I remember back in college I lived in a cozy 900 sq. ft. home with at least two to three other roommates at a time. I was blessed with having many of those roommates over the years share my love of hospitality and we enjoyed having other college students over weekly for snacks and games and had other small groups of friends over frequently. It didn’t bother me to have over thirty people in our little home at once because I knew they were having a great time and that they didn’t mind the cramped space. Most of the time they just knew it was a home of love and filled with people who cared about them!
After I got married to Scott four and a half years ago we lived in a duplex and an apartment before we bought our first home which was “perfect” for having groups of people over! I thought it perfect because of the reason why most people think a house is perfect for entertaining… it was open, spacious, and had a great backyard for a large group of people.
But, things often got in the way of my plans to be hospitable as our two kiddos, Daniel and Lydia, began filling up much of the house with their toys and I began to lose the excitement and joy of showing God’s love to people by opening up our home to them. Instead I would end up easily talking myself out of having a group of friends over because we lived to far out of town or our house was a big mess or we were raising money to go into ministry so we definitely didn’t have the extra money to entertain guests!
I didn’t have a problem having our VERY close friends (almost like family) over because I knew they didn’t mind the mess and craziness, but looking back I so wish we had used the opportunities and wonderful house God had given us to build more relationships with other people in our church and through work.
Just two months ago we moved out of our home and made the move to Denver, CO, where my husband and I started doing full-time campus ministry with Master Plan Ministries. We moved from our “perfect for entertaining” home to a much smaller place that still has a nice, big backyard, but the living room definitely lacks the space that we had before. Already I’m realizing that although I love our new home, I’m already putting up the excuses for why we aren’t having many people over… “We haven’t unpacked everything!”, “I still have SO much organizing to do!”, “There just isn’t enough room…”, etc.
I’m beginning to see that it really isn’t the place we live in that makes it easy or not to be hospitable. It’s more so my attitude and if I’m willing to lay aside my excuses, invite people over, and pray that they are blessed and encouraged by their time here no matter the size or organization of our home, how loud our kids are, how much money we have, or even if they’ll want to come back again!
Especially as a mother who stays at home most of the week, I know that God has given me this opportunity to bless others. I really do love being hospitable and having people over, but I’m just praying that we can all lay aside our excuses and trust that God has us in the perfect home with the perfect kids and that we can reach out, invite in, and bless lives around us!
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9
Here is a family recipe of mine that I love and wanted to pass on. It’s super easy and delicious which means it is a perfect dessert to bake up the next time you invite someone over, which will hopefully be soon!
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box banana cream instant pudding and pie filling
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup water
Mix and pour into 2 (9”) greased and floured pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Quick Fudge Frosting:
1 lb. powdered sugar
½ cup dry cocoa
¼ tsp. salt
6 Tbls. Boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup soft butter
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add water, vanilla, and butter to first mixture. Blend and beat until thickened.
Natalie graduated with her Elementary Education degree in 2008 and now serves as a missionary to college students with Master Plan Ministries. Outside of ministry, she loves taking pictures of her husband and two children, scrap booking photo memories of vacations and day-by-day moments. She is so thankful for the opportunity to be a mentor to women who are faced with the peer pressure and endless life choices of daily college life, and is excited to see God’s transforming work as He shows His grace and love to these students and prepares them for the years ahead.
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