As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

{31 Days of Hospitality} Day 1 ~ Not to Impress, But to Bless

(Click ~HERE~ for an index to all the posts in this series.)


Does the thought of inviting someone into your home strike dread in your heart?  Or does the idea of having people over excite you?  Or are you, like most of us, somewhere in between those two extremes?  

Or maybe, just maybe, you love the idea of opening your home and sharing with people, but when you plan to do just that, you worry about it for days.  You stress over the menu and your house and where you're going to seat everyone.  You make your family miserable and you make yourself miserable, and you wonder why you've done it in the first place.  

And may I confess that I could answer "yes" to all of the above questions at one time or another?


What stops us?  What holds us back?  And what keeps us from being relaxed and making our guests feel at ease when we do open our homes?  

I humbly suggest that we have missed our focus.  

We must open our homes, and our lives, not to impress, but to bless.  

If my intention is to impress, then I will fret over the menu and worry that I am not a fabulous cook.  

If my intention is to impress, then I won't be able to invite them over until I get new living room furniture or have my carpet cleaned or move into a bigger house or have a collection of matching dishes.  

If my intention is to impress, then I must wait until my schedule allows plenty of time to make my house perfectly clean and I must wait until my children are older and there are no messes.  

But if my purpose for hospitality is to bless...oh my, well that sheds some new light on it, doesn't it?  

If my intention is to bless, then I will be more concerned with making my guests feel welcome than with an appearance of perfection.  

If my intention is to bless, then why would I worry if my toddler spills his milk or there are a few toys in the kitchen floor?  

If my intention is to bless, then I will swallow my pride, ignore my worn furniture, and open my doors.

If my intention is to bless, then I will take the time to reach out, even in small ways, to make someone feel wanted and loved.

I am linking up with The Nester (and lots of other bloggers) 
for the entire month of October!

Click ~here~ to get to the party!  


  1. I wish others had the same intent as you, Cheryl. I stress out so much that I don't invite anyone over. I used to have 30-40 people for summer parties and did just about every single thing myself, I would get help from friends with serving and some cleanup. Now I find it too draining, but looking at it through your eyes, I may rethink it, for maybe 3 or 4 friends at a time. xo

  2. Cheryl,
    This is wonderful. I have visited the Nester, and now that I know about it, am considering participating too. Great idea.
    Just getting Mister to make me a button now....'cause I don't know how, nor does my dreadful computer!

  3. I did 31 days of hospitality last year and it was really fun. I look forward to following you this month.

  4. So true. Our "open homes" DO reflect our "open hearts"! I like the contrast you created between "to impress" and "to bless"!

  5. I came over from the Nester and am looking forward to your series! Extending hospitality is such a gift. I'm getting married in November and my fiance and I will be reading the Sam Walter Foss poem in your header at the ceremony. :-)

  6. Cheryl, so true. It is so easy sometimes to get caught up in all the preparing and forget the real reason for having people in our home. I am guilty of worrying about what to cook but if I just realize that is not what it is about. It is to be a blessing to the people that come into our home. Thanks for the blog and for sharing your home with us on Sunday. We felt loved and you made us feel right at home. Thank you for your hospitality! Love, Mary, Bryan and Aaron

  7. I say a hearty AMEN! to all of your list. Hospitality is such a wonderful thing.

    That said, I must confess to beginning to fret due to a certain visitor I am going to have this week. "Do you think we can replace that chair?" etc...

    God has reminded me of all my own preaching about hospitality - but sometimes the desire to impress does rear it's ugly head!

    I believe it was this 31 days series last year that I read and found a kindred spirit!


  8. Cheryl, I'm in the middle group! I'm married to Mr. Let's-Have-Friends-Over-They-Don't Care-What-the-House-Looks-Like, but I seriously struggle with CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) ...and also a bit of shyness or reluctance to make the first move. (My Mom had to physically lead me over to the groups of kids playing at the park, playground, or beach!) I really do love having company over once I get brave enough to invite someone! :-D

    Homeschooling really helped me in being willing to open my home to others on short notice, but I can use all the help I can get to not fall back into old patterns now that there's not a stream of kids and families visiting on a regular basis. I'm looking forward to your posts! It's definitely all about blessing, not impressing!

  9. I'm looking forward to your series. I definitely struggle with having people over. I always say, "When we have a bigger house..." I guess I need to reconsider :)

    I'm excited to be participating in the 31 Day challenge this year I think it'll be a lot of fun!

  10. You are so right! I've never thought of it in those exact terms "bless rather than impress"--but that's such a good, succinct way to think about it! I'm so glad that my Mom raised me to be hospitable--because of that, just weeks after we got married, my husband and I were willing and comfortable inviting a lady who needed a place to stay for the night into our home--in spite of the fact that we were newlyweds, and as such, didn't have any special commodities like more than one bed at that time!

  11. I found your blog through the 31 days party going on. I love the topic you chose and this first post is wonderful. I can't wait to join you for the next 30 days. Thanks!

  12. Hopping over from The Nester. Great topic! My husband, 3 month old son and I are moving into our first single family home in the next 2 months and I can't wait to have company over! So excited to follow you along!

  13. Wow, I love this idea for a series! You really have me thinking. I grew up in a family of people who cleaned constantly and since I don't--I am always a little embarrassed about having people over and feel like I am the "lazy host"--but we homeschool and I work part-time and there are only so many hours in a day and I only have so much energy and I really want to be with my friends. This was a great post!

  14. Now how did I miss this? The answer already given! Hmmmm...

  15. I am looking forward to your series.


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