31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality – Review and Giveaway!

If you read Edie Wadsworth’s blog, Life in Grace, you quickly get a sense of her gift for combining the thoughtful, spiritual, and inspirational with down-to-earth style and practical tips.  In her new e-book, 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality, Edie uses the same approach, creating a book that gets to the center of why we feed and care for our families and neighbors, why we strive to make our homes beautiful and welcoming places of refuge, and how to put hospitality into practice while maintaining the right motivation and attitude.

Since my word of the year is “connect” I appreciated how the book began with our need for connection, and how it ties in to biblical commandments to feed and clothe and love our neighbor.  Hospitality, Edie writes, is not so much about entertaining (although using your best china and making pretty table settings can be a way to encourage and show people we value them) but about taking the time to really consider others, and to welcome them into your life and help meet their needs, physical and relational.

Another great aspect of the book is how Edie progresses from hospitality as a spiritual concept, to how it impacts our marriages and children.  I was challenged by the idea that we have to be hospitable to our families, not just friends and neighbors.

In addition to a strong spiritual and theoretical foundation, the book includes a lot of practical ideas for ways to make your home more welcoming, make your kitchen, living areas, and guest rooms more useable, and make your preparations for hospitality smoother so you can spend more time enjoying and encouraging your guests.

Throughout the book, I found encouraging and convicting things to think about.  As the title claims, the book really does seek to get to the heart of hospitality–why we do it and what the point is–and I found that very helpful.  You may feel like it’s important to teach your kids manners, or have people over for dinner, or invite someone to stay with you for  a weekend.  But sometimes it’s helpful to really consider the reason behind those things, so we can focus on serving others rather than impressing them, and really build connections and community rather than just putting on the dog.

While some of the content in 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality will be familiar to Edie’s blog readers, at 117 pages the e-book contains a lot of additional content, especially the deeper and more challenging aspects and implications of hospitality.

Giveaway!

Edie graciously offered two giveaway copies for readers of A Spirited Mind.  If you’d like to win a copy of 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality, leave a comment and let us know one aspect of hospitality you think you do well, or one that you struggle with.  The giveaway will be open until February 13.

 

Disclosure: Edie sent me a complimentary review copy of the e-book, but the opinions in this review are my own.

 

This entry was posted in Homekeeping, Reading, Week in Books 2013 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality – Review and Giveaway!

  1. I’d love a copy. I grew up seeing hospitality lived out nearly every day. My main struggle is not letting our current financial situation stop me and just being willing to serve what we normally eat even if it isn’t “company” feeling. Hospitality definitely makes me feel connected to people and even if it is a little extra effort before hand we are always so thrilled to have done it after.

  2. Wendy says:

    After reading “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School,” I have been bemoaning the fact that I don’t have more of the gift of hospitality to offer my family when it comes to the kitchen (I’m terribly uncomfortable there and wish I could prepare more home-cooked, tasty meals). My home isn’t a show-piece either, but I’m more at ease with that. I love to welcome others in, no matter the state of my home, but the gift of making things more welcoming and fashionable just never was sent my way. If God hasn’t gifted you with hospitality, is it possible to seek and claim the gift? Or would those energies be better spend investing in the gifts you already know you have?

    • Wendy says:

      Oops – meant “better spent.”

    • That’s an interesting question, Wendy. I think we are ALL called to hospitality, although only some of us are really gifted with it. I have friends with incredible gifts of hospitality, who manage to make people welcome and refreshed even on a very small budget and without showplace homes. But I think even for those of us who aren’t naturally gifted in that way, we can cultivate the real heart of hospitality, which is not about cooking or decorating at all, but about giving other people encouragement and rest and connection. Edie’s book covers some practical things, like simple ways you can set up your kitchen to help you serve others with meals, or simple things you can do to make a guest feel more welcome, but she also focuses on the reason and the motivation for hospitality, which I think is especially helpful for those of us who aren’t gifted in that way. In any case, I think it’s key to remember that hospitality is not about entertaining and decorating and gourmet cooking (although those can be components) but about blessing others and building relationships.

