For six years we lived in a five bedroom home in the historic bay side city of Safety Harbor, Florida. Built in 1925 this was once a boarding house during the boom time of this town’s history. While living there I envisioned what it would be like when it was a boarding house.
We had more bedrooms than we could fill. Our two children, both boys, shared a room, and that left 3 bedrooms empty. We turned one into an office and that left 2 unaccounted for. We believed that we were blessed with these rooms for a reason – to provide shelter to others on a needed basis. We never advertised these rooms as available to rent, but soon they became occupied.
A local college student from our church needed a place off campus to live. We welcomed her into our home at a ridiculously low rate so that she could get on her feet. She stayed with us for more than a year.
One of my sisters, in between jobs and major life decisions, stayed with us more than once.
A colleague from work lived with us for a while – she later became my sister-in-law!
When we had more room than we needed, Chip and I knew we were being called to share it. And we did. The gift of hospitality is just that – but it is one meant to be shared with others.
I began to wonder when the next opportunity to open our home would come. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.