If you haven’t left one yet, you still can. And remember, you may comment on all of the post until Easter. Then, all winners will be announced the day after. :-)
And speaking of cooking….today’s guest does a lot of that. From comfy in the kitchen, meet my new friend and culinary expert Janelle Nehrenz!
Janelle Nehrenz is a Christian wife and mom of 3 young children. She has a meal ministry, co-leads a Summer bible study, and happily stays busy volunteering at church and her children’s school. Her spiritual gifts are a mix of “hospitality and evangelism” and she shares all about it on her blog Comfy in the Kitchen.
From Janelle’s heart:
Preparing your home for guests is a huge blessing..to you, your guests, and to the Lord.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
What a great reminder of how important it is to open up our homes to others. Hospitality creates an opportunity to love others well all in the name of the Lord-A Lord who has given us a home to entertain in, food to prepare, friends and family who want to be with us, and the energy to serve others! It can also be the very foundation for fellowship, building bonds, memories, and relationships.
To some, opening up your home may be overwhelming…but please do not fret! If you tune into your guests “5 senses” you will be sure to be a “hostess with the mostess” and guests will feel very much at home. There is no doubt our loving God gave us these senses to bless us and to bless others…
How to touch on all of the “5 senses of hospitality” for your beloved guests.
The Five Senses:
Hearing: Play soft background music and turn dishwashers and washer/driers off before company arrives. If you think about it, how does it make you feel when you walk into a completely silent home? A home with a very loud TV? How about a home where the laundry and dishwasher is on? It’s awfully hard to have a conversation when there is too much background noise. In turn, it can also be “uncomfortable” if it is stark quite. Preparing your home’s “noise level” is a great way to think about your guests before they arrive.
Sight: Tidy up, vacuum, and wipe counter tops/floors before guests arrive. This will give them a nice, clean, and relaxing environment. Think of where your guests will travel through your home. Add a welcoming wreath to your front door, a few seasonal decorations, flowers, and make sure the guest bathroom is clean with fresh towels. Give an atmosphere of “loving well”.
Touch: Greet your guests! A hug, kiss on the cheek, handshake- whatever you feel comfortable with, but please make contact with them! Take their coats and walk them into the room you’d like to gather in…put your arm around them and make them feel at home. You are happy they are there and they took the time to visit you! What better gift is the gift of time? Welcome it.
Smell: Ahhhh….this is such an important one for me. When guests first walk into your home they are greeted by the smell!!! Food baking/cooking is definitely a smell everyone loves. But, that isn’t all! Open some windows for fresh air (weather permitting) and light a few candles for a special touch. I typically have candles lit in the foyer, living room, kitchen, and guest bath. If you have throw pillows/blankets on your couch, throw them in the wash before guests arrive so they smell fresh. I also love the smell of “Murphy’s Oil Soap”- I make sure to wipe my first floor floors down before company comes over simply for the smell!
Taste: Prepare a delicious appetizer, meal, and/ or dessert for your guests. If you are having guests over for dessert, put your dish in the oven so it will be finished 20 mins after guests arrive that way you can serve it piping hot out of the oven. Make a fresh pot of coffee. Casually place food and drinks in front of your guests-most people if asked, “Would you like something to drink” reply, “I am ok for now, thank you” . But if a pitcher of lemonade is in front of them with an empty glass, they are more willing to make themselves at home. Lay out napkins, silverware, and plates ahead of time so you can relax with your guests.
As you see, tuning into the 5 senses of your guests tackles all of the important steps it takes to love others well in your home! What a blessing it is to know others want to learn more about hospitality…may you light many candles and share much banana bread with those you love!
Now for the question and the giveaway:
~ A funky flash drive (to save some great recipes from Janelle’s site?)
~ Some recipe cards
~ A Mint-Dark Chocolate Ghiradelli bar
~ A $10 Target card to buy a candle for your sense of smell to enjoy:-)
Just leave us a comment telling us which of the five senses of hospitality to which you usually pay most attention. Or, which one hadn’t you thought about before?
REMEMBER: We are also interacting over at Karen Ehman’s Book Studies on Facebook. Click here to “like” the page & join us.