The Introvert’s Guide to Hospitality- 6 Essential Tips for the Introverted Hostess

5 Essential Tips for the Introverted Hostess-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Hospitality, the simple act of inviting someone into your home to partake in life. Your simple, beautiful, messy, and broken life, and the grace-filled journey that we are all on.

A cup of tea with scones, a mug of coffee, and a slice of shortbread. It doesn’t need to be complicated. All it may be is bearing your soul to a kindred spirit sitting on the other side of the couch.

The introvert in me thrives on simple. I genuinely enjoy people and I, despite what introverts seem to be known for, enjoy having people in my home.

My years in Mexico taught me to savor people and their company. A dorm mama of many needed company to mix up the day, even if was just a friend and her niece. Really when you have 16 girls, adding one or two more to the mix doesn’t really feel like that much more.

Sometimes people dropped in the midst of kimchi making or cloth pad making. I learned to embrace it and go with it, even when the puzzled questions as to what I was making came about…

Birthdays, random tea parties, outdoor picnics, I love them all! I am a casual gal, so I thrive on simple and comfortable occasions.

These 6 essential tips for the introverted hostess are the perfect way to get your feet wet when inviting people into your home!

1.  Start Small

No one ever said that you needed to have all of your extended family or the entire Sunday School class over for a meal. While that may be a wonderful goal at some point, it does not need to be the first feat you tackle when you are easing your way into inviting people into your home.

Start with a girlfriend, or just a couple. Once you are comfortable with that, then you can dive into the world of having larger groups.

2. Start with the Familiar

As an introvert, we by nature have an easier time conversing with those that know us well. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s who we are.

It is okay to start with the familiar when you are learning to extend hospitality. Invite people who know you well first, then over time you can make the bold move to invite those who are in need of hospitality or those you don’t know well.

Good friends are usually happy to be genie pigs. They already accept you for how you are, and as time goes on you will continue to develop the art of being comfortable with having others in your home.

3. Keep it Simple

Who ever said that welcoming people into your home needed to be a fancy affair?

Throw off the advice of 1950s TV show and handbooks (though I dearly gleaning from them at times) and keep things simple. You don’t have to have a full-blown dinner party where people are dressed to the nines.

It can be as simple as having a friend over for a coffee date, or tea and scones, which is my personal favourite. Some of the deepest conversations have been had over a cup of tea with a friend in my living room.

Create a semi-calm environment.

This really depends on who you are having over. If a friend came over in the late evening, after the kids were in bed, my soothing playlist and a pot of tea were the essentials for a quiet chat with a friend.

5 Essential Tips for the Introverted Hostess-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

4. Have a Set Menu

If you are having someone over for a meal, cook what you love. 

One of my go-to meals is a Mexican meal of beans, rice, meat, and corn tortillas (bought), with fresh salsa.

Beans can simmer in the crock pot all day, white rice, let’s just be honest here showcases flavors better takes less than 30 minutes to cook. I often use my salsa base in my rice. Ground meat is fast cooking and perfect to toss with any verity of vegetables hanging out in the fridge.

You can even make some of it with your guests there.While it sounds complicated, it’s not.

My mom is known for delighting people with soup, homemade bread, and a salad.

The simple things that we love to cook are always best.

If you aren’t up for hosting a dinner, game nights are always a win in my book.

Games can be fast passed or a bit slower. Fast passed games keep you on your toes and don’t require much talking. Slower ones give you time to bond over a relaxing game.

Popcorn, iced tea, and another drink like kombucha, are all you need to keep people happy.

For my not so little clan birthdays consisted of joining us for pizza, ice cream, lots of laughter, and maybe a movie.

Tea? Sure fancy dresses are fun but that’s not how I roll so tea might just be, getting out some blankets, a couple types of scones, and a pot of tea with lots of sunshine.

Can you tell I am a fan of tea and scones? I even wrote a book about making your own simple, nourishing teas and tea time treats!

