Hospitality is playing a major role as I prepare for my oldest daughter to graduate from high school in June.
What I want to communicate with you, what I want to model for and share with you is how hospitality is playing a role in how I am planning for and preparing for Annie’s graduation, both as a joyful (yet weepy) mother and as someone who enjoys hosting events in our home.
As you might expect, we are going to celebrate. Big with a party, full of details and beautiful touches. And then we will celebrate small with an intimate dinner, full of tender words, tearful toasts, and time spent together at the table.
The hospitality involved in the big life event does not just include the celebrations. Those obvious places of hospitality are only a tiny slice of a much bigger hospitality picture. Hospitality is present at every turn, providing opportunity to see each day in this season as a chance to put into practice the art of creating space, anticipating need, and expressing love.
It begins in the way I am acknowledging my feelings and determining what I need to process all the emotions swirling in my stomach and gripping my heart.
It continues as I care for and consider the heightened feelings and emotions of Annie, my other children, and my husband. What do they need to say and express? What can I do to help them prepare for what will be a huge adjustment?
It is found in the ways my husband and I choose how we want to celebrate Annie and why. It lives in the priorities we set, the dates we protect, the motives behind our choices.
It can be seen in the way I will manage the huge list of tasks that need my attention in a way that will allow me to fully show up on the day of the events.
It will be in the attention to detail, the decisions on what to serve, the execution of every prep step, and in the final experience of being with my daughter and our family during this incredibly special season.
Yes, hospitality will be on display at our celebrations, but it is in the quiet unseen moments leading up to those big days where hospitality really shines.
I want and need space to feel, to laugh, to take in little moments, to enjoy big memories, to feast, to create beauty, and to connect. That space will not happen on its own. I must create it, both for myself and for the people I love. This is hospitality in real life. Yes, it is the party. But more so, it is the progression of decisions, philosophies, motives, and boundaries that happen along the way that make the difference.
Hospitality is the art of creating space where change can occur, and I am actively creating space for myself, for Annie, for my family so that we can step in and celebrate well when that day arrives.
If you have a big life event on your horizon, I encourage you to begin to think about what you need, what you value, what you want, and why these things matter. Before you ever pick a color palette or an invitation theme, consider the quiet spaces where you want to enter. And then, begin to create those places with intention and love.