This is a big week over at SMR. On Wednesday, we are throwing our first-ever Facebook party (more details on that later). And today we are launching our first-ever series, a a week-long miniseries on one of my favorite topics: Hospitality.
I interviewed Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries this spring after I stumbled across a similar series on her blog, based on her book "A Life That Says Welcome." I'll be sharing her thoughts on what hospitality is, why it's important and how you can get started, as well as a few of my own recipes, including bacon. sage. popcorn. And, lest you think I'm setting some unattainable standard of throwback 1950s-style biblical womanhood here, some stories about the peeling linoleum in my bathroom. (That most definitely is NOT a photo of my apartment above).
So what else would you like to know about hospitality? And what can you share with me? I'd love to hear your thoughts, tips, recipes and questions! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #smrhospitalityseries on Twitter.
My husband Joel and I were part three of a past-present-future-themed progressive dinner party this spring. This meant the partygoers, all fellow volunteers at an English as a Second Language program in our Chicago neighborhood, had appetizers at one apartment, where the food and decorations had a “past” theme, then moved to another for dinner.
We were tasked with serving futuristic desserts in our very vintage newlywed apartment, furnished almost entirely with pieces we’ve found in thrift stores, on Craiglist and in our parents’ basements. At least one bookshelf my very resourceful husband hammered together from old doors he found in alleyways.
For the record, Joel and I both love offering hospitality. We both love having people over and talking to them and cooking for them and showing them weird movies and making them feel at home in our home.
After the past and present parties, though, I was starting to feel a little insecure. Both were in clean, newly-rehabbed apartment buildings.
Our apartment building, which we’d moved into less than a year before this particular party, after we were married, dates back to the 1880's and hasn’t been very well maintained. The linoleum is peeling up in our bathroom, and there always seems to be a thin layer of dirt over everything, no matter how often I clean.
But then, our guests arrived. And when one of them settled into the rocking chair in our living room, a third-generation hand-me-down from a friend, he said, “It just feels really good in here.”
That’s the point of hospitality. And that’s where it differs from “entertaining,” according to Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries.
For the rest of the story, read Hospitality Series: What is hospitality? (Start Marriage Right). For all posts in the SMR Hospitality Series, click here.
For more inspiration on "hospitality outside Pinterest," read this excellent article by my fellow RELEVANT writer and STORY 2012 friend Kristin Tennant.
Photo credit: Start Marriage Right.