5. Forget the Perfect House

Invite people into your crazy.

In my years as a dorm mom, I had up to 16 girls running around. There was rarely a quiet moment. Granted, most of the people I had over were staff that were like family but I loved it!

With 18 people sharing the same, very small living space is was never 100% clean or fancy, unless you count the ten minutes on a Saturday when we were just finished cleaning. Ten minutes might even be pushing it.

Give up on perfect, that’s okay. It lets people get a glimpse into the everyday life.

Do I believe in trying to maintain an organized space? Yes but I’ve given up on perfect. As long as our living area where people were joining us was neat(ish) I was fine.

5 Essential Tips for the Introverted Hostess-www.NourishingSimplicity.org

6. Make a Recovery Plan

Be sure to allow yourself (and family) time to recover.

Have planned out what you will do after everyone goes home. Maybe it’s a cup of tea and a good book. Is it a movie with the kids? A relaxing bath with a piece of dark chocolate?

Do whatever it takes for you and your family to wind down, and rejuvenate. Remember, the goal is to want to continue to extend hospitality to others. It is not to feel burned out and want to mentally run away and the mere thought of having people over again.

Do you enjoy inviting people into your home? If not, what is holding you back?

My Favourite Things (There is Beauty Everywhere You Look)

Beauty MFT

There is beauty everywhere you look. It might be hard to see at first, but it is there.

Maybe it’s a child you work with at a local school, who’s face lights up when they see you at the grocery store.

Perhaps it’s watching your baby sleep. It could be someone enjoying the baked goods you made, even though they don’t know you were the baker.

Maybe beauty looks like the tomatoes you harvested fresh off the vine. Or it might be the cup of coffee you savor each morning while you have a few quiet moments with God.

Perhaps it is an old mason jar filled with wildflowers.

If there is anything I have learned this year, it is to embrace life and find joy in the little things each day.

It is like the apostle Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content“. If Paul stuck in Roman prison can say that, then surely I can find the simple joys in each day.

I am learning to enjoy each day as it comes and to greet the day with a simple heart of thanksgiving. Some days it comes easily, other days it doesn’t.

Laura Ingalls Wilder has always been a source of inspiration to me. The simple reminder to enjoy the little things in life and the beauty they afford is just the what I need in this season of life.

Remember that there is beauty everywhere you look.

If you have a few moments this weekend, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy these posts that I have enjoyed!

Favourite Links

Homemade Bouillon Portable Soup @ Nourished Kitchen

Paleo Teriyaki Chicken (Soy Free) @ The Nourishing Gourmet

15 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Home @ Richly Rooted

10 Secrets Missionaries Keep @ Carrie Talbot Ink

Finding a Wealth of Free or Cheap Audiobooks @ Passionate Homemaking

What simple things have you been finding beauty in recently?

 

 

 

 

God’s Gifts and Our Dreams

God's Gifts and Our Dreams- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”

As we find ourselves in the final days of Advent I really like this quote from Elizabeth Barret Browning.

A few days ago I was reading my Advent devotional, the author used the quote in reference to Zachariah and Elizabeth. Never could they have dreamed that God would use their years of bareness to give birth to the forerunner of Christ.

I’m sure their dreams were for a household of children and grandchildren, but God (those are two powerful words don’t you think?) had other plans. He chose them to be the parents of one special child, John the Baptist.

God had bigger dreams than they could possibly imagine. Zachariah’s response more than clearly shows that he could never have dreamed of such a great gift, that he didn’t understand even when an angel was there telling him!

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

I would be the first to admit that I have gone through seasons of feeling barren, thinking that God’s gifts and plans couldn’t possibly be better than what I had imagined.

Time after time he proves me wrong. It may take me a few months or even years to see that but in the end, I see that my dreams are nothing in compare to what God’s gifts are.

Even now I don’t always see it but I continually get a glimpse of what I wanted and what God gave in different seasons of life instead.

