Seven Things I’ve Learned About Hospitality

(1) Make guests feel at home. What’s ours is yours. There’s the fridge and here’s a house key, local map, and schedule of events. Come and go as you please, and let us know when to expect you for meals.

(2) Provide privacy. Phone calls, personal conversations, spiritual renewal, and daily hygiene are best kept beyond scrutiny and earshot.

(3) Clarify expectations. Are there events, conversations, or favors that need to happen? Spell them out so no one is left wondering.

(4) Allow for personal time. Everyone needs to recharge.

(5) Prepare a guest room. The best places to stay are simply furnished, empty of clutter, and provide dresser or closet space to move into. A bathroom nearby is not essential, but nice.

(6) Best behavior. Kids will be kids, but there’s a limit to cherubic adoration. While love, attention, and someone to play with are huge blessings for household children, keep tabs on the action. A little whining, fighting, or clamoring for attention goes a long way.

(7) Activity options are nice. Guests often have free time while you’re busy with daily routines. How about a printout of local options — places to go, things to see, directions, times, costs, maps, and a way to get around.