Hospitality In the Hard Times
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Morgan TyreeMorgan Tyree earned her BS degree in business administration with an emphasis in small business and entrepreneurship from the University of Oregon and has worked in the fields of marketing, management, and human resources. She blogs weekly at Morganize with Me (www.morganizewithme.com) and contributes monthly to the popular blog Organizing Junkie (www.orgjunkie.com). The author of Take Back Your Time, Mo...more
Morgan Tyree explains that knowing one’s hospitality gifting can help build strong connection with others and even pull together the rest of the family.
Hospitality In the Hard Times
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, April 9th. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson; I’m Bob Lepine. You can find us online at FamilyLifeToday.com. Maybe, s’mores in the front yard is not your thing/not the way for you guys to do hospitality; but there is a way, and we’ll talk about some of those options today. Stay with us.
Bob: And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. If you guys don’t have any plans tomorrow night, Mary Ann and I wanted to see if you guys would like to come over for dinner. [Laughter] We’d love to have you over to the house.
Dave: He’s feeling guilty now.
Ann: I know.
Bob: I’m not feeling guilty at all!
Ann: It’s because he just read a spectacular book.
Dave: Hey, I just want to ask, “Have you asked Mary Ann this?”
Bob: I texted her, and I haven’t heard back yet. [Laughter] I think she put it on mute when she got the text [Laughter]; but no, we’d love to have you over for dinner if you are not doing anything. You guys talk about it and let me know; okay?
Bob: Whatever works out best for you.
Ann: This is very much like—he’s asking us as we’re doing our interview.
Dave: What does that mean, honey?
Ann: Dave usually asks me the most pertinent and unknown questions when we are on stage, speaking together. [Laughter]
Dave: I’ve been known to do that.
Ann: He bears the essence of his soul in front of thousands.
Dave: She’s like, “You’ve never told me this in our family room.”
Bob: One of the things that we are talking about this week is hospitality, and Morgan Tyree is joining us to talk about this. Morgan, welcome back.
Morgan: Thank you.
Bob: Morgan has written a very interesting—
Dave: You know what I was just thinking, Bob?
Bob: What?! [Laughter]
Dave: It’s like Jesus is in the room, and so you’re just playing up to Him. The queen of hospitality is sitting right here; and you’re like, “Hey, do you want to come over tomorrow night?” He’s never asked us that ever until today. [Laughter]
Bob: Morgan is a blogger. She has written a book called Your Hospitality Personality. She’s apparently the queen of hospitality as Dave just said, and everybody who is around her just has to kind of perform; right?
Ann: We up our game.
Bob: We do up our game. Did you take the test?—
Bob: —because there is a test in your book; right?
Morgan: Correct; yes.
Bob: It helps you determine: “Which is your hospitality personality?”—which I think is a fascinating concept that we are not all wired the same when it comes to hospitality. You haven’t taken the test?
Ann: No, I haven’t.
Bob: By the way, this is on your website. We’ve got a link at FamilyLifeToday.com if somebody wants to see what their hospitality personality is.
Ann: It’s in her book, too.
Bob: That’s right. But—
Dave: But as you read her—
Ann: Wait; wait; wait; Bob’s going to teach us something; don’t cut him off!
Bob: No, that’s okay. He can interrupt me; I’m very open to that. [Laughter]
Dave: You’re such a hospitable guy.
Bob: I want him to feel comfortable and relaxed with whatever he is thinking. Go ahead, Dave.
Dave: I mean, when you look at the four hospitality personalities,—
Bob: And we’ll explain what those are. What are those, again?
Morgan: So, there is the Leader, also known as the Director; the Entertainer; the Includer; and the Organizer.
Bob: The Leader is the person, who says, “I’m in charge of things.”
Bob: The Entertainer is saying, “We’ll all have fun.” The Includer is looking around and saying, “We want to make sure everybody is happy.” The Organizer is going, “We don’t have enough paper plates.”