I’ll be honest, I’m struggling with it again, but God has gifts that he wants me to open that I can’t even begin to imagine. For me, the struggle is generally the desire to marry and have a family.

Being single at 30 isn’t easy but then I look at the faces of the girls he gave me to raise for 10 years and I remind myself that these gifts of mine were so worth it. I wouldn’t wish the chance to raise one of these girls away, how could I?

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

What dreams are you clinging to?

Is is marriage?

Is it the desire to finally hold a baby of your own in your arms?

A home of your own?

That promotion at work?

Don’t let go of those dreams, keep praying for them but hold them loosely beloved ladies.

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

The wait is excruciating and heartwrenching at times. It is so hard when we don’t see the bigger picture; when we don’t have God’s lenses to look through.

It is okay to grieve but don’t let it eclipse what God is doing. Take time in the here and now to embrace the life he is giving you to live now, even when it doesn’t make sense. God’s gifts and our dreams may not be the same, but those gifts will be worth it!

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

What devotional am I uses right now? Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift“.

Related Posts:

What gifts has God given you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Tips to Start Your Day Right

6 Tips to Start Your Day Right- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Routines make me happy. Having a routine that you stick to make the day get off to a good start and can give you a fresh perspective for the day ahead.

Schedules are great, there is no doubt that they have their place. Just ask my girls, when you have 16 kids schedules are must for certain times of the day. They also can be the cause of a bit of stress. Routines are a rhythm; those little things each day that you do the same way.  Even if things don’t happen at the exact same time everyday a routine makes life flow more smoothly. Days when I don’t at least try yo follow my routine don’t go nearly as well as the days I follow through with them.

Routines bring a comfort and a sense of peace even on the hard days.

1. Get up with your alarm

The “Just five more minutes” trap can be disastrous. Five more minutes can easily turn into an extra half hour if you are not careful. I speak from experience. Once you allow yourself to drift of to sleep again you feel more groggy than you would have if you had gotten out of bed with the first alarm. Then your whole routine for the morning is rushed or thrown off.

I find that once I get into a routine, my body starts to wake up naturally at the time I need to be up. My only problem there is remembering to turn off the alarm before it goes off if I wake up a couple of minutes early. I’ve had not so happy of room mates that heard my alarm go off when I was off in the bathroom getting ready while they got a bit more sleep.

I’ll admit that the selection of sounds on my iPhone has made waking up to an alarm much nicer than before. Being a dorm mama for 9+ girls for 9 years has made me a light sleeper. It take very little noise to wake me up, so I use the harp sound on my phone set on the 1 level of volume. That in and off itself helps my day start better. Who wants to have their heart start pumping with a loud noise first thing in the morning? If you need one and it work for you that’s great too.

2. Make time for God

Making time for God first thing in the morning is something that I can not emphasize more. Taking a few minutes before the feet of our Father is key no matter how rested or tired we are.

In some stages of life it has been a quick prayer while I start getting ready and practicing a verse. I’ve had other times in life where I was able to sit down a spend a good chunk of time with my Heavenly Papa first off. In those bust moments in life I took what I could get, then found a bit of time again later in the day.

Once Mare from Just Making Noise’s mom told be something I have never forgotten. She told that before I even got out of bed to pray that God would help me to respond well and not react poorly to the situations of the day. This short prayer is always a good reminder at the start of the day, especially on those days when from the moment you wake up your day is not what you planned.

Here are some ideas for making time for God everyday.

3. Do your hair

Who would think that a simple act of pulling your hair back would make a difference? Mama’s this one is for you. (Or work at home ladies as well.) When you know that you aren’t going out and that the kids don’t care it’s easy to just go with the bed head for a while. If you have even just two minutes you will be amazed at the difference it will make, regardless if your attire in PJ’s or not.

