Editor’s Note: I’m delighted to introduce to you Angela Piazza! Angela is a wife and homeschooling mother of eight. She lives in Northern California and enjoys running, reading, theatre, and helping her children raise their flock of eight pampered hens!
I remember well (before the days of heightened airport security) waiting with great anticipation at the arrival gates for loved ones to step off the plane. Weary travelers emerged from the corridor, glancing left and right in hopes of spotting a familiar face. Moments of discovery were obvious; smiles brightened, paces quickened, and arms readied for a welcoming embrace. The joy and relief of both parties was almost palpable.
Similarly, when long expected guests arrive at my family’s doorstep, excitement runs high and delight becomes audible. Love and enthusiasm fill the spaces of our home! After guests depart, the natural excitement calms and then fades, but an indelible mark remains. Those who’ve been welcomed assume a unique place in our family and in our hearts.
Certainly, God calls us to hospitality, to reach out to others, showing charity in all things. He desires our homes to be inviting havens in a harsh world. What then about those living directly under our roof? Do we make concerted effort to welcome from within, to rejoice over the everyday presence of the children in our lives? Do our children know that we cherish them and sense that we look forward to seeing their beautiful faces each new day?
Every morning, despite the events or turmoil of the previous day, I greet my children with simple gestures of affection. The form of expression varies from child to child, from one day to the next. The eldest may hear subtle whispers of “good morning” in her ear, while the youngest might be smothered in hugs. My aim is to acknowledge the presence of the individual, genuinely and warmly welcoming each child into the fold. Quite naturally, it allows hearts to soften, opens dialogue, and fosters the hope of a fresh beginning.
I John 4:18 reads, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.” Children, of course, will err. Their behaviors and attitudes may even deeply disappoint. But, as parents, we are called to humility and forgiveness, ultimately loving without reservation. Fear and rejection have no place in connecting with children. Our babies, toddlers, and adolescents yearn for comfort and affection. They long to be well received.
Every single day is a gift. Every child is a gift, too. Consider reaching down and scooping that pajama-clad little one into your arms. Wrap your embrace around the child waiting for the toast to pop. When she wanders bleary-eyed down the hall, or he groggily saunters toward the kitchen, take a moment to offer your teenager a sincere smile, a gentle touch, and a kind word.
Our children need assurance of our steadfast, emotional commitment. Remind them through your actions that “a cheerful glance brings joy to the heart; good news invigorates the bones” (Proverbs 15:30). Tenderly welcome those weary little travelers, the treasured souls placed under your care, to a bright, unblemished day.
Family Visitors: Comstock Images
Mother and Daughter: Stockbyte.