This week I would like to begin a series of interviews with some people who already have a strong vision for hospitality. I’d like to introduce you to Moriah Tuchman,
- Native of Wilmington, NC
- Married to Sascha, her favorite person on the planet
- Bachelor’s in Secondary English Education from UNC Chapel Hill
- Master’s in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University
- Both degrees have been put to use homeschooling her three boys in various configurations over the past dozen years.
What predisposed you to practicing hospitality?
I have a large extended family that gathers often and excels at warmly welcoming non-family, and my parents have always had an open home that they use to meet whatever human needs cross their paths. Until I got to high school I thought that was normal and common for all families! And the Lord has reminded me lately that he has created us to be in relationship with one another, and we can’t be a full part of the work he has for us here if we stay isolated and don’t interact with others in regular and meaningful ways.
How would you describe or characterize the way you practice hospitality?
At this point in my life, I feel like God is urging me to go deep with the people in my circles rather than broad with strangers. Growing relationships takes time, energy, and intention, and he knows what I’m capable of giving and doing in this season. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a neighborhood port in the storm like Rosaria Butterfield, but I know I can be that for my friends and immediate neighbors, and God will grow things in scope if that’s his plan.
So I look for reasons to gather people together, and I remember those times when others’ hospitality has really ministered to me. I want people to feel comfortable being themselves under my roof, so I start by just being me and feeling comfortable in the grace God gives me so I can extend it to others. As far as what that looks like in practice, I often start with a somewhat grand plan and then scale down as time and circumstance allow. I enjoy planning and decorating, and I do those things because they are fun and not burdensome to me, but I truly believe that good enough is good enough. Being with people is what really matters; the rest is nice but not necessary.
What obstacles do you face in your endeavor to be hospitable? How do you overcome them?
I have to remember that there are so many ways for us to show hospitality and that there is no one right or best way to do it. How God uses hospitality in others is not necessarily what it’s going to look like in my life, so I need to be open to the people he’s putting in front of me. And speaking of…
God has placed me in the suburbs where pain and need are often hard to spot, but I know it’s there, and this is where he’s put me for now. I’m relying on him to guide me in how he wants to use me in my place.
My husband is a non-believer and an introvert, and he did not grow up with the kind of open home/open family experience I did, so sometimes our ideas and wishes around hospitality don’t always sync. While he’s very supportive of me welcoming others in, I do have to keep in mind that my home is also his home. I can’t forget about needing to extend hospitality to my own family!
Another hurdle for me is the energy it takes to truly and meaningfully engage with others. Most of the prep work I can handle on my own steam in my own time, but often I would feel wiped out by the time it came to get face to face with people. I think my only fix for this is regularly praying to be filled with Jesus’ love for others.
Any fun stories you’d like to share?
Natural disasters are a great time to offer hospitality. When Hurricane Florence came through, we housed my grandmother for two weeks, but we also hosted a hurricane happy hour for my neighbors. They all have young kids, and I knew they’d be going a bit stir crazy, so I had drinks on hand, and everyone brought snacks to share. Kids got a change of scenery, and adults got a break. It was so fun that we decided to do it again the next day!
Thanks to Moriah for giving us insight into hospitality in the Tuchman home. I look forward to being able to interview others of you in the coming weeks.