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.
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.