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Hospitality

The Heart of Hospitality-Intro

Dictionary.com defines hospitality as:
1.  the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Heart of Hospitality

Hospitality is not something that comes naturally to me. To be honest, I really never considered myself someone who did hospitality well. I don’t really cook much, I don’t like decorating, I hate planning parties where things match and the decorations are all cute and fancy, and I always forget to bring people meals when I am supposed to. But, as I have been challenged by the biblical call to hospitality, I have recently realized that hospitality is not something I am exempt from showing. I have also come to realize that it is not quite what I have built it up to be in my mind. So, this short series is my attempt at making hospitality a little more palatable for those who find it challenging or overwhelming.

Before we get started with some practical things (to come in posts later this week), we need to be clear on what hospitality is not.

Hospitality is not:

A perfectly decorated table.

A perfectly organized and clean home, filled with people every night of the week.

A perfectly cooked meal.

Hospitality is not the outward appearance of perfection. It is not getting the decorations and invitations just right. It is not impressing others with your “put-togetherness”. It is not having your house perfectly set up before inviting others in. Hospitality begins in the heart, and then practically flows from there.

What Hospitality is:

The willingness to meet the needs of others. Not so they are greatful to you, but because God’s love compels you to act on their behalf.

The desire to make someone feel comfortable in your home, as though they have a place there; as though they belong there.

The openness to drop your own plans, desires and wants for the needs and comforts of others.

About connecting with others, meeting their need for encouragement and refreshment, and moving both parties toward a deeper affection for God.

Pin-worthiness is not the Point

Pinterest wants us to believe that hospitality needs to be “pin-worthy” or blogable. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of resources out there to keep you chock full of ideas on how to be hospitable. Those are good things to consider. But, before planning the perfect dinner party, examining your motives is a good place to start. Are you planning for your own glory, or to make others feel welcomed and special (because the difference between the those two things will be glaring in how that dinner party plays out). Are you begrudgingly opening up your home, giving your time or caring for others? If so, ask God to change your heart on that.

The Bible is clear in speaking to all believers; hospitality is not an option. So, for the rest of this week, I want to look at what it means to really live a life of hospitality. If you are a Martha kind of server, with a Mary kind of heart, then maybe you don’t need this series. But, if you struggle to live hospitably, or to do so out of a heart that is compelled by God, then check back throughout the week for more practical ways to live this biblical principle out.

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Holiday Gift Guide and a Giveaway!

I love resources, right? So, why don’t you all let me be your holiday shopping guide?  I’ve got lots of great ideas for the perfect gifts for the ladies in your life. Everything from the kind of weird scent lover (like myself), to busy moms, and foodies. Here are my recommendations for all of you shoppers out there…plus a fun giveaway with some friends at the end!

For the Moms

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full/ Honest Company Bundles/Happy Mommy Box

Gloria Furman’s books are honest, but oh-so-Gospel-centered. This book would encourage any mom in their journey!  The Honest Company is all about naural safe products for mom, home and baby. There are great bundles that can be purchased, along with gift sets and individual items. And..if you really want to encourage a mom, send them a Happy Mommy Box, complete with thoughtful gifts for mom and child! It even comes with a great little magazine with all sorts of encouragement and tips!

For the Candle Lover

Vanilla Bean Noel/Christmas Cookie/Buttery French Vanilla

You know me…I love smelly things. Candles are my favorite way to get the house smelling awesome, and these are three of my favorite scents. Vanilla Bean is ahhhhh-mazing, Circle E lasts forever, and Yankee Candle really fills the house! Grab one of these for a teacher, or a party host this Christmas!

The Accessory Junkie

Better Life Bags: Finley/Melody Joy Designs: Nest Egg Necklace

Okay, going small biz on this one. Better Life Bags makes super stylish purses and laptop cases. And, their mission is awesome! Seriously, you should read what they are all about, and then buy one of these (you can customize) for someone really special. And, this Nest Egg Necklace would be great for a mom or grandmother. In fact, I gave one to my mother in law last year. Each egg represents a child or grandchild, and these are hand made by a super spunky, fun artists, that I just so happened to go to college with! Check her out! (FYI..both of these are handmade upon ordering, so give yourself some time!)

For the Foodie

Bread and Wine/Delancy/It’s All Good

Foodies are often book lovers right?!?! Well Bread and Wine is for the reader and entertainer, while Delancy tells the story of a couple and their restaurant dreams. It’s All Good is a whole food made easy kind of cookbook by none other than Gweneth Paltrow!

For the Woman on the Go

Emily Ley: Simplified Planner/Ashley Brooke Designs: Travel Mug

The simplified planner is all about purpose and simplicity…which is Emily Ley’s style. And.. I LOVE this travel mug by Ashley Brooke Designs. Seriously, I am asking for one myself! These two things combined would be perfect for the woman on the go!

For Some Spiritual Encouragement

ESV Study Bible/Val Marie Paper Prayer Journals/Women of the Word/Give Me Jesus Journal

You know me…I am all about intentional spiritual growth, and these are some things that I think will help someone towards that. The ESV Study Bible…I love this, and  you can read why here.Val Marie’s Prayer Journals are pretty and purposeful, as they help you towards intentionality in prayer. Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word is a book I think all believing women should read, and the Give Me Jesus Journal is a great tool for Bible study created by my friend Gretchen!  Also…the Rooted Journal through Galatians would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone wanting to study their Bible’s in a more intentional way!

The Style Maven

Stitch Fix/Birchbox

Stitch Fix is basically a personal stylist who sends stuff to your home. You can snag a gift card for the fashion lover in your life, and let them get to work filling out their style for their first fix. The styling fee is $20 and items range from $40-100 (of which the $20 styling fee will apply). So, a $65-$100 gift card would get your lady some great items, delivered to her door! Birchbox isn’t nearly as expensive, but is so much fun! For $10 a month, you get a box of awesome makeup/skin care/hair care products sent to your door (sample sizes). It is so fun to open one of those boxes up and try new things! This would be the perfect neighbor, sister, or friend gift!

Whitney/Gretchen/Kitty/Ginny/Me

And…because I love you, I have teamed up with some blogging friends  to help one of you out with some cash to spend on Christmas gifts this year! Gretchen from Life Lived Beautifully is also giving away one of her new Romans studies! Here’s how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Last Thing….Use the code CHRISTMAS to get 10% off of a Rooted Bible Study Journal through Galatians. These would make great teacher/neighbor/leader gifts!


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