What is Hospitality…..really?

(Photo credit)

“Oh Christina, I would love to have a home big enough to hostess our family gatherings in…I feel very blessed to live here-it’s plenty big enough for our family. But, I just have this aching in my heart to serve more. Sometimes I feel people are cramped in here…I want them to be comfortable and to love being here…like a home away from home. A guest room would be nice too…what if a member of our family is sick, or someone needed a place to stay?” These are the words I said over coffee with a dear friend, in my living room. 

I’m always concerned about the cleanliness of my home…the food…the warm drinks…cold drinks…are there enough chairs…are the air wicks full?

Then, my sweet friend stopped me in my tracks.

“Janelle, you don’t need any of this …YOU are hospitality. Where ever you go, you make people feel loved and cared about. People don’t come to your home- they come to you!” 

Then the tears started rolling…I mean rolling…

For the umpteenth time, I was reminded of our Savior.

“Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'” ~Luke 9:58


God {John 8:24}

Creator of all things {John 1:1-3}

The Bread of Life {John 6:35}

The Good Shepherd {John 10:11}

The Way, the Truth, The Life {John 14:6}

The Ultimate Forgiver {Matt. 9:1-7}

Our Savior {John 4:42}

Had “no place to lay his head?” 

He could have had an elaborate home here…but our Lord of Lord’s went out and sought…by foot and by faith. He chose to have no home. Perfect. 

He preached, taught, loved, healed, performed miracles,and spread the truth….He was on a mission.


Sooooooooooo Humbling.

I. Get. It.  

Ladies, may this remind you of what true hospitality is…you don’t have to have a beautiful home, a large home, or even the cleanest home {many of us have multiple children -it’s hard!!}.

Hospitality is what Jesus is…Love.

Thank you, my friend, for helping me see this…and I’m crying again.  



  1. I’m crying with you!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  2. Very good post. I have the desire to be hospitable in my home but most times do not because of the feeling of it not being good enough or one of many of reasons or maybe excuses I can come up with. I am going to do better in this area. Thank you!

    • We all feel this way Jen 🙂 But really, just having someone to talk through life with is such a blessing…I know I certainly don’t care what my friends homes look like! Bless you sweetie.

  3. Just what I have been dealing with lately! Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Thank you for this! I just had a party with about 20 people in our modest home….tables everywhere you could sit a table…I almost didn’t do it this year because the carpet needs replaced, the couch needs cleaned, do we have room…blah blah blah. Everytime I open the doors and invite people in I am blessed beyond measure as I realize that no one cares about my ugly carpet or having to “dance around each other”…hospitality truly is a matter of heart and I am thankful that I didn’t pass up the chance because I didn’t think my home was enough!

    • So true…noone cares, but us…lol. I even think I have a little pride at times that my home isn’t perfect-something I’m working on and giving to the lord!!! So glad you opened your home anyways Missy!!! Much love..

  5. What a beautiful post and what a beautiful friend you have Janelle. I know where you are coming from. I remember a friend who had a big, beautiful home, garden and pool and a flair and the income for decorating. When the Bible studies were held at her home a huge crowd of ladies turned out but when held in more modest homes like mine only a few would turn up. They never asked for tours of my home (which would have taken all of 2 minutes!) I used to take it to heart until that lady told me that she felt people came to see her home and garden more than her. We decided we would welcome them anyway – whatever the motivation for their visit and chose to believe that if they walked through our door God wanted us to minister to them! Sometimes we may minister via a gourmet dinner, other times a cup of cold water is all that Jesus asks us to offer. Sometimes it’s just one person He sends, other times a crowd like the 30 Chinese students we hosted recently which was an amazing God ordained day I will never forget. It’s been some time since I left a comment. I had to cut back on my blogging and blog reading last year – I basically chose one blog of each kind to keep on reading -one homesteading, one for homemaking and so forth and one for cooking – I chose yours because of your heart for hospitality that shines forth! It’s so much more than a cooking blog! I had to cut back on my blogging to make time for people and hospitality. I have a big home now but no dedicated guest room yet as all the rooms are still filled with children but some of those children camped out over Christmas in the backyard (and loved it – remember it is summer here!) so we could offer a young man from overseas a room for a week over Christmas. I anxious about trying to make my home immaculate as he is from Germany and I remember how neat the homes were there. I just could not keep it pristine but he didn’t seem to mind and enjoyed being with our family so much he stayed for a second week – missing the opportunity to be in Sydney for the famous NYE fireworks display. And yes, Jesus had no home but he didn’t stay in hotels either because people welcomed him and the disciples into their homes and I believe we need to keep on doing that today as the body of Christ.