Morgan: Correct; yes. [Laughter]
Ann: That’s a good way to say it.
Morgan: Perfect; yes.
Ann: That’s good.
Dave: So you hear that—
Dave: —you sort of self-test yourself—“What are you?”
Bob: I’m probably a mix of Leader/Entertainer. I think if—I’m probably going to be more on the Entertainer side; although, I think I know what makes a better party than you do, so I should be in charge of it, too. [Laughter] I should be in charge; then I should entertain you when you come. That’s what I think; does that sound like me to you?
Ann: I think that does. Bob’s really good—you’re really good with drawing people out/ asking questions—which you’ve been doing, professionally, for a long time.
Bob: You’re really good at it as well. Are you an Entertainer; do you think?
Ann: I think so; but Dave is such a—
Dave: Here it comes; here it comes.
Ann: —Dave is higher Entertainer, so I’m always trying to shift to find my place.
Ann: I’m asking a lot of questions, and Dave is telling a lot of stories.
Bob: I’m guessing you are also an Includer—that you’re looking around and going,—
Ann: I do; do that.
Bob: —“I want to make sure everybody…”—like if somebody hasn’t been asked a question or drawn into the conversation—
Bob: —you’re going to bring them in.
Ann: I’ll think, “Dave, you need to be quiet now. [Laughter] You need to ask someone else a question, because that person hasn’t talked all night.”
Morgan: This is so my life!
Dave: I’m not going to say another word the rest of the day.
Bob: Who is the Planner between the two of you? Is there a Planner?
Ann: —neither one. [Laughter]
Dave: No; I mean, Ann has to end up—
Bob: —doing that.
Dave: —being the Planner, which is where we get into conflicts really.
Ann: —because I don’t think I’m very good at it.
Dave: Here is the other thing—Morgan, it’ll be interesting to hear this—because, when we do have people, I’m okay—I wonder if Bob is like this—to just talk about nothing—
Dave: —just enjoy, and laugh, and talk about sports, or whatever. Ann is going to be frustrated if we don’t go somewhere/like, “Let’s get a little deeper.” What do you think?
Morgan: You know, knowing ourselves and also knowing what our guests need from us—or maybe knowing their background, or anything we can know ahead of time—can help us know how to navigate what we do when we are in the moment.
Ann: So if you are an Includer—and what is your husband?
Morgan: Well, I’m primarily an Organizer;—
Ann: Oh, that’s right.
Morgan: —and secondarily, an Includer; yes. He’s an entertainer, so—
Ann: How does that work together? Tell me what an evening would look like.
Morgan: —me doing all the details—
Ann: Do you ever get resentful of that?
Dave: I mean, by the way,—
Morgan: I shouldn’t say that; yes.
Dave: —you have like a degree in organizing; right?
Morgan: Well, a business degree, but I’ve been organizing since I was young; you know? [Laughter]
Dave: I mean, tell them what your website is: Morganize with Me.
Morgan: Morganize with Me; that’s right. “Come along;—
Ann: That’s cute; that’s good.
Morgan: —“let’s get it organized”; yes. I’m a planner; I’m detailed. Actually, he is really hands on; he’s a cook, too. What’s funny is that he is very focused on getting the right playlist together. I would never—I’m like, “Why?—
Dave: You’re talking music playlist?!
Morgan: Yes; I’m like, “Why do we need music? We need to get the ice,”—or whatever it is—he’s over there; because he’s more outgoing, and entertaining, and all of those things.
There’s a story I share in the book; this is just the best synopsis of us. We were at a work Christmas party. He loves to dance, which I do, too; but he’s at another level. He starts doing like a Michael Jackson—whole thing—
Morgan: —I think we are supposed to be dancing together. That gets—apparently, I can’t match that—so I just slip back. I move away; I find a seat. He continues on.
Ann: —by himself?
Morgan: Oh, yes; well, of course, he doesn’t mind. Entertainers are like, “Bring it!”; yes.
