An Invitation To Dinner


“The heart of hospitality is when people leave your home, they should feel better about themselves, not better about you.” Shauna Niequist 

I’m an introvert through and through. I’m the last person that should be giving hospitality advice. So, I won’t. I won’t give you advice. I will just share what God has allowed to happen in my home and in my heart recently.

Over the last 6 weeks we’ve been blessed to have several families into our home. This picture below was preparation for one of those evenings.

Look at this picture of my non-Pinterest-worthy table setting. Look closely at those chairs. They don’t match. They’re old. Their stained. For a split second I found myself thinking, “What am I thinking? I don’t even have enough chairs at this table for everyone that is coming?!” 

But, thankfully, God intervened.

My not-perfect table

I think it is no accident that we learn of hospitality in the book of Acts, the earliest of churches.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Acts 2:42, 46-47. 

They met at the temple, yes, but they also met regularly in each other’s homes. All Scripture is God breathed and useful…the writer of Acts mentions that they met in homes for a reason. And I think that reason is just as vital today as it was in the days of the early church.

But, hold up…wait a minute…I know what you’re thinking. My house isn’t big enough! (Mine, either, actually!) My chairs don’t match! I’m not a good cook! (Me, either! In fact, I hate cooking so much recently that I wrote a post called 20 meals for moms who hate cooking!) I just don’t know about this. I’m just not cut out for this.

I’m with you. I hear you. And here is what I want to tell you…

Take a chance. Do it anyway. Call a family and invite them over for dinner. Just do it. Take a risk. Step out of your comfort zone and bless another family. You don’t even have to cook, actually! Have pizza! Order Chinese! The point is not the food.

I can almost guarantee you will be thankful that you did. Do you know why??

We need each other. 

To be quite honest, we need to see each other’s homes in all their non-Pinterest glory. We need to see the crumbs on the floor. We need to see that there are others out there that don’t dust weekly. We need to know that not everyone has matching dishes, coordinating everything and a family chef who does all the cooking. {pssst… if you have a personal chef, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.} 

Hospitality is not about making your house look good so that others can be impressed. Hospitality is about letting people into your not-perfect home and your not-perfect life so that you can bless and encourage one another.

We need the fellowship, the encouragement, the memories, the conversations around the table more than we need the Pinterest-laden kitchen full of perfect recipes and coordinating dinnerware.

“Hospitality is not about inviting people into our perfect homes, it is all about inviting people into our imperfect hearts.” Ruth Soukup

So, busy moms, what are you waiting for? Don’t try to convince yourself that you’re too busy to invite a friend over for coffee or a family over for dinner. Don’t talk yourself out of a blessing!! Go ahead! Who can you call this week?? I encourage you to go for it! You won’t regret it!

And if, like me, you tend to overthink everything and will try to talk yourself out of this, speak this truth aloud to yourself: My friends want to come over because they want to spend time with me and my family, NOT because I have a perfect home or a perfect table setting. It’s the truth, I promise.


Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

Sharing is caring!Share on StumbleUpon0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+1Email this to someone
Candace Crabtree
I'm Candace, just a messed up mama in need of God's fresh, new mercies daily ~ moment by moment! My husband and I live in East Tennessee with our 3 children ages 12, 11 and 9yrs. In addition to spending time with my family, I enjoy reading great books, blogging, our church, worship music, playing piano, having coffee with a friend and fresh flowers on my kitchen table.
Candace Crabtree

Latest posts by Candace Crabtree (see all)

Have you seen our Christmas unit designed for all ages? Click to take a peek!


6 Responses to An Invitation To Dinner

  1. Courtney says:

    We’re at the life stage where playdates work well, so to warm myself up to the idea of having dinner guests, I started hosting playdates first. Now it feels natural to invite people for dinner.

  2. misfithomeschoolmom says:

    Sadly, there’s another side to this coin. When you might have a nice house, or like your house clean (some of us have issues you know), then people are intimidated. I think this is wrong too.

    I invite a lot of people over, then they NEVER invite us back. I think that’s wrong. Just because someone has a nicer or bigger house than yours, doesn’t mean that they don’t want to come and enjoy ANOTHER’S hospitality, or doesn’t mean they will look down on someone if your house is different. I think EVERYONE needs to meet others where they are…even if that means a big or clean house.

    I think all believers should meet each other where they are without that kind of judgment–for instance what someone’s house is like–whether it’s small or large, messy (reasonable messy–not talking about Hoarders here) or clean. As believers, we certainly shouldn’t care and just enjoy each other! Good post!

    • Candace says:

      I’m sorry you’ve had that struggle…and I agree, regardless of situation we should try to enjoy one another’s company. Those people that might not have invited you back? Maybe it wasn’t YOUR house, maybe there were other reasons too based on their own insecurities. :) Like you said, we all have issues. ha!! Don’t give up! Keep inviting…I hope that someone will return the favor for you very soon and realize the blessing they’ve been missing!

  3. Nicole says:

    I soo needed this post! My husband wants to have his leadership team from work over for dinner this summer (I scheduled for July so I will have plenty of time to stress – I mean, clean). These are all VP’s and higher. We have baby gates everywhere imaginable, some of the duct taped, and my chairs don’t match either! Did I mention the toys? Three toddlers, two of them developmentally delayed, and a house too small.

    After reading this I felt…relief! Thank you for this post, it helped more than you know!

    • Candace says:

      Nicole, I’m so glad!! Thank you for chiming in. I hope your VP dinner goes beautifully. And you know what? I bet the VPs coming over will be refreshed to see a home lived and loved in!!

Leave a reply