I have found that as long as my hair is pulled back in a pony tail or up in a bun (normally with a flexi clip) that I feel more put together. I can focus on what I need to do and proceed with the day. Later on I throw on cloths or shower but that simple act of getting my hair out of my face is a life saver!

4. Have something to drink

Not only is starting your day with a warm beverage soothing but it also can refresh your body from it’s overnight fast. Bulk Herb Store and Traditional Cooking School both share beneficial lemon waters that will help you get going in the morning. Even though I love my coffee and tea I really have noticed the benefit of starting my day this way. I love to wrap my hands around my mug and savor the moment.

Once I am done with my lemon “tea” I make a batch of coffee in my french press or make myself a cup of tea. If I’m in the mood I might make a mug of my “frothy coffee”.

Lemon Vanilla “Tea”

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • A pinch of Real Salt
  • Vanilla Stevia Drops to taste (optional)

5. Stretch

Just a few minutes of stretching can loosen your joints that may have gotten stiff overnight. It can also help wake you up a bit!

6. Eat a Good Breakfast

Protein is a must in the morning! It gives your body full that will keep you going. Skipping breakfast or just having a piece of toast will leave you hungry later on or make your body think that it is starved once lunch time rolls around. If you are short on inspiration for breakfast foods, Beth of Red and Honey’s book The Breakfast Revolution is jam packed with amazing meals, all which are gluten-free! I haven’t tried a recipe that I didn’t like in it!

What is your morning routine? Are there things you can think of to add to mine?

 

Embrace the Life I Have Given You

There are times when God calls us to things we don’t think we are capable of and would never have dreamed of doing. That is what my life has ended up being. I never saw myself staying in Mexico for eight years. Last year I read a post by my friend Mare. It has challenged me to embrace the life that God has given me.

Our Heavenly Papa’s plans are so much greater than our own. I have had my plans and dreams but God has had his since the beginning of time; before I breathed my first breath. Isn’t that so comforting? He has it all figured out already. We need to submit and trust in his timing. (Not always an easy thing, I know.) He has taught me so much about surrendering to his will over the past 10 years. I remember giving all my hopes, plans and dreams to him at a school retreat.

That was just the beginning…

I came to Mexico. I wanted to stay for a couple years and then start college or move to Romania and work with orphans. I also wanted to go to a year long Bible Institute. Each time God closed those doors and kept me in Mexico. He brought such a joy and peace being “Mama” to my precious girls. I now have 31. Not bad for 26….

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9   
When I have released my dreams, God has restored them in surprising ways. I don’t care for orphans in Romania but I do get to take care of girls here and love on the boys too! I didn’t go to the Bible Institute but I had the opportunity to audit a few classes at a Bible College down here. Now I am in a Bible Study with an amazing group of ladies. I am still continually learning more about my Heavenly Papa.

Don’t think that I don’t still struggle with how things turn out in life. I still do. One of my struggles is the desire to marry and have my own family. That is something that our Heavenly Papa hasn’t allowed yet. Some day he might or he might not.

I continue daily to give my hopes, plans, dreams and fears to God.

He will never calls to something we are not going to be capable of. He will equip us for every task he puts before us. When we don’t think we are capable, he is. He will be our strength to lift us up and encourage us in the way he has for us.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

              2 Corinthians 12:9a  

I like how God is referred to as LORD frequently in the Old Testament. LORD is the English transliteration of the Hebrew name for God, Yahweh (YHWH). It signifies his position as covenant Maker and Keeper. He has started a good work in our lives and he will continue to do so. The LORD has entered that covenant with us when he became our Savior. He MADE the covenant and he will KEEP it.


Live the life God has called you to. Nothing will ever bring more peace than being in his will.

Here’s a small part from Maryllin’s post:

A soft whisper touched my heart, “I started the good work in your life and will stay with you till the work is finally finished on the day I return. Remember, My grace is all you need. My strength and power is perfected in your weakness… My child, embrace the life I’ve given you!

This post is part of Homemaking Link Up,