Morgan: What I like is that I think I was attracted to that, because it’s softens me. I never have to worry about the conversation being kept alive, because he could talk to anyone all day long; right? I can converse, too; but I think we’ve really fine-tuned sort of how we host together.
We do have to have conversations around how much, because my threshold might be a little more or less than his, we’ll say; but I do think we, overall, complement each other pretty nicely.
Dave: I just want to know: “Did anyone get at the end of the evening and say to you, at the door as they are leaving, ‘I loved your playlist’?”
Morgan: I’ve never had anyone say that. Usually, it’s too loud, too. He just plays it like an—like just—always! [Laughter]
Dave: —you two/you guys—[Laughter]
Dave: —are clones. This sounds like our marriage.
Ann: It does.
Dave: She [Ann] keeps pointing at me. [Laughter]
Ann: Yes; we’re talking—or even having this conversation—and Dave is listening to the music. He’s banging on the table, like he’s beating it, as people are talking. I’m like, “Shhh; don’t hit the table.
Ann: “It seems like you’re not listening to them.”
Morgan: “It seems like you’re in another place right now.” [Laughter]
Dave: The good thing is it sounds like you have been able to celebrate each other’s—
Dave: —roles and differences.
Morgan: Yes, and I agree. I think it has actually helped us host more.
We lived overseas for three-and-a-half years. There was a span, where we had house guests for months. I want to say it felt like four or five months. It was so enjoyable; we had the right layout for it; but again, I think our personalities really complement each other. I think that’s what I want to encourage people to do—is if you are hosting with a friend or a spouse—look for someone that can help complement you if there are areas that are less natural for you; because it will only build your confidence and help you, hopefully, enjoy the time more. When you’re enjoying yourself more, you’re going to have more to give to the people you are celebrating with.
Ann: It’s interesting—like this is a spiritual gift—like I’m thinking of 1 Peter 4:9-11; it says: “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever.”
I don’t think we always look at hospitality as a spiritual gift. This is serving; this is loving. This is something Jesus would do.
Dave: Do you know what it also sounds like, though, if you call it a gift?—you could say, “I don’t have that gift.” Like evangelism is a gift; and yet, we are all called, as followers of Christ, to be evangelists. I may not think I have the gift of hospitality, but I’m called to do it; right? And I can; true?
Morgan: Well, yes; because it says: “whatever gift you have received to serve others.” I think that speaks to the/we all have gifts to give to others and how we show up for others.
Bob: It goes on to say, “The one who speaks let him speak. The one who serves let him serve.” I’m thinking of hospitality, where speaking and serving, are going to be going on throughout the evening; so you’re using your gifts in that environment.
I’m thinking, when I was growing up, if my parents had somebody over for dinner, it was typically somebody who—I think the idea was having them over might help with the work scenario: “We’ll have this person over. We’ll do a nice meal. I’ll impress the boss. I’ll get the promotion,”—there was a self-serving motivation for having people over into your home. I’m not saying that’s all my parents ever did; but I think it was more, culturally, the idea that, if you want to get ahead in the workplace, you better have somebody/have the boss over for dinner and show him that your wife is a great cook—I don’t know what that had to do with anything—right?
But what we’re saying is that there is a motivation for hospitality that is an other-focused motivation/an other-centered motivation that is a ministry-oriented motivation, where we are going to speak, and serve, and love, and grow in community, and grow in concern and care for one another, where it’s not about me trying to impress you. It’s about me trying to care for you.
Ann: —and love you.
Ann: Yes; and I love that it is included in the spiritual gifts, because it’s a way to bring glory to God. It’s a way to create healthiness in the body of Christ and community in the body of Christ.
You also talk about hospitality habits and our setting being an open or closed home. What does that mean?
Morgan: Well, I broke down—there are different seasons, I think, where sometimes you may need to have more of a closed home or more of an open home—even just within your own person style or personality.