  3. I struggle with hospitality, just in general. I love people and love the “idea” of having people over at a moment’s notice. But the practicalities always get in the way: our home is too small, our table only seats 4, we can’t afford to make a big meal, my energy is too inconsistent (I deal with chronic illness & fatigue). I think if I could understand more of the “why” behind being hospitable, it would help some of those logistics fall into place – or simply not matter as much. So I would love to win a copy of this book! I think it would really help me learn and grow.

  4. Dean says:

    I struggle with how to teach this concept to my children and how to make them understand the concept. I wish I would do a better job modeling this for them in my everyday life.

  5. Erika says:

    We love having others in our home–but typically our biggest hurdle is the “make-it-happen” point, the scheduling and working out of details with people to take the theory and make it very enjoyable and encouraging reality. And I’m not familiar with this blog, so I hope to take a peek sometime!

  6. Lani says:

    I used to think I was good about opening my home whenever a need arose. However, since having children, this has become more of a struggle for me. So, something I thought I was good at is now something I need to work on. Ugh.

  7. Amy says:

    I have found as my kids have gotten older (17,14, 12) we are less likely to invite others over, entertain or generally have adult friends. We have friends at church but everyone seems so busy when we have a break we just want to stay home. Lately, I’ve been missing it more – would love to see her ideas. There is much pressure to “do it right” that sometimes also it interfers with my ability to see past that, as well. Enjoy reading your posts.

  8. Heather L. says:

    Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading!!!

  9. Adrienne says:

    I feel like I always feed my company well. I truly enjoy cooking for people and always put my best foot forward in that.

    However, I really need to work on being more gracious to open my door to drop-in visitors. I LOVE to have people over, but my house isn’t always in the best “shape” for outside eyes. I suppose it’s more of a need to let go of whatever mess there may be and just enjoy anyone who may stop by.

  10. Keren says:

    I feel like I’ve showed hospitality well by caring for local friends in my same season of life (e.g., taking meals to new moms, sick friends), but don’t do so well with sharing our table with people in our neighborhood.

  11. Sheila says:

    I struggle with hospitality – the logistics of it (what should I feed people? what if they don’t like it?), the feeling that my house is too messy/cluttered/unpretty. I want to make people feel welcome, and get over myself and my issues with my bare walls and ugly curtains.

  12. Ashley says:

    Hmmm… I would love to read more about this topic as growing in hospitality is something I’m seeking to do this year. I really enjoy having people over and cooking nice meals, but I struggle with making simple meals so that I can entertain more frequently. I am trying to figure out how to entertain simply enough to be able to do it regularly with out burning out.

  13. Catherine Woodcock says:

    My struggle is “frequency.” We did a study of hospitality at church a couple of years ago, and I was struck by the idea that Christian hospitality isn’t nice people doing nice things for other nice people. It is opening your home (and yourself) to people God brings in your life — with whom you might not considered having much in common. Some of our most rewarding times of hospitality were with people we invited spur of the moment — like the time we invited someone we just met to join us for Easter dinner.
    Every time we do something like that, we think, “WHY don’t we do this more often?” That’s why I love the image of heaven as a banquet — with the most wonderful fellowship around the table.

  14. Catie says:

    Well, I still have room to grow but I think I’ve gotten a lot better about not having a perfectly clean house before I invite people over. (I’m pretty sure it’s *never* been perfect.) I used to get really stressed before having company because I would spend so much energy trying to clean. But now, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have two toddlers–and that’s what my home reflects. :) The truth is, I never mind when I go to someone else’s home and it’s not perfect, so I’ve started to assume that my guests won’t mind either.

  15. Monica Bird says:

    Just yesterday at work I was talking with a friend about how I’ve found it difficult to cook for my family this winter. Partly uninspired. Partly busy. Partly lazy. So I determined that on Sunday I would return to a tradition we used to keep. Special foods for the Lord’s Day as just another way to set it apart, enjoy being together, and to provide my family with a meal that they’ll actually sit to eat:). I bought Manager’s Special Izzy drinks for everyone, made some comfort foods from scratch and even created out a specialty pizza with artichokes (which the kids called “slugs”) which I found way on the back of the shelf. I think I’m realizing for me that if I treat others better than I serve my own family than I not being authentic with either. For me, hospitality is work, but it’s a work of love and worthy of expression.

  16. Morgan says:

    Id love a copy. I enjoy having guests in our home and feel I do a good job of taking care of everyone’s needs but don’t always do a good job of relaxing and enjoying my company.

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