31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality:: Day 1 What Hospitality is Not

by Edie Wadsworth on September 30, 2012

 ”Hospitality is a personal response to your own need to connect with other people. This need is at the core of what it means to be human.  Your entire humanity, your identity itself, is wrapped up in your need to connect. The real question is not how dangerous the stranger is. The real question is how dangerous will I become if I don’t learn to be more open.”

what is hospitality?
This series on hospitality has been growing inside my heart for a lifetime.

Because really, isn’t it the ache of every human heart—to be known, to be loved?
But we have exchanged the riches of the word for something shallow and meaningless.

Hospitality is not a perfect Martha Stewart table setting.

It is not the smell of homemade bread, the clank of the right wine glasses, or the beauty of fresh flowers on the nightstand—-as wonderful as those things are.

It is not, in fact, even, the gathering of a few perfect strangers into your home to share fellowship and food.

You can have all those things and more and still miss hospitality.

Because true hospitality is born in the heart.

We learn it from our Father, who takes us into His own family,  washes us clean in  the waters of Baptism and gives us a robe of righteousness.   He prepares a feast for us every Sunday at His table where He feeds us on the true body of blood of  Himself, giving us  life, forgiveness and salvation.   He gives all this freely and makes us His own sons and daughters.

After we’ve feasted on His riches,   He says, go do likewise.

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Feed him, give him drink, clothe him and welcome him into your heart.

But we are also the sons and daughters of Adam.

And when we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, He welcomes us again to His table, to forgive us and feed us so that we will slowly but surely be strengthened in the faith  to love as He loves.

Hospitality is at the core of who we are, as humans and especially as christians.

It is desire of our Father’s heart.

May it become our desire too.

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Unless otherwise specified, the quotes I use will be from the book Radical Hospitality.

We will answer the question, ‘What is hospitality’ and we  will delve deep into what it really means to be open and vulnerable to others—to truly welcome them into your life.

On the fun side, I’ll be sharing recipes and practical tips for making others feel welcome and at home.

Click here to go back to the eBook page!

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nan Tedesco September 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

oh…perfect timing Edie..The Father is stirring this in my spirit as well. I am really looking forward to hearing. Also the Book loooks great! Thank you in advance for serving up
Some DELISH ideas and traditions that work for you!

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2 Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less September 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I can’t think of a better person to lead this journey. Can’t wait to read what you have to write, my friend. xoxo

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3 laura September 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Was sharing with a friend last evening “why” Weekend Farmer Husband and I intentionally practice hospitality weekly (planned) and as often as we can spontaneously. Wish I’d waited a day so I could just copy and paste this beautifully written post into my speech bubble! So looking forward to chewing and feasting on the instruction, practice, and wellspring of hospitality with you.

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4 jennybc September 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Love the idea of exploring this topic this month. One thing that I think is always left out of the concept of hospitality is the true, authentic giving of yourself. When I am expressing real hospitality I give from my head, my heart and my spirit. It is not contrived and yet, shy of wreck-less abandon. I believe it is best expressed when I have been in the presence of the Father on a routine basis and there is less of me…more of Him. Why oh why can I see it as it should be and in the ideal but struggle to put it all together in the day to day?

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5 LindaSonia September 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Oh, I can tell already that I’m going to enjoy these 31 days v e r y much… it speaks to my heart.

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6 Marie at the Lazy W September 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm

So excited for this series!

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7 Lori H September 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Really looking forward to your series! You are the epitome of hospitality to me!

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8 the domestic fringe September 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

So glad you are doing this series. I’m really excited about this month! I’m doing 31 Days of Living by Faith. Yikes! I hope I make it through all 31 days.
~FringeGirl

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9 Ruth September 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Looking forward to all you have to share on this topic. It is always a blessing when you share your heart with us here. You open up your online home and show us hospitality here with each post, as your warmth and welcome come through.

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10 Carol S. September 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Sounds wonderful. Wonder how others accommodate household family members that are at different stages of the hospitality curve?

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11 Lena ~ JOYfilledfamily September 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm

this series is sure to be a blessing to me and my family. hospitality is a virtue that i have been diligently praying for and working on. also, i lead a group of forty-one girls, ages 9-13. our focus is hospitality and domestic skills. our mission is to help young girls grow in faith, virtue, and service, through hospitality, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. i hope to pass along your inspired lessons.

Pax Christi, Lena

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12 Cary September 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm

This is gonna be so awesome! I’m not sure if you received my email, but I wanted to thank you for your prayers- we are homeschooling!!! Love- Cary

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13 Kamille@RedeemingtheTable October 1, 2012 at 12:04 am

I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I just had a post up on MomHeart blog with the hospitality series going on there. And wouldn’t you know, it is on this very notion of being welcomed to his feasting table. I’m thankful there are others like you sharing on the heart of hospitality.

I also have the book Radical Hospitality. You might like Making Room by Christine Pohl.

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14 Heidi @ Decor & More October 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

Wonderful, Edie ~ you’re so right that true hospitality is lost in today’s shallow hustle and bustle. I’m so looking forward to the chance to slow down a bit, ponder, and learn here. Thank you. :)
~Heidi

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15 chrissy October 1, 2012 at 7:51 am

To Connect!!! That is the basis of all things….Im on board!

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16 Southern Gal October 1, 2012 at 8:11 am

Perfect, Edie. I can’t wait to read the wisdom you share on the subject of hospitality.

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17 Julie October 1, 2012 at 8:19 am

Looking forward to this series!!