An open home is going to be/I share in the book, we’re in a season, where that’s very much what’s happening, with teenagers coming and going. We’ve tried to really create a home that says, “We’re open; we want you teenagers in here. We want your messes; we want you to eat from our fridge.” We want our home to be a place that’s just a place they can come and drop by.
Ann: So that’s an open home.
Morgan: Yes; open home—not that you have to have a revolving door with an open home—but an open home says, “I want people in my home; I want them over.”
Where a closed home would be where—maybe, if you’re in a season, where if you’ve had really young children and you’re just exhausted, or you are in a big life transition—just be really aware of, if you’re ready to open your home, is it the right season of life for you? There are times where, maybe, if you are going through a crisis, having more of a closed home for your own health and well-being is okay, too.
Ann: As you talk about whether your home is open or closed, if you have kids that are let’s say, even teenagers or ten-year-olds, is that a conversation you have as a family? Are you drawing your kids into this?
Morgan: Oh, I think that is a really good idea—especially, also knowing your kids: what their personalities are and what they want, because some kids are going to be more prone—I know this in my own home—some are more prone to bring in all the people; and then, I have another child, who is like/I hardly see his friends. Knowing your kids—but communicating to them what you want your house to be—
Ann: Kind of a vision—you’re casting vision.
Morgan: Yes; exactly! I think, as I mentioned earlier, how we view hospitality, as children or what we grow up in, we will tend to carry forward. I do think it’s important for parents to think of: “How do I model hospitality?” and “How do I use my home?”
Dave: Yes; I mean, the question would be: “Open home: when I hear that term now, in a pandemic, I’m like, ‘Oh, we’re not allowed to.’”
Ann: We’re all closed.
Dave: We have to be careful,—
Dave: —so how do you practice hospitality in the middle of a pandemic?
Morgan: I know I did not plan to write about social distancing and staying six feet apart, so it’s definitely new territory; but I think what’s interesting about the new limitations is that it’s showing how much we need connection and community: the virtual things that have taken off/the ways people are still creatively finding ways to connect.
I would say, with the limitations we have, dial up your creativity; get creative. I think that using technology as a tool is a great tool—and just showing up for people—whether that’s virtually or dropping something off on their doorsteps. There is a lot we can do, safely, still. I think it goes back to just remembering people and saying, “I see you, and I know you.” Also acts of service—great time—if you live in a snowy climate, maybe, you be the best snow shoveler on your street. Again, that can be secret hospitality, which I think is really fun, too.
Dave: Well, it’s interesting—in your five sort of hospitality habits—we just talked about the first one: setting, open or closed home.
Second one, you call scheduling: planning or spontaneity. The other day, some of our friends—who we’ve been friends, and they lived in our neighborhood for 25 years—they just decided last year, God’s calling them to move to Atlanta. God did not call them away from us, but I guess they thought He did. Anyway, we get a text Saturday and said, “Hey, how about a date tonight?” We’re like, “What?!” “Let’s just get on Zoom; let’s hang out”; and we did. We sat on our couch; they sat on theirs.
Ann: —for a couple hours.
Dave: That was a planned—
Dave: —talk about that—because we’re not the greatest planners in the world; we’re more spontaneous. But there are both—right?—how does that work?
Morgan: Yes; so I talk about it being on a continuum—you know, one on one and one on the other—I think there is a place for both. I think it’s important to tap into scheduling, intentionally, at times; and this is, again, assuming we can gather or what have you. It can be really common to kind of say to yourself, “Oh, we need to have So-and-so over,” “Oh, I need to make sure and do that”; but it sort of remains a thought and not a planned activity.
I would just say, “If you’re working on being more intentional with hospitality, scheduling it can be very helpful. Then also, don’t miss those spontaneous opportunities as well.”
Dave: Yes, you had mentioned your kids; they are wired totally different that way.
Morgan: Oh, definitely.
Dave: I mean, one runs out the door and can’t find their shoes. I mean, we all have that—some of it is in-bred.
Let me ask you this, because we haven’t even talked about it. It’s one of your five S’s: extrovert/introvert.
