thank you for your honesty in sharing!

    February 18th, 2015 13:07
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    • Lisha Epperson

      I so easily commit to ALL the good things going on in the world. I say yes to all of it because it is SO good. And we should do good right? But sometimes I have to slow it down and focus on my first ministry…my ministry at home. Sometimes that means saying no. Thanks for hearing my heart today Jolene.

      February 18th, 2015 16:51
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  • Kim@onerebelheart

    Oh how I love this: “Sometimes you’ll have to love well in your lane”! I too am worshiping at the idol of busyness with too few opportunities to just breathe. Thanks for the reminder that when we say “yes” to something we must say “no” to something else.

    February 18th, 2015 14:33
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    • Lisha Epperson

      You know my world Kim. I spend half of it at the rink and forget to schedule downtime with my family We so desperately need it. Anyway here’s a look at todays plan – scones and a visit to Grandmas. We need both of those things. And we will have them. Yes and amen. Praying you find yourself in your lane today…and love it.

      February 18th, 2015 17:00
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      • Amelia
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        Intncligeele and simplicity – easy to understand how you think.

        March 8th, 2017 21:33
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  • Christie Purifoy
    http://www.christiepurifoy.com/

    Oh, that verse, these words. Thank you, Lisha. You are speaking to me today, and I am listening.

    February 19th, 2015 13:33
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    • Lisha Epperson

      It was hard to admit being in that place…especially here. This is Grace Table after all. But God affirmed the prescription for quiet and the medicine is working. Thanks for reading and blessing me with a comment Christie. Here’s hoping you continue to feel the blessing of withdrawal. Quiet is good.

      February 19th, 2015 15:27
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  • Linda@Creekside
    http://www.creeksideministries.blogspot.com/

    Quiet. I know no more compelling word to describe the kind of hospitality I want to offer others.

    And be offered, myself.

    Thanks, Lisha for taking us to that gentle place where we are re-filled …

    February 19th, 2015 15:19
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    • Lisha Epperson

      Linda….the weather is perfect for hunkering down like this. We’re all happy to be here and I’m in the mood to minister to my family. Breathe deep and join me.

      February 20th, 2015 0:13
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      When you think about it, that’s got to be the right aneswr.

      November 6th, 2016 0:32
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  • Faith, hope and reality

    Lisha those words were good to read. I love your honesty, and I know what you mean. My word this year is rooted, and part of that is about quiet hospitality to my own family alongside the bigger, noisier, inviting people in kind. I’m sitting here now letting out a holy exhale. Thank you

    February 19th, 2015 21:56
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    • Lisha Epperson

      I’m getting serious about the call to minister to my family….again. Because I’m always serious but I just get so busy. When I commit to too many things outside of the home it’s only natural that it would mean no to other things. Often things I wouldn’t consciously say no to. Thanks for sitting with me today. I appreciate it.

      February 20th, 2015 0:20
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        March 8th, 2017 21:00
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  • Jamie
    http://www.jamiewrightbagley.com/

    There is so much light and beauty here. I feel like you just gift-wrapped the quietness of spirit and handed it right over to me. You are living grace. Thank you.

    February 20th, 2015 15:15
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    • Lisha Epperson

      Enjoy it friend and come back for more when needed. I’m dishing it out all year. Here…a little quiet for you, and you and you. Quiet for everyone! Thanks so much for reading Jamie. You’ve brightened my day with your visit.

      February 21st, 2015 21:18
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  • Marcy Hanson

    Love the beauty of these words. Sometimes we get so caught up in being the everything for everyone that our family is the one that suffers. And family is the greatest gift and greatest responsibility we’ve can ever be given. You and I know that, from deep down sorrow we’ve both traversed. There is beauty in the quite. In the personal connections and interactions we make with those we love-even when it means not answering the door. Enjoy those moments of solitude-when the world is at peace beneath that blanket of snow, not because you deserve them, but because they are sacred.

    February 20th, 2015 15:54
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    • Lisha Epperson

      they are good days Marcy…filled with the wonder of His grace, and so much love. I’m feeling tucked in after reading your words friend.

      February 21st, 2015 21:13
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  • Lori Harris

    Lisha, I struggle with extending hospitality to my own family. I don’t carve out time for just us to simply be and I’m convicted about that.
    Thank you for giving us permission to shut out the world sometimes in order to be all in in our families.

    February 20th, 2015 18:33
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    • Lisha Epperson

      that’s just it Lori – I don’t pencil “us” in enough. I’m working on it though. Can’t wait to meet you, I know we’d share more than a few good laughs. Have a great weekend.

      February 21st, 2015 21:14
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      March 8th, 2017 20:31
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  • pastordt

    Oh, indeed, indeed! Reading this was like a breath of fresh, fresh air. Thanks so much, Lisha.

    February 20th, 2015 23:18
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    • Lisha Epperson

      I thought this might resonate with you Diana. You mentioned recently the need to slow down, get quiet and focused. I hope you find the space for that. It’s so important.

      February 21st, 2015 21:16
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        March 8th, 2017 21:04
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      March 8th, 2017 21:35
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  • KathiDenfeld

    Oh, this feels like permission to me to be in the season I have been in this past year. I am so comforted that I am not the only one. Sometimes hospitality is letting our yeses be yes and our noes be no. Thank you for this grace, my friend.

    February 28th, 2015 8:18
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