    • Awww Ann…its so nice to hear from you! How is your daughter doing?! Thank you for choosing my blog as one of your ones you read, that is so kind of you to let me know that 🙂 What a neat Christmas-camping in the backyard. My kidos would have LOVED that…however, we actually had a white Christmas this year, can you believe it?! It hadn’t snowed all season and we woke up to a blanket of white ..it was beautiful….and cold. lol. Did you move recently? Or is this the same home you’ve been in for a while? Id love to see pictures.

      • I’m in the same home we have been renovating for what seems like forever. We purposefully made it bigger (my husband built a huge patio) to fit more people in as we believed God wanted us to welcome more people into our home….not just our small circle of friends. My daughter gave up her baking stall but in its place I have a cake stand stall – I make the china cake stands to sell but not the cakes! I also have set up a vintage china hire service and have my first wedding coming up soon! Now I have all this china I also get to use it for purposes of hospitality at home too. My last two posts show our home in use… my Christmas, my family and all the people God has sent our way recently. I make your banana bread for guests – it’s had a few compliments! Snow… wow! I want some today. It is so hot. You may see NSW on your news soon – catastrophic conditions for bushfire today around Sydney and fires already burning. Severe fire danger for my area on Wednesday. Keep us in your prayers.

  6. Lisa Sheldon says:

    Wow! Never thought of hospitality in that way. How true. How humbling. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Thanks for the encouragement- I often panic if friends come over last minute, as I like to be super-prepared- totally understand the air-wicks and all! But I’m learning that people don’t expect my house, with 3 little ones daily “living” in it, to be perfectly straight, and if it was, they would probably not like me because I wouldn’t be “normal” or “real”. I struggle with this because I want people to feel comfortable and not worry about putting their babies down on my carpet, etc. And since I stay at home, my home and kids are all I have to show for what I do all day. But I’m continuing to learn that people just liked to be included, invited, spend time with us and other friends and I’m trying to relax a bit! Thanks for your words, and God’s!

  8. What a blessing this post is to me…thank you!!! I can see why you cried over her precious words of truth. I needed my eyes to be opened to the true meaning of hospitality. I can very very easily get caught up in the trivial things I deem “important”, and that can hinder my attitude. (It has so happened before!) Christ is the ultimate example, and we all know how everyone was drawn to Him!
    You are a light in “blogland”, and I consider you a friend!
    Blessings to you!

  9. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I had uttered those exact words and I try all different ways to make my home comfortable and to be hospitable, but the one thing that I find is that I’m not home or available when those that work full time are available. When the kids are home, we are busy with projects or running to a meeting or practice. But I appreciate you sharing those words of wisdom today.

  10. Christina says:

    I LOVE you Janelle and the family..You have impacted me in so many ways;May you continue the ministry the LORD has placed in your heart. All the words I spoke to you were true and well deserved !!!!!

    • I love you too sweet friend 🙂 Thank you for those words- I know you meant them, that is why it meant so much to me!!!! BTW Tell George his comment just went into my trash folder, lol. He is so ornery. Hope you’re all having a great time in PR!

  11. Hospitality is an area where the Lord has really been stretching me…since I’ve been a Christian really. It was not something that I saw lived out as a child, so I had no idea HOW to open my home when it’s too small, not clean enough, too cluttered, too whatever. I’ve had lots of excuses over the years for NOT opening our home and lives to others. I praise HIM that He is changing me and the blessings that have come from obedience have blown me away. In the area of hospitality, like many others, it gets easier the more you do it.

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