Morgan: —yes; how you socialize.
Dave: It could be easy to think, “Hospitable people are always extroverts; not hospitable are introverts.” Is that true? Is that connected?
Morgan: Well, I think extroverts—they gain energy by being around people—so a lot of times, we may think they are the real natural hosting types; but introverts have a real strength in connecting one on one, and being very other-centered, and being very focused on people. Again, just really knowing how you’re hardwired: how you respond in social situations can be really helpful to know what size of group maybe you feel the most comfortable in. Then also, whoever you are hosting with, consider that, too.
I know for myself, being more introverted, I’ve really realized I can do better, as far as showing up and really being authentic with people, if it’s the right size of group—or I should say a smaller-sized group for me—because if it’s a table of 8 to 10 people, I’ll just sort of become quieter, just by my natural personality.
Ann: I like that you gave some illustrations, too, of even planning spontaneity. You talk about your friends, April and Abby. Tell the listeners what they did.
Morgan: Yes; I love their idea. They will, in the summertime—again, this was when things were not restrictive—but they would pull a campfire—outdoor kind of fire pit out—on their driveway and just bring a bunch of s’more stuff. If people were out on their evening walks, or just happened to be passing by, they’d invite them to come and have a s’more/make a s’more. That, to me, just is simple. It doesn’t really require much effort; and it’s also just reaching out to your neighbors, which I think we need to do more of, too.
Dave: Well, we were walking, a couple of months ago, when it was warm in Michigan; and this happened several times. One of our neighbors has younger kids; we don’t even know them that well. They’re quite a ways down. I think about every Friday night, they put a projector screen in their yard; and we were walking by, and they were showing Frozen. Half the neighborhood with little kids were there.
Dave: These are people—they don’t even say—it isn’t invite-only; anybody can show up.
Ann: The families are distant from one another—
Ann: —they all bring their own snacks, and they all bring their own lawn chairs—but it was really cool just to see that it was something that was intentional. It had become this habit now, of every Friday night, there they are/most of the kids in the neighborhood. What a great thing to look forward to for them.
Dave: I’ve got to be honest. I read this story about the woman coming and braiding your hair in the hospital. I’m like, “Wait a minute; that’s going too far.” Of course, I have no hair to braid; but you know, tell us what that meant. I mean, what was that about?
Morgan: Well, it’s interesting. That has been a story that I have had many, many people comment on, that that’s what really touched them. It’s interesting what resonates with people. Jamie is a good friend of mine; and when we started our family, we were living away. I didn’t have family or friends nearby or anyone close. I had had my second child; and she came to the hospital, which is showing up. She had also watched our daughter while we were in the hospital. She was just there for everything.
She offered to braid my hair, which I can be a little bit more of a private/reserved person. It felt vulnerable; because I was like, “Okay.” I have two sisters, but she is a friend. I let her—and it just/it just—there is so much love and care that swept over me; because she was just sensing, as another young mom—she was just trying to be there for me, and just care for me, and love on me. I just love that example that it didn’t take her much effort or planning; she just was there for me. Then, to hear people be touched by that story—people that have hair; no, I’m just kidding [Laughter]—it’s beautiful; because it made me feel known in the sense that she just wanted to be there for me. She was stepping in for my sisters, in a sense, or my mom.
Ann: I think that is so sweet; and it’s vulnerable on her part, too—
Ann: —because to ask/it could be awkward.
Ann: I love that.
Even—I remember last Christmas—of course, everything feels so different with COVID; because now, I’m thinking, “I would never do that.” I remember/you know the Salvation Army bell ringers.
Ann: I just had this sense that I saw this person; I thought, “God is so delighted with her.” I had this sense that I should just hug her and thank her—like, “Look at you doing this. You are out here,” and it’s freezing in Michigan. I just had this sense of God pulling me to really notice her and see her.
