Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Delicious Hospitality

One of the joys of being in this writing industry is encountering really awesome people I would have never met otherwise. Not long ago, I got connected to Annie Boyd, who helped promote my book InstaPrayer, and now I have the privilege of telling you about the new book she’s part of.

The Gathering Table isn’t just another cookbook. It has recipes and beautiful food photos (bonus: they’re not outrageously complex!), but it’s also about hospitality and faith. About relationships grown as we gather together. Granted, we don’t get to do as much gathering in person right now, but  I still hope you’ll grab a copy and learn how hospitality is the foundation for growing relationships and sharing your faith. Their prayers and tips fill this gorgeous book, and it makes an amazing gift. (I’ve already ordered two copies and shared it in two different gift guides—because I really, truly think it’s awesome.)

Here is an excerpt from the chapter called Favorite Pie Party: Show the Love of Christ through Simple Hospitality. (The Gathering Table, Revell 2020.) Enjoy!

(Look at this Crumb Topped Apple Slab PIe—yum!)

After experiencing hospitality from my mom during the favorite pie party and thinking about what the Bible has to say about opening up our hearts to show love, I got to thinking about some practical ways we can bring hospitality into our already full lives. I’m often one to measure things in volume—food, budget, laundry—so I tend to think I have to do something huge to be hospitable. But I’ve learned it doesn’t have to be big. Guests are actually relieved when it’s quite simple, because it means they don’t have to do something big either. See how good this is for all of us? I take the pressure off you—you take the pressure off me!

There are many ideas you can easily incorporate into your life to offer this type of hospitality.

I was recently invited to a book club by a new friend. The hostess texted me the day of the gathering to say, “I’m so glad you’re coming! Just wear your comfiest clothes.” That text relieved my anxieties about going to a new group. My friend let me know that it was important I was coming and that she was more concerned about the true me than a perfect outfit. When I arrived, I was greeted with a warm hug and a “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!” She proceeded to offer me a cup of coffee and a treat from a plate full of . . . Oreos!
Those Oreos and the fact that the other ladies were wearing favorite yoga pants and hanging out together on the couch made the evening comfortable and low-key. The relaxed atmosphere took the attention off of food, clothes, or home decor and instead helped us to focus on each other and some great conversation. This “come as you are and be yourself” attitude exhibited the love of Christ to me.

In what ways can you show hospitality in a similar, comfortable way?

  • Meet at a park and bring a picnic to share. When my kids were little, I invited friends to meet at a community center that had a play structure. We’d visit over a cup of coffee while keeping an eye on the kids. No one will feel any less “loved” because you aren’t meeting at your home.
  • Be spontaneous and casually invite people over. Last-minute often works better for some folks than weeks of planning. Intentionally focus more on the people rather than the food and preparations.
  • Host a “leisure club,” “informal book group,” or other gathering around a purpose and serve foods you can pick up at the grocery store. When your friends see that you didn’t stress, they’ll feel more at ease and open to conversation.
  • Like my friend did, text your guests before arriving to say, “I’m glad you’re coming. Just wear your comfiest clothes!” Your text might also say, “Don’t worry about childcare—come with your kids!” or “Come when you can!” Use texts as an encouraging way to show others you value them and their presence at your gathering.
  • Have some light, casual music playing in the background. Music sets the tone for the environment and helps guests (and hosts) feel more at ease.

The Gingham Apron website is stuffed full of recipes, but this one sounds really good to me… I’ve always been partial to upside down things, I suppose!

Upside down Apple Pecan Pie

Author: Grandma Betty’s Upside Down Apple Pecan Pie
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 8-10
  • Pie crust for double crust.
  • Pecan mixture:
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • ½c. brown sugar
  • ⅓c. melted butter
  • Apple mixture:
  • 6 c. thinly sliced apples
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2T. flour
  • ½t. cinnamon
  • ⅛ t. nutmeg
  1. Combine first three ingredients and spread in bottom of 9″ deep pie pan.
  2. Cover with bottom crust.
  3. Mix together and add apple mixture to bottom crust.
  4. Cover with top crust, seal, and flute.
  5. Bake 40 – 50 mins. at 375 degrees.
  6. Invert immediately onto large plate and carefully remove pan.
  7. Bake on cookie sheet, as it tends to run over.

Dear Jesus, you have asked me to show love and draw those around me to you. Please help me be filled with your love by welcoming others into my heart and being ready to offer something inviting and refreshing to them, whether it be food, an activity, or just imply talking. Help me know when to speak and when to listen. And help me see and use my gifts of home, food, and friendly conversation to bring refreshment to someone else’s soul. Help me not worry about the imperfections and distractions but instead intentionally point people to your perfect love. Grant me a deeper desire to reach out and connect with those you have placed in my sphere of influence. Help me be a refreshment to them. I know they are thirsty for your love, just like me. Amen.

Comment here or on my Facebook post and tell me which recipe piqued your interest from their website, and I will choose one name at random to win a copy of this amazing book. Drawing will take place on December 18!

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