Episode #9- The Art of intentional hospitality
Have you ever wondered if there is a secret to making guests feel welcome in your home? I’ve always loved hosting guests in my home and am always looking for ways of adding heart to the art of hostessing.
I’ll admit, it’s intimidating
In our world of seemingly perfect posts and pins. While striving to make guests feel welcome we must also creatively host parties.
With the culinary skill of an iron chef. A perfectly clean and decorated house. While dressed to impress, and wearing all the current “in” trends. For all of this you need a bank account to back it up, all while taking professional photos and videos to post and social media page in real time. And let’s not forget the humility, hospitality and love of Jesus.
It’s so much more
But really these are all external things. If you truly want to begin adding heart to the art of hostessing, it goes much deeper.
My hubby and I have hosted many events, from intimate dinner parties to BBQ’s and Baby showers. We’ve packed our home with so many people it should have popped.
Knowing many people are intimidated by hosting, and yet want to make guests feel welcome, I wanted to share what God has taught me about adding heart to the art of being a hostess.
I find so much joy in it, and I hope to encourage you to feel the same.
What is your intention?
If you put too much pressure on yourself and plan too many things you are liable to be overwhelmed. When your guests arrive, you will be stressed and too busy making everything perfect, you won’t have time to spend in conversation with the people attending.
This is why it’s important to keep your heart’s intention in check.
Mary & Martha
Jesus talks about the importance of heart intention when He was visiting Mary and Martha one day.
The story can be found in Luke 10:38-41
Two sisters Mary and Martha who were very close to and loved Jesus. They were hosting Him and the disciples in Martha’s home one day.
(Talk about pressure for making guests feel welcome)
Poor Martha had gotten her priorities a little out of wack, and she was doing all the serving. Meanwhile her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus feet and listening to Him.
Martha gets frustrated, (I don’t blame her) and asks Jesus to tell her Sister to come in and help her. Jesus lovingly shows His concern for all the things she was worried about and striving for. Gently He tells her the thing her sister is doing is the most important thing.
Did food need to be made that day? Yes!
Was there a lot to get done? Yes!
Her heart’s intention was the problem. She was more preoccupied with checking off her to do list, and making sure her sister was helping her.
(I have been known to be a bossy big sister, have got caught up in this a time or two. I’m sure my siblings can attest)
Rather than spending time with Jesus, and adding heart to the art of being a hostess. Not to mention Jesus wouldn’t be with them for much longer.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses in light of your heart’s intention
There is nothing wrong with making things lovely if it is your passion, just so long as it doesn’t stop you from doing the most important thing.
If you are not up for creating a post worthy spread from scratch, you can still show your guests you put thought behind what you are serving.
- Is there a guest of honor?
- Do they have any food allergies or things that they love?
- Are any of their children allergic to peanuts?
- Can you cook and bake?
- Does your timeline allow for what you are planning?
- What are your strengths?
- How else can you anticipate your guests needs?
Have your guests in mind when planning
This may sound simple. But if you want to add heart to the art of hostessing, your number one priority should be for everyone to feel welcome.
Ask yourself these questions
- Who are the people attending?
- How can I make them feel comfortable and welcome?
- What food and drinks would make them feel at home or special?
- Which genre of music should I be playing?
- Do I need to plan activities?
Keeping your focus on making guests feel welcome in your home will help you not over extend yourself in planning things for the wrong reasons.
The bottom line
If people leave feeling loved then you have done your job! The secret to hosting is you.
Your willingness to open your home and your heart is beautiful to God and will communicate His heart for His people in a tangible way.
Over the coming weeks I’m going to dive deeper into adding heart to the art of hostessing. I will give you practical tips on making guests feel welcome in your home.
There are 4 main areas to consider when hosting, I’d like to share what I’ve learned over the years
Wether you pride yourself on your hostess skills, or pray nobody ever stops by, I hope this will help encourage you to have the heart of a hostess.
You can also read here how I have learned to truly love caring for my home and making it a haven.