So then, I go into this dialogue with God, like, “Okay, I’m not going to hug her. That’s weird; she’ll think I’m weird.” But I had that sense, and I did end up going to talk to her; but I loved that connection with God/of: “God, how can I love people? How can I see people? How can I minister to people?”
I’m so passionate about bringing our kids into that—
Ann: —like to talk to our kids: “How can we love people today?”—and even putting eyes on them of saying, “Jesus, help us to see people today.”
I’m thinking—like Dave hates this; because I’m always wanting to give money away, of course—I’m like to give your kids $5 and say, “Let’s just pray this week or today as we go into the mall: is there anyone that God just puts on your heart to give something to or to say something to?”
Bob: Well, I think, here is the point: “Hospitality—we tend to think of it as an activity—it’s really a heart orientation.
Bob: “It’s living life with a perspective that says, ‘I need to be aware of who God has in my path/—
Bob: —“’in my neighborhood, around me. Who are the people who I could touch, and care for, and minister to?’—
Ann: It’s a lifestyle.
Bob: —“whether it’s walking by the way, or having them over for dinner, or braiding their hair, or whatever it is.”
I just/I want to real quickly see if I can get Mary Ann in here on the conversation for just a second—find out about dinner tomorrow night; see if this is going to work—hang on. Let me make this call here. [Laughter]
Ann: People, this is what not to do to your wife.
Morgan: I love it.
Bob: Do you think this is a bad idea?
Dave: You’re really calling Mary Ann right now?
Bob: Well, we’ll see if she picks up; you know? She’s probably going, “I’m not picking up. I know what you’re calling—
Ann: She knows you.
Bob: —“you’re calling because you texted me about this.” Yes; it says, “Call back.” Okay; I get it; okay.
Dave: What did you/what did you text her?
Bob: I texted her and said, “What do you think about having the Wilsons over for dinner tomorrow night?”
Ann: I want you to know, Bob, that Dave has never mentioned anything about having dinner with you guys.
Bob: She said, “I would love to!” Then she just texted back and said, “Brownies and peppermint chocolate chip ice cream. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, but it’s the best part of the meal.” It looks like she is moving ahead with this; there we go!
Morgan: Oh, I love it!
Dave: You know, Bob, you’re the most hospitable person I’ve ever known.
Bob: Aren’t you sweet?
Dave: I appreciate that.
Bob: It’s because I read the book, Your Hospitality Personality. [Laughter]
Morgan, thank you. Thanks for being here, and thanks for helping walk us through all of this. Hopefully, in the midst of all of this, every one of us has said, “Okay, I need to get out of myself a little bit more; and just be alert to the people around me and think, ‘How can I express God’s love to them through me?’” Thank you for this.
Morgan: Thank you.
Bob: We mentioned the quiz, which is available online. You can go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, for more information on how you can take the hospitality personality quiz. We’re making your book, Your Hospitality Personality, available to FamilyLife Today listeners today—those of you who want to support the ongoing work of this ministry/you want to vote in favor of what FamilyLife Today is all about: practical biblical help and hope for marriages and families so that we effectively develop godly marriages and families who change the world one home at a time.
When you make a donation today, to help extend the reach of this ministry, we will send you a copy of Morgan Tyree’s book, Your Hospitality Personality, as our thank-you gift. The subtitle is How to Confidently Create Connection and Community. Go online at FamilyLifeToday.com to donate, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to donate. Either way, be sure to ask for your copy of Morgan’s book when you make a donation. Again, the website is FamilyLifeToday.com; or you can call 1-800-358-6329 to donate; that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
With that, we’ve got to wrap things up for today. Thanks for being with us. Hope you have a great weekend. I hope you and your family are able to join together with your brothers and sisters and worship this weekend in your local church.
I hope you can join us back on Monday when we’re going to talk about how we can push each other’s buttons in marriage and how we can just be aware of the fact that we are doing that; and maybe, do it a little less or not get triggered when it happens. Guy and Amber Lia will be here to talk about that with us. We hope you can be here as well.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch; got some extra help today from Bruce Goff and, of course, our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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