Sometimes Spontaneous, Sometimes Intentional Hospitality

Sometimes hospitality is spontaneous, spur of the moment, come on in and join us for whatever we happen to be eating. Babies fussing, everyday dishes, paper napkins, water to drink, maybe even a pot or pan on the table. 

Everyone takes their plate to the kitchen and helps clean up... 

Others times hospitality is intentional. 

Date set on the calender, invitations sent, menu planned,

table set with the silver and good china, house made ready, a special bottle of wine.

Is one better way better than the other? 

No, not really.

Spontaneous says this is the way we live everyday. You're welcome at our table to share in the good, the bad and the not so pretty of our family.  It says we aren't afraid to let you see the real us.

Intentional says I'm expecting you . I've put my best foot forward for you. I've made an extra effort for your sake.

Is one way harder than the other?

I'd say yes.

Spontaneous hospitality doesn't really worry if the napkins are cloth or paper of if we drink out of red plastic Solo cups.

Intentional hospitality matches and irons everything!

Is one way scarier than the other?

Yes! For me at least...

To spontaneously extend hospitality means we show the 'real' way we live. Not the perfect exterior that takes days or weeks of planning but the nitty-gritty of our everyday lives. It exposes our flaws and the dirty dishes in the sink.

To make an intentional show of hospitality means I can cover up those imperfections. Sometimes that feels good and safe.

But real hospitality isn't always safe. Whether planned or spontaneous it's about the people. About sharing not only a plate at our table but our lives with others.

I'm challenging myself this year to be more spontaneous in showing hospitality. I guess you can say that I'm going to be

Intentionally spontaneous! 

How about you? Is it easy for you to invite someone in on the spur of the moment?

I hope to be a blessing to someone today!


Grace at Home


  1. Loved your post Patti - I am much better with the planned hospitality and I love to entertain. This year I prepared a fancy dinner for my employees - 9 women - and did the fancy tablescape, china, etc. I found myself preparing for two weeks - but what was really nice is that as I worked to make things special for them - I thought of each one of them - about their families, about the past year and what they had been through, both good and bad, and I shared with them the night of the party how special it was to be able to do that! I also need to learn to be more 'INTENTIONALLY SPONTANEOUS' - - - I have heard it said that hospitality is a spiritual gift. Do you agree?

    1. Hi Teri,

      Your party sounds wonderful. To me that's an important part of having people over. To really think about them and even pray for them and what's going on in their lives. I know the ladies were blessed by your dinner party.
      Yes, I do believe that hospitality is a spiritual gift. 1 Peter 4:9,10 is the scripture that I try to model my hospitality after. "Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

  2. Fantastic post Patti! This is something I struggle with. I don't enjoy having people over (spontaneously or planned) because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist and when I invite people over, I stress over everything for weeks! I want the house to be perfect, I want the food to be perfect... I even stress over what we're going to talk about! I guess you can say I'm a bit of a control freak as well! :-) I would love to get better at this and not freak out when my sweetie tells me he's invited people over for dinner... TONIGHT!

    1. Hey Izzy, I tend to be a perfectionist as well that's why I do better with planned events. It's funny because one of the post I plan to write is about how to carry on a conversation! I think that bothers a lot of people.

  3. We do both kinds of hospitality on a regular basis. I still find both intimidating. But I remember that when we receive others in His service we receive our Savior!

    1. I agree that we have to remember why we're inviting people to our home. It's to share the love of Jesus! Thanks Helene for visiting.

  4.  Hi, great post. I found you through the blog hop. Please stop  by and say hi when you get a chance.  .Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that started. It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Now following you.  Here's the link for it if you would like to check it out. Lenetta

    1. Thanks Lenetta for dropping by and being my newest follower! I'll be visiting you too.


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