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18 amber October 1, 2012 at 9:19 am

This is the perfect series for you! I am really looking forward to this! I have a hard time opening up to others, so this will be good for me.

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19 Izabela October 1, 2012 at 9:40 am

Some time ago, I don’t know where, I read that when your guests leave, it’s nice to walk them to the door. This was they will see you as they leave, and your presence will make them see how much you appreciated having them there, and that they’re always welcome to come back. This has stuck with me, and even when we have huge birthday parties at my house, whether the guests leave through the side gate or the front door, I always see them off and wave goodbye.

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20 edie October 1, 2012 at 10:39 am

I think it’s important too, Izabela! Thanks for sharing:)

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21 Trudy Royston October 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I grew up in Michigan and it was customary to walk guests to the porch ( at least, sometimes to the car) and wave good-bye as they drove off. I have continued this custom and wouldn’t want to say goodbye any other way. Thank you for mentioning this Izabela. And thank you Edie for all that you do to inspire wonder and goodness in this world.
Sincerely, Trudy

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22 Rachel Reeves October 1, 2012 at 9:43 am

This topic really resonates with me and I can’t wait to see what you share!

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23 Gina October 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

Can’t wait to follow this. It speaks to my heart. I am currently reading Real Love for Real Life: The Art of Caring by Andi Ashworth and can highly recommend it. Very affirming and uplifting. Thanks, Edie!

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24 edie October 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

Looks like a book I’d love, Gina! Thanks for sharing:)))

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25 Terry A. October 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

How does hospitality fit into the vocations of those who are shy and are listeners rather than talkers? :)

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26 edie October 1, 2012 at 10:39 am

Great question, Terry! We’re gonna cover it so keep checking in:)))

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27 Von L. October 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

One night on the way to work, I was feeling particularly annoyed by people. It dawned on me that our Father loves each and every one of those people. So, to turn my mood around, with every person I saw on my commute, I repeated to myself “God loves you.” By the time I arrived at work, my attitude had completely changed and I was able to care for my patients with compassion and hospitality. Loved this post, Edie, thank you!

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28 Gina October 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Love this subject!! Can’t wait to follow along. :)

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29 Pamela October 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This is going to be an awesome series. I’m looking forward to it. My passion is encouragement (I call it sheltering) and hospitality is a powerful way to shelter.

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30 Mary October 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Hopping over from The Nester! What a great topic :) Can’t wait to follow you along!

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31 michele October 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s post, and the next, and the next. Your posts are treasured, life-affirming gifts for my heart, mind, and spirit.

xoxo michele

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32 Dianntha October 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I have enjoyed your post today. I will return tomorrow! Dianntha

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33 Elizabeth October 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm

So looking forward to this series. You are so inspiring!! Thank you!

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34 Kim B. October 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

This is an area where God has been speaking to me & I’ve been putting my finger in my ear & loudly shouting, “La la la la”. It’s no coincidence that one of my favorite bloggers is doing a series on what God has been trying to get me to do….open up my home & fellowship with others!! Looking forward to learning a lot & being motivated to follow your lead :)

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35 Becca October 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

I could not be more excited about your topic – I love it! :-)

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36 Kerri October 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

I am so looking forward to this series Edie! God has really been speaking to me and I am listening! Last week I became a Eucharistic minister and on Friday I attended a workshop for other teachers like myself who continue their journey as missionaries of faith. One thing I left with was this: what 5 words do I live by? I came up with “Love God and one another”. I think this fits perfectly with Hospitality and I am looking forward to learning from you and with you my friend! XO

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37 Odile October 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom.

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38 Margaret October 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

Now I’ve got this song from camp running through my head, complete with actions:
“He brings me to his banqueting table, His banner over me, His love.
He fills my cup to overflowing, His banner over me, His love.”

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39 Maureen October 3, 2012 at 6:52 am

What a fabulous idea for a series! I cannot wait to read more. . .

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40 Amanda Medlin October 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm

This is wonderful! I am trying to cultivate a spirit of hospitality in my own life and I love that you have defined it so well! Looking forward to your series!

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41 Denise Petry October 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

This sounds like a real treat and I am thankful that someone shared the opportunity on face-book. I also
have felt prompted with hospitality. My schedule is so busy and my house is never “perfect”. When I was growing up, the focus was pure fellowship with others. No one cared if your house were clean or if you had a gourmet meal on the table. Left overs or a simple cheese sandwich was dandy. Most of my fondest memories involve just fellowship. Neighbors, friends and families, being supportive and caring about your life, you day, your hopes and dreams. I look forward to following this writing. Thank you. Denise

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42 Christa Sterken October 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I share your passion, and this post is beautifully written. Just what I need to hear, and such an underadressed skill set. Thank you

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43 sharon January 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

Bought your e-book. Thoroughly blessed by it. Thank you for being a willing vessel. You are an example of the positive use of technology- using it for God’s glory indeed. Thank you. I was curious who is the author of the Radical Hospitality book you quote. I got on Amazona and there were several. I wanted to make sure that I purchased the correct one. Love your partner in making Christ famous in the our world and culture! Sharon

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44 Meg August 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I just finished a great book called Bread and Wine by Shauwna Niequst. It SO inspired me to start hosting a cooking club in my home.

I look forward to more from you and your great blog on Hospitality!

I have asked this before but I think it was lost in outer space; regarding your Frogmore Stew- if you have people over who are allergic to shrimp do you have an easy idea or two of another main dish to serve along side? I was thinking pulled pork?
And I have friends who use turkey fryer’s outside as a way to do the boil outside…..

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