Practicing Hospitality as Fall Begins

You probably know by now that I am passionate about simple hospitality. I believe that opening my home and my heart to those around me is just part of the way I live out my Christian faith.

Now, I’m not talking about fancy entertaining. I have had my fair share of Pinterest-fail heartbreaks that have left me feeling like a less than worthy hostess and have turned that whole day on its head, making it about showing off my uh-mazing *insert cooking, decorating, activity planning, etc* skills instead of about giving myself to the person at my door.

Summer lends itself to simple hospitality. Your yard can function as an extension of your house. Grilling (aka, preparing the meal) is something you can do with your guests. Messes inside can be ignored and messes outside can be washed quickly with a hose.

Friends, I’m here to encourage you, keep the simple hospitality going into fall.

Don’t neglect to invite someone over simply because there’s laundry on the couch that hasn’t been folded, invite them over and let them see that you live in real life too. Go deeper and let them see the parts of your home that are messy and real. I’m not saying there’s not a place for tidying up, I’m just saying you shouldn’t let the reality of actually living in your home stop you from enjoying it with others.

Utilize potlucks. Break out the paper plates if you must. Do whatever you need to do to make it manageable for your home.

But share your hearts. It doesn’t matter what you have to offer, it matters that, whatever it is, you offer it.

In Mark 12, Jesus and His disciples witness people bringing their offerings before the Lord, some bringing an abundance, proudly, and a widow bringing only her 2 pennies. Jesus comments to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44, ESV).

Like the widow offering her pennies at the altar, we are called to offer whatever it is we have to share.

We all have different things we bring to the table, as we retreat into our homes, let’s be sure to bring our friends with us. Put on a pot of soup and ask your guests to bring a loaf of bread. Spend Saturdays with friends, a bowl of chili, and football. Keep pressing into your friendships and opening up your home to neighbors and strangers.

This is a special time of year. The spontaneous days of summer are behind us and the hectic holiday season is yet to arrive. Take advantage of the predictability of the in-between to establish a habit of hospitality.

Focus on what you have to offer. You have gifts. You yourself are a gift to those around you. When in doubt, simply give that, yourself, to those in your circle. Some of my favorite memories are the times, not when I was proud of the dinner I’d brought together or the decor I set-up for a party, but the quiet conversations spent over coffee or iced tea.

These quiet moments, the ones where we are offering simply ourselves, are the ones we remember. So take advantage of them this fall. Create space in your schedule for quiet hospitality and offer what you have to your friends and family around you.

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  1. I love what you said about focusing on what you have to offer. Alot of times we focus on what we don’t have and we miss out on great hosting opportunities.

    • It’s so easy to focus on what we don’t have but I think that’s an attack from Satan. We have SO many gifts from God. Each and every one of us has something to offer.

    • It is a disappearing practice but it’s so crucial to living out the Christian faith! And thank you, Marissa! It was a gift from my sister.

  2. I’m loving the potluck idea, and the “I’ll make the soup you bring the bread” idea. That’s so simple yet warm and inviting. I think you’re right, we have to separate Hospitality from perfection. One can be done without the other. The such a great reminder thank you for sharing.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I love what you said – Its not about what you have to offer but that you offer it!

    • Entertaining stresses me out as well. It turns me into some sort of icky person I don’t want to be, frantically yelling at my husband to vacuum. So grateful for the opportunity to put that aside and live life with those around us.

  4. I love the idea of simple hospitality and it is something I’ve been working on. Even just a backyard s’mores event instead of a whole meal is fun.

  5. Love this!! I am so looking forward to buying a house this fall so that we can entertain people more!! I would love for my home to be a gathering place for people….we have lived away from home for several years and we didn’t get to do it much but now that we are back in New England I am craving it!!

    • Diane, I encourage you to find ways to gather people right where you are – home or not! I know how challenging it can be but it’s wonderful to try and offer hospitality however you can. God can use whatever we have for His glory! I’m always reminded of the widow who offered her last meal.

  6. Great post!
    I also enjoy opening my home to family and friends. I wish I could do it more often. I approached our church leadership with the idea of starting a football fellowship this year, they didn’t love the idea…. bummer…

    • Even if the church leadership doesn’t want a churchwide football fellowship, you can do it! Invite the neighbors over and turn on the game!

  7. These are great tips! I definitely stress about a perfectly clean house before guests come over & I would have more fun & peace if i would just relax.

  8. I’m not much of an entertainer but I find that when I just invite close friends over for a simple dinner, that’s the best time. Most people don’t care if there is unfolded laundry or papers on the table. They are there to enjoy your company. I try not to stress of stuff like that.

    • It is always so wonderful. I am not much of an entertainer either but it’s been amazing to watch friendships grow with a simple “come over.”

  9. Great post and Scripture reminder as well! One of my family members is a perfectionist and does not want to invite anyone over unless it is all perfect. I say, if we wait for that, it will never happen! We welcome people into our hearts as well as our homes. Great reminder!

    • Well, I’ve seen some pretty perfect housekeepers but I know that if I wait for my house to reach that level, it will certainly never happen!

  10. I love what you said about not being afraid to share our homes just because it’s messy or lived in. It’s such a good reminder to put people and hospitality before perfection in the home.

  11. Yes! And I love fall entertaining – I’ve invited kids over, had them race to collect acorns in a cup and everyone brought a chili or cider. But lately I’m putting this emphasis too on making sure I just SIT when people come over. I think our “southern hospitality” often has the host running circles and I want to just BE with people more and make sure we have more conversation. Great post!

    • Yes! Sitting and focusing on people is so important. We need to focus less on presentation and more on the people around the table.

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