From Busy to Blessing – Hospitality in Your Own Home

Oh boy, it’s that “H” word again! Hospitality! You better believe it! For some people this is easier than others. If it’s not easy for you, figure out why: Do you have ridiculous expectations of yourself? Are you not a good cook? Is dinner never on the table when you think it will be? I can pretty much guarantee you that whatever your own issue is, there is a solution to it.

“He said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the
house and a place for the camels.”
Genesis 24:31

From Busy to Blessing Hospitality in Your Own Home @JessicaMWhite.comWork out the kinks. Figure out what those problem areas are and then figure out how to address them. If nothing is ready at the same time, then make a casserole or a one dish meal: If you’re not the best cook, make a recipe that you are familiar with and know will come out right: If you’re hoping to serve a 7-course meal on fine china, but don’t have the time or knowledge to dedicate to it, then lower your expectations.

I admit, as much as I love cooking and entertaining and plying my guests with good food, I don’t always love the stress and deadlines of hosting people in my home. They exist, but there can be grace. I very often need to remind myself that guests are coming to see me, not my home, that if everything is absolutely magazine ready, they may not feel comfortable enough to kick back and relax, for fear of messing things up.

If you’re really not up to the task of hosting a crowd, then start small: Maybe it’s just those friends who are really easy going, maybe it’s a neighbor that’s alone. You don’t have to start out with hosting 50 people in your home for a sit down dinner. Honestly, unless you’re TheNester, Logan Wolfrom or Sally Clarkson, I don’t recommend that.

If it’s easier for you to start by inviting a friend over for a cup of coffee, then go for it! If hosting a home party is more your speed, since it takes the light off of you, do that! The important thing is to NOT make this something that will stress you out, take what you are already doing and mold it so that you can bless others. Choose to take the step, pray over it, and the Lord will surely bless you and your time with others.

This is one of those topics that is very near and dear to my heart, you can be sure that if this series ends up being a book, there will be so much more about being a hostess.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

From Busy to Blessing – Reverse Hospitality

I’ve stolen this phrase from a friend, because I love it! I love welcoming people into my home. I’ve somehow managed to get over the fact that my house needs to be perfect to entertain {this has only been by God’s grace and 4 kids}. I have yet to decided whether this is a good thing or not; I fear I may have become too lax in this department now.From Busy to Blessing Reverse Hospitality @JessicaMWhite.com

If you feel that you just can’t imagine welcoming people into your home, for one reason or another, this is for you. Do something that brings the hospitality directly to them; absolutely no effort on their part. This is reverse hospitality; when you seek to bless those around you in their own homes.

What does this look like, though?

  • How about sending a card to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • What about calling a friend one morning and telling them you’ll be dropping dinner off that night.
  • Going around your neighborhood and delivering treats.
  • Heading to a party: HELP the hostess!
  • Offering to clean someone’s home.

“Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
Proverbs 11:25 ESV

These are all ideas of Reverse Hospitality. They are ways in which you can reach out to others. Using your busy work, to bless them. These don’t even have to be things that you’re taking time to intentionally do. You’re already cooking dinner, so make a bit extra, stick it in the freezer and leave it there until you need a meal to pass along, whether to a friend or member of your church. The same thing with baked goods.

 

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

From Bust to Blessing — Using Your Martha to be a Mary for Your Friends

Last weFrom Busy to Blessing How to use your Martha to be a Mart for your friends @JessicaMWhite.comek I touched on how you can use your busy work to bless those you may have very little contact with, if any at all; from soup kitchens and global ministries, to the not so distance neighbor.

This week we’re going to focus on how you can use your Martha to bless your friends. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean your best friend since childhood, itcan be them, but it can also be people you only know through common interests, such as church groups, other parents at your kids’ activities, and anyone else you may see on a fairly regular basis.

There are all these people you know and so many of them could use some sort of something, but there’s not enough hours in the day to do whatever that something is! Where does one even begin to reach out to friends and neighbors?!

It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many little ways in which you can remind these people in your life that they are loved and hold a value all their own. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or time, it very often doesn’t cost ANYTHING. What matters is that you just do something.

Let me ask you a question: Do you get a smile on your face when someone does or says something that lets you know, “Hey I’m thinking about you!” Of course you do, no one likes getting a mailbox full of bills, any more than they do a life full of business. While the good stuff isn’t always a priority, we have to make it a priority. We have to spend the time letting those around us know that THEY are a priority.

This Week’s Challenge: Who is the first person that pops in your mind? The neighbor you can see out your window? A friend who’s struggling? What can you do to let them know that they’re not alone, that they are loved?

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

From Busy to Blessing – Serving the World from Right Where You Are

I love Operation Christmas Child; have loved it since before we had kids. If I could stand on the rooftops and shout out about Operation Christmas Child, I would! It is such a wonderful, hands on way to Mary to others!

Yea, but we don’t have the time! We don’t have the money for those extra purchases! Check out this post here, on ways to afford OCC.
From Busy to Blessing - Serving the world from right where you are @JessicaMWhite.com
What do I do? Go back to that store you already spent an hour in this morning, or on your next trip, look at things in the clearance section, look at school supplies, look at socks, tooth brushes, soap etc. Every time you go to this store, pick up a few things. You’ll be surprised when you go to fill your boxes!

Cleaning out the kids toys? Organizing those endless messes? Take some of those things and put them aside for OCC or the Salvation Army. Look at you! Using your cleaning to bless someone you’ll never even meet! I have a box in my attic that we fill throughout the year with all those smaller things that end up in our house that we just don’t need (they are things that are in excellent condition, no garbage being pawned off).

If you want to keep it closer to home, serving a more tangible family, check out The Box Project, another great organization. Look at getting a part time job or creating some extra source of income to sponsor a child with Compassion International — You can read our Compassion story here— or to specifically donate to a charity.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

From Busy to Blessing – Community Food Banks and Soup Kitchens

When I was a kid, my parents and I helped out in a soup kitchen. I don’t even remember the why we did, but we did. And it has been something that has stuck with me over the past 20 years. From Bust to Blessing Food Banks and Soup Kitchens @JessicaMWhite.com

Have I ever gone back, unfortunately no. Once I had the time {in college} I didn’t have the desire…funny how that works. Now with a bunch of littles, it’s not going to happen, but it will someday.

But what can we do?

I go grocery shopping. I find out what’s needed in our local food bank or at places that serve free meals, and throw a few of those items in my cart. The increase in our groceries is minimal, I’m already doing it, why not do it to bless.

Our church “adopts” several families during the holiday season {through social services}, providing them with not only gifts, but food. We always are sure to add some groceries to the stash, whether it’s a ham or turkey that’s needed, vegetables, or desserts.

We’re heading into that time of year when people struggle to not only keep food on the table, but keep a roof over their head, and clothes on their children. What with the added expense of heating homes, most people need a helping hand and look to food banks and soup kitchens for help. We can be that help. It doesn’t cost much, you’re already Martha-ing it, and it can Mary to someone else!

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing