5 People That Need Our Hospitality

This world is full of people needing to be loved and ministered to. Our mission is to show hospitality to everybody that we meet, right? It can get exhausting to do everything for everyone, especially if we’re not well practiced or just starting out. While everyone deserves our kindness and hospitality, I’ve realized that there are groups of people that sometimes need a little more than others. I’ve broken this down into 5 categories of people I think we can start with and bless while we practice hospitality as Christ commands.

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1.) College/Seminary students
Think back to when you were in college. You were broke, away from home, and sometimes just needed a hot meal and an ear to listen. Consider connecting with a local college or seminary. Work with student services and maybe offer to host a dinner one night for a few struggling students. Seminary is a great way to reach out to families that need a little hospitality. Care packages are another way to show some hospitality to college students. Little baskets filled with nutritious snacks, soaps, and office supplies are much appreciated.

2.) New parents
When you’ve just had a brand new baby, sometimes it’s all you can do just to survive. Offer to babysit the older children, or come rock the baby, while they nap. Consider taking them a meal a few nights during those first weeks. A great tool is a website called Meal Train. It helps set up meal schedules for new parents. See link and description on my Resources page for more information. Even just dropping off a package of diapers and wipes can be a huge blessing.

3.) Church family
Our church family is in desperate need of our hospitality. Look around the room and you’ll see hundreds of faces crying out for help in some way. One family might need a meal or even a bag of groceries. One couple might be desperate for a date night without kids. A housewife might need to be invited out for coffee and a listening ear. Some teenagers may need a fun safe game night with friends. Visitors may need someone to sit beside them and ask about their story. There are endless opportunities to show hospitality and love in our church if we look for them.

4.) Out of town/country guests (for parties, weddings, or funerals)
I’ll never forget the time my husband and I had to unexpectedly drive to Florida for a funeral. It was last minute and we were searching for hotels are we were driving. We got a call that said a sweet lady that knew the family reserved a hotel for us. It was such a blessing, we wept at her kindness and praised God for His goodness. Maybe you have room in your home and can put someone up there instead of a hotel. Either way, it’s such a blessing for people to not have to worry about the hassle and cost of lodging while they’re coming in from out of town.

5.) Your own family
We have to be careful that we don’t spend so much time offering hospitality to those outside our home that we neglect the ones inside our home. Our family needs our hospitality too. Your husband may need you to put down your dishrag and watch that movie with him. Your child may need you to cook their favorite meal or surprise them with their favorite dessert. Maybe it means packing a backyard picnic and leaving your phone inside to focus fully on them. It could mean a full on family vacation away from everything else. Whatever it looks like, be sure your family doesn’t suffer at you hospitable hand.

As we practice the art of hospitality, it gets easier and we get more comfortable with it. We get more comfortable reaching out our hands, inviting in to our home, and opening up our hearts. Let us live a life of constant practice so that through us someone else may find love, healing, and rest.

Paige

Starved

We live in a world that is starved for true authentic hospitality. With so many magazines and TV shows displaying what a perfect home should look like, so many people are unwilling to open their home to others unless they achieve that level of perfection. From pristine living rooms that are unbelievably uncomfortable to picture perfect meals that take hours to prepare, we are so busy trying to impress others that we fail to bless others. God did not call us to perfection, He called us to love. Authentic hospitality is sadly undervalued among our culture today.

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We read a story in the New Testament of two sisters. Mary and Martha. Jesus had come and was having supper in their home. Martha was running around making sure her table was perfect and the food was just right, but Mary was sitting at His feet listening. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I seem to contradict myself. One day I talk about planning the perfect tea party and the next I’m telling you to forget planning. Let me clarify. I’m not against a planned out event, a pretty table, or delicious food. I will continue to offer guides and posts on all things lovely when it comes to hosting different events. However, the motivation and heart behind our hospitality must be authentic and must be out of genuine love for others. We cannot get so lost in the planning that we forget the people. Now you’re asking “ok well how do I do that” I’m glad you asked!

  1. When you have company, especially someone in need of a shoulder to cry on, try your best to limit distractions. Pour a couple of cups of tea, turn off the TV, put your phone down, and listen.
  2. When you have company show up while you’re cooking or in the middle of a project, invite them to join you. (This mainly applies to unexpected company)
  3. When you are hosting an event, put your phone down.
  4. Don’t apologize for the things you don’t have, or the imperfections in what you do have. If a glass of water is all you have to offer, offer it humbly but don’t apologize that you don’t have lemonade to offer.

Authentic hospitality is not just for our friends and family closest to us. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “hospitality” means “love of strangers.” It’s opening your heart to the neighbor next door, the single mom down the street, the broke college student who needs a nutritious meal, the elderly shut-in desperate to see beyond their four walls, or the lonely widow who just needs some company. We read in the Old Testament a story of King David. He desperately wanted to show kindness and hospitality to the family of Saul after his death. So he reached out to a complete stranger, a shut-in relative, and brought him to his home. What a difference we could make if that was our mindset. When we treat people with kindness, we often open the door for them to receive a witness of the gospel.

Some good ways to seek out those people in desperate need of hospitality:

  1. Ask your church pastor or leaders. I am sure they will have a name for you to reach out to.
  2. Get to know the neighbors on your street. Maybe consider holding an open house and inviting your neighborhood to stop in for lemonade and ice cream this summer.
  3. Contact your local university or seminary and ask if you can be a blessing to a struggling student.
  4. Offer to cook supper for a family with an illness or a new baby.
  5. Pick up a shut-in and take them for lunch or a picnic in a park.

Our world is starved for true genuine hospitality. Let us be the ones to show them that kindness and let them experience God’s love through our lives.

~Paige

Easter Brunch

I love brunch. You’re most likely going to read about it a few times as you’re reading through my posts. Brunch is one of the funnest (not a word?) events to do. The food is amazing, you can use more florals, and who doesn’t like brunch?? Today, we’ll look at Easter Brunch! Now that we have moved into our new home, the very first event I’ll be hosting is an Easter brunch this Saturday for family. I’m going to share my menu and decoration plans, as well as a few tips I’ve learned over time.

I’ll be using the following to create my tablescape:

Pastel and floral plates
Pastel faux eggs

Pastel Eggs

Crystal glasses
Floral tea cups

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White bunnies
Milk glass vases
Tulips
Vintage floral handkerchiefs
Monogrammed Silverware

I’ll be using a mixture of pastel and blue floral dishes, with crystal and pale pink glasses. Centerpieces will be simple milk glass vases of tulips and surrounding the vases will be miniature bunnies and chocolate eggs in a nest of edible grass. I’ll be using white egg cups holding pastel faux eggs for name cards. We’ll be using our wedding monogrammed silverware wrapped in vintage floral handkerchiefs for napkins. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns when it comes to incorporating floral into your Spring table. Also, don’t be afraid of color. You want your table to look alive and celebratory.

TIP 1) Don’t have or like milk glass? Raid the vase aisle at Dollar Tree. They have a great selection of study vases for only $1 a piece.

TIP 2) Explore your local antique shops and flea markets for vintage handkerchiefs. They make wonderful brunch and tea linens

TIP 3) Hobby Lobby is heaven on Earth to an event planner. The day after a holiday, decor goes 50% off. And a week after, decor goes up to 90% off. You can’t beat those sales. It’s a great way to stock up for next year’s festivities.

Now on to the important part: the menu. This is just what I’ll be serving. Feel free to change it up, change recipes, and make it your own.

Easter Brunch Menu

Berry French Toast Casserole*

Omelet Cups with Ham

Cheesy Hash-browns

Mini Pancake Stacks

Sausage Patties

Donut holes

Brunch is one of the easiest meals so don’t make it more difficult than it has to be. I chose the Berry French Toast Casserole because it can be prepped the night before and then all you have to do it pop it into the over the morning of the event. *Recipe at the end of this post* For the omelet cups, all I do is take a muffin tin and place a slice of ham in each cup. Then add an omelet mixture and bake at 325 until eggs are cooked. You can sprinkle with cheese if you’d like. There are multiple ways to do hash browns, and several recipes can be found on my Pinterest board.

TIP 1) I’ll use frozen sausage patties, mini pancakes, and store-bought donut holes. I try to make it as easy as I can, especially when I’ll have a house full.

TIP 2) To dress up the mini pancakes, attach 2-3 with a toothpick and top with a berry and confectioner’s sugar.

TIP 3) If someone asks if they can help or bring something, let them. Assign them something small, but it takes a task away from you and makes them feel good about contributing.

Drinks

Mock Mimosa (1/2 orange juice and 1/2 sparkling water with a dash of cherry syrup)

Orange Juice (Or any kind of fruit juice)

Hot Tea/Coffee

I’m looking forward to this brunch, and the many more to come! What are some tips you’ve discovered over time? Comment below with your thoughts, questions, or tips!

~Paige

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*French Toast Berry Casserole

Ingredients

  • 12-14 cups cubed bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced
  • ½ cup blueberries (or mixed berries)
  • 1-2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
  • maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Butter a 9″x13″ casserole dish. Cut bread into cubes and add to dish (fill up to ¾ way).
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Whisk mixture and mix well. Pour mixture over bread.
  3. Top mixture with strawberries and blueberries.
  4. Wrap the casserole and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours)
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees
  6. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
  7. Serve with maple syrup.

