True Hospitality Made Practical: 3 Easy Tips

Last week we talked about hospitality and some myths that surround it, as well as how we are called to practice it. As promised, here are some practical ways to be hospitable even if your guests are extremely last-minute. 

True Hospitality Made Practical | www.maplealps.com

 

Create A Warm Atmosphere

While fresh flowers and candles do go a long way to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, nothing is as refreshing as a warm, loving smile and willingness to serve. That being said, light some candles and cut some fresh flowers for your guests to enjoy as well! It’s simple and makes a great impact.

Welcome everyone into your home. Let them feel loved, not only by you, but also by God.

Related: The Myths & the Calling of True Hospitality

 

Be aware of needs

Be aware of those around you. Remember that hospitality is not limited to inside your home. Pay attention as you interact with others, and do not let anyone go unnoticed. Take time out of your day to encourage someone, to pray with someone, and to show kindness.

In your home, make sure your guests have what they need, and feel comfortable enough to ask for it. For overnight guests especially, I suggest making everything as accessible as possible. They should feel that they are at home. Make warm drinks and water easily available and stock the bathroom and guestroom with essentials like towels of every size, toiletries and extra toilet paper.

 

Serve Meals With Love

Meals do not have to be extravagant or use expensive ingredients. Make simple meals with love, and do not feel pressured to make something new or complicated (there's always the danger that something new will flop anyway!). Your guests are not there to judge your cooking. They are there to be blessed by you (whether they know it or not). Don't let them leave just thinking about the spectacular meal you just served them, let them leave rejoicing that you have served their souls.

Build a relationship with those around your table and talk about the things that truly matter. Our motto should be like John's; Less of me, more of Jesus. And remember: entertaining is to impress, but hospitality is to bless!

 


How do you show hospitality? Tell us about it in the comments!


 
 

The Myths & the Calling of True Hospitality

We live in a world influenced by social media. Picture perfect table settings and staged homes are nearly all I see when I scroll through Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Neat napkin holders and place cards are strategically set by the beautiful food that must have taken hours to prepare and to plate so meticulously. I haven’t even touched on the theme parties, showers and wedding receptions shown that could come right out of a Hollywood movie!

When I talk to others about it, they all seem to express the same underlying tone: that such things are not attainable, so why even try?

I remember taking one of those spiritual gifts tests when I was a teenager and scoring high in the "hospitality" category. While I am not sure how I feel about such tests (when I form a definite opinion, I'll be sure to share), it sparked an interest in me all those years ago.

What is hospitality, and why is it so important? Does it have anything to do with those picture-perfect tablescapes? Is everyone called to show hospitality, or is it just me?

The Myths & the Calling of True Hospitality | www.maplealps.com

The bible does have a few things to say about hospitality.

I looked just a few up (all verses are from the ESV).

  • “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2
     
  • “...and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts” Acts 2:46
     
  • “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” Matthew 25:35
     
  • “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9
     
  • "Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12:13
     
  • "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34,35
     
  • "She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20

With the Bible being so clear on the importance of each of us showing hospitality, I felt it important to not only practice but help others do so as well. Today, I want to share with you some hospitality myths, and next week, I'll talk about some practical ways to show hospitality.

 

You have to have a perfect home to be hospitable

More important than an open home is an open heart and open hands. Your home does not have to look magazine-worthy but should be filled with genuine love.

Hospitality is not limited to our homes. We should constantly be aware of those around us, and meeting the needs that can be met.

 

Hospitality is to be extended to friends and family

Hospitality is for everyone.

 

Hospitality requires great amounts of time, meticulous planning, and the best version of myself

Hospitality requires vulnerability and obedience. Some of the best and most memorable visits are messy and unexpected. Sometimes showing hospitality is even unwanted! Although the practice of hospitality asks the sacrifice of our time, our needs and our resources, it is rewarded with great joy. There is not much that is more energizing and fulfilling than serving others. You just need to be willing!

 

Hospitality is synonymous with entertaining

There is no mention of Pinterest or picture-perfect table spreads in any definitions of hospitality. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making things beautiful for our guests, but is it true hospitality?

Remember: entertaining is to impress, but hospitality is to bless.

 

Hospitality is a spiritual gift

Hospitality can be risky, and is asked of all of us (remember those verses above?). While some of us may find it easier to do than others, we are all called to show Christ's love and hospitality - gift or not, it can be (and should be!) a part of our lives.

 

Hospitality is merely about sharing a meal or a bed

Strive to do more than just offer a meal or a bed. When we are hospitable, we reach others in a personal and intimate way. Be intentional about who you reach out to; being aware of those around you and their needs plays a huge role in this. Think of the lonely. Think of the unloved. Think of those who need serving. Be bold and think of those you can help draw closer to Jesus. Think about how your hospitality can affect the world!

 

 

Hospitality is for us to show God's love to others. God calls us to it, and the rewards are eternal. We have been blessed so we can bless others. Witholding hospitality will hinder our joy.

 

How do you show hospitality? We would love to hear about it!
Next week, I'll be discussing some practical ways we all can show hospitality!


 
 

A Day in DC

Road trips are what we excel at. I have lost count of the miles we have travelled by car across North America. 30 hour drives no longer phase us, so when something is a 10 hour drive, it's a short trip for us. We set out for Maryland on a bright, sunny morning and decided to explore D.C. before we had to be at some meetings for the week.

A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com
A Day in DC | www.maplealps.com

 

It was the perfect, sunshiny day! Have you been to D.C.?

Essentials for a Cozy and Personalized Home

My husband and I recently moved. Prior to the house we are currently in, we were in a small apartment. While it wasn’t terribly difficult to get everything into one UHaul, once unpacked, we instantly realized how empty the house was. Upgrading in space was nice on one hand, but on the other, we were not terribly excited to try and fill it all up.

So we didn't.

There were a few things we decided on purchasing (like a small bookshelf and new coffee table), but we still figured out a way to balance making our home feel personal and cozy while also keeping things on the simpler side.

As you know, we are not huge fans of clutter or many possessions, but it was easier to balance our minimalism and comfort than we thought.

We love our home and the “at home” feeling it has, so I thought I might share with you some move-in essentials to make your home feel perfectly cozy. 

move in essentials for a cozy and personal home | www.maplealps.com

 

Rugs and Other Textiles

Rugs and other textiles such as curtains really add to a room and there are so many different textures and patterns available to make your space feel just right. It is amazing how just laying down a rug or hanging curtains can change the whole feel of a room. Attractive and warm throws also add a perfectly wonderful warmth to a room.

 

Artwork

How much more personal can you get than artwork? Your walls do not have to be totally bare, even as a minimalist. Choose pieces that speak to your personality. Go one step even further and feature your own artwork or something done by a friend or family member. Of course, make sure you love it before you display it. We have some artwork by friends and places and things we love displayed in our home. Another thing I’ve come to love are decals to spruce up a wall - but do not be afraid of some blank space! 

move in essentials for a cozy and personalized home | www.maplealps.com

 

Pillows

Pillows are a natural choice when dressing a sofa or a bed. For the sofa, choose colours and textures and patterns that compliment and enhance. In the bedroom, choose pillows that will offer soft support for your body to sleep on (these ones from Casper look amazing) as well as a couple of throw pillows to spruce up the place.

 

Candles

I love a good candle and not only the scent but also the soft flicker of light and atmosphere they provide. If choosing a candle that will be burned, make sure you purchase (or make!) chemical-free candles like soy candles that will not harm your health. I love the ones I mentioned here.

move in essentials for a cozy and personalized home | www.maplealps.com

 

Furniture

Furniture is easy to switch out and easy to customize. You can also find fun pieces very inexpensively by asking around or checking the thrift stores in your area. Keep your ears open, because people often want to get rid of furniture. A word of caution, however: do not accept something just because it’s cheap or free; make sure you actually love it, otherwise, it will just be something that takes up space. 

 

Plants

Add plants and add life to your space! If you have a black thumb like me, there is still hope! Choose plants that are easy to care for, such as air plants or even palms! Besides the obvious reason that plants are beautiful, they also help keep your air clean! Totally helpless? Get some fresh flowers and pop them in a vase once in a while! You’ll be amazed at how both your mood and your space will brighten! I will confess that I have one faux plant - it’s a succulent because I have such a hard time keeping them alive - but no one is the wiser, and I’ve never been caught ;-)

 

So there you have it. I joined in on Casper's new home essentials discussion to share this guide for easy reference and pinning :) :) 

move in essentials for a cozy and personalized home | www.maplealps.com
 

What are some of the things you consider essentials in your home to make it feel warm and inviting? Why don't you share them with us below!


 
 

Spring into Health this Spring!

As I write this, I am watching the snow tumble and twist through the air. I thought Winter was starting to leave! The longer hours of sunshine, and the return of bright flowers have deceived me, but it doesn't matter. Spring has begun - snow or not. It begins in my heart. This is truly one of my favourite times of the year and always brings motivation for a fresh start and new beginnings.

We have talked about cleaning our homes, but today, I want to give you eight simple things to consider when cleaning up your health habits this Spring.

Important things for health that we often overlook | www.maplealps.com

 

Eat fresh, nourishing food

Make sure the food you eat is full of the nutrients you need. Fresh fruit and vegetables are becoming more readily available at this time of the year so take advantage of it (and can and freeze some for winter months too!). Add more whole grains and legumes to your diet, and reduce the amount of meat, dairy and sugar you consume.

 

Be physically active

Exercise is good for you! Don’t worry, I will not prescribe burpees and planks - yet. Start by taking a brisk walk or stroll through your neighbourhood every day, and watch your energy increase and feel better! Just being aware of your activity levels will help increase them. 

Spring into Health this Spring! | www.maplealps.com

 

Drink more water

Our bodies are made up of 70% water. It is important we replenish what our body uses on a daily basis. Water is needed to support our body’s systems to keep us healthy. Keep a reusable water bottle with you so you don't forget to hydrate!

 

Spend time in the sunshine

Sunlight is critical for the growth and support of plants and animals and is important for our bodies as well; helping with the maintenance of our hormonal and metabolic balance. Make the intentional effort to have moderate time in the sunshine.

Spring into Health this Spring! Sunshine and Air | www.maplealps.com

 

Avoid harmful substances and practice temperance

Staying away from the things that harm us and being moderate in the things that are good for us is important - yet sometimes easier said than done. Practicing self-control in all things is key to ensuring we stay healthy.

 

Get fresh air

When you think about it, air is more important to our bodies than food or water! We cannot survive long at all when our air supply is cut off. Be sure to breathe in fresh, clean air (travel out of polluted cities to find the best air!) - and breathe it in deep!

Spring into Health this Spring! | www.maplealps.com

 

Get plenty of rest

There are many different ways to get rest. Sleep helps our bodies restore themselves, so be sure to get plenty of rest each night. 

 

Have peace of mind

Trusting in Divine Power is also directly linked to our health. High levels of stress affect our physical being, but God gives us the "peace that passeth all understanding." (Philippians 4:7)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Will you be springing into health this season?