This will typically serve about 8 people.

Spring Tea

I love Spring time. It’s the time when I get to plant my herb garden and flowers. It’s when we start hearing baby birds chirping. It’s when the trees grow full and green again. It’s when my home starts looking alive and warm. But most importantly, it’s when I get to start hosting Spring time Tea!

blur-cup-drink-355097Let’s talk about Tea Parties. My favorite event. There’s something wonderful about putting on a pretty dress and sipping happiness from a delicate cup. Tea parties make it easy to gather around a table and talk about all happy things. The thought of a tea party intimidates most people. They think it’s too complicated, too fancy, too expensive, too hard. It’s not! It’s such a fun way to get together with your girlfriends and have a wonderful time. I’ll make it super easy.  I’m going to go through a step by step process for hosting a brunch tea party, including some sample menus.

Step 1. Pick a date.

Typically I’ll do a Saturday morning about 11am about 3-4 weeks out. You can always do a different day, depending on the schedule of those you want to invite.

Step 2. Send the invites.

Invitations can be as fancy, or as simple, as you want them to be. They can be paper invitations snail mailed, or e-vites emailed out. You can even put together a Facebook “event” and invite guests that way. Don’t be afraid to ask for RSVP. I encourage always asking for RSVP. This is how you will know how many places to set, how much food to prepare, and what you’ll need. I ask invited guests to respond at least 7-10 days prior to the event.

Step 3. Will there be a theme?

If not, skip this step. Themes can come from a book you and your friends are reading, a fandom, a particular celebration (bridal shower, baby shower, birthday, etc.), or an upcoming holiday. If you’re going to have a themed tea, then your food and decor will center around that theme. It’s important to establish if there will be one or not before diving too deep in the planning process. (TIP: You can go to the dollar store for some table decor.) Check out my Pinterest board for neat ideas on themed parties and teas.

Step 4. Plan out your menu.

Find a legal pad and write it all out. Don’t try to put a menu together in your head. Write out several options for each category of food you want represented, and then narrow it down to the best options for your time and budget. Typically I’ll serve 2-3 kinds of each of the following: Savory egg or meat dish, fruit dish, and scones/bread dish. Also keep in mind, your menu does not need to be entirely from scratch. Serving mini pancake stacks? It’s definitely alright to buy the frozen bag of mini pancakes at the grocery store. Save yourself time and the headache when you can. I will be including three sample menus specifically for brunch teas in this post. They are just examples and can be switched around and substituted as desired. Also, all of my drink recipes will be non-alcoholic, but feel free to alter the recipes to your liking.

Step 5. Purchase necessary items and groceries.

I usually do my grocery shopping 2-3 days out. I want the food to be fresh, and I don’t want it taking up a lot of extra space long-term. There are some basic items that I always keep on hand, but specialty foods and ingredients will wait to be purchased until 2-3 days before my event. I try to pick up the things I will need for decorating at least 3 days in advance. I will map it all out and make sure I have what I want so I have time to make another run if something was forgotten. Undoubtedly, there will always be something that you forgot. It happens to me every time. It’s ok. It won’t ruin your party, and I promise no one will notice unless you say something. (TIP: Be sure to set a budget for yourself before you go out shopping. Trust me.)

Step 6. Set up you party the night before.

Do yourself a favor and set your table the night before your event. This will save valuable time in the morning as you make last-minute food preparations. Take out your china and do a quick rinse and dry so that the dishes are free of dust and spots. Bring out the kettles that you’ll need for boiling water and the strainers you’ll need for steeping tea. (TIP: If you live out in the country, you can placed the cups upside down on the plates so they don’t gather dust overnight.

Step 7. Take time for you.

The morning of your tea, take some time and put yourself together. You want to feel confident when you’re hosting, so do whatever you need to do to feel good. Makeup or no makeup, hair up or curled, pretty dress or pants, jewelry or none. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re well-groomed and feel confident. Hats are certainly an option, but not a requirement.

Step 8. Finish preparation and welcome your guests.

Mix up your drinks 1 hour ahead and fill your ice bucket. Start setting out food and boiling water to steep tea 15-20 minutes ahead of guest arrival. When guests arrive, take their jackets and purses to a guest room and show them where the restroom is. Time to get your party started!

I’m looking forward to my first Spring Tea of the season and I hope that this guide gets you excited as well! I’d love to hear you questions regarding an event such as this, as well as any tips and tricks you’ve discovered along the way. See the links below for sample menus to spark your creativity! Good luck and happy Spring!

~Paige

Brunch Tea Sample Menu

Brunch Tea Sample Menu2

Brunch Tea Sample Menu3