Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I love the idea of Biblical hospitality, but usually, when I say I would love to have people over more often, I follow it with a but . . . or a when . . .

But . . . my kitchen table is too small, my toddler is too wild, my house is too messy, and my time is already too stretched.

When . . . we have a bigger house with more space, when my son is easier to manage, or even when my culinary skills improve (which if I’m really honest, basically means never!).

Yet one of the things I’ve discovered over time is that people will almost always say yes when I extend an invitation to them and invite them into my home. And they don’t really pay attention to any of the things I’m obsessing over either.

RELATED: Dear Friend, Invite Me Into Your Mess

The truth is that no one else is judging the laundry hanging over the chairs, the toys strewn across the floor, or yesterday’s dishes left in the sink. Those things are all just accepted as signs of a full family life and a well-loved home.

Another thing I’ve slowly learned is this: Most people really don’t care whether I cook a homemade meal from scratch or order pizza, or whether they sit at a perfectly set table or on the living room carpet either. They don’t come for gourmet food or the ambience of the surroundings.

They come to my home for connectionfor friendship, laughter, and fun.

Still, at times I’ve told myself I’m too busy to prioritize connection with others, and I’m too overloaded in my here and now to practice hospitality. I’ve not always been good at regularly keeping in touch with friends or planning ahead to schedule catch-ups either. Often, I find I’m too overloaded in my here and now to even think about these things.

But then suddenly I realize that weeks or even months have passed, and I haven’t called, met up, had people over, or been in touch at all.

It’s so easy to let our everyday routines swallow us up whole, isn’t it? But even though extending friendship and hospitality to others might sometimes feel like one more chore or thing to remember to do, whenever I choose to prioritize connection with others, I am reminded that it’s almost always worth it.

RELATED: Stop Apologizing For the Mess and Invite Your Friends Over, Mom

Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Over the years, I’ve found this to be so true.

Hospitality is a total win-win. Not only does it bless those who receive it, but invariably, it also proves to be good for my soul, too.

And I know things are especially tricky right now because we are in the midst of a global pandemic. For me, it can often be tempting to just use this as one more excuse, but some relationships are just too important to postpone until next month or even next year. 

Besides, whenever I open my Bible up, I am reminded that fostering connection and building community with others is just not an optional extra or add-on to a busy lifeit’s the very core of life. We were designed to thrive in relationships by a God who is relational and who also longs for close connection with us too.

So can I offer some friendly advice, hard-learned from my own life? Don’t fall into the trap of defaulting to buts and whens like I so often do. And don’t let the fear of things not being perfect prevent you from opening up your life and your home to others right now because there’s probably never been a time in history when connection with others has mattered more. 

RELATED: Welcome, Friends: You Are Family Here

Of course, in this present season, we might need to be extra creative and extra careful in how we do this. It’s really important to socialize safely and to be respectful of others by following all of the latest local guidance and rules. But the fact is that this doesn’t need to stop us from extending any form of hospitality or friendship to others.

God can use whatever we have to offer to bless someone else’s life, and all it requires is that we simply make ourselves available. 

So why not decide to start right where you are? Start small, start simple, but start today. Try asking yourself: What can I do to connect with others and practice some simple hospitality this week? How can I reach out to someone who is lonely or needs a friend?

That could be something as simple as scheduling a phone call or Zoom chat with a far-off friend or having a mom friend over for a playdate with her kids. Or perhaps it might look like inviting someone who’s lonely in this season over for dinner with your family, or going for a socially distanced coffee and chat. It could even be blessing your neighbors with some baking or hosting a BBQ or street party for families in your street.

In my experience, it doesn’t really matter what you do, it only matters that you do it. So choose connection with others as an everyday lifestyle right now, and not just one day when . . . 

Why not give gritty hospitality a try, friend?

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Anna Kettle

Anna Kettle is an experienced Christian writer, blogger, speaker, and a multi award-winning marketing professional. Over the years, she has worked with a wide range of organizations, from government departments and household brands to churches and the not-for-profit sector. Her first published book, ‘Sand Between Your Toes: Inspirations for a Slower, Simpler, More Soulful Life’ releases in Spring 2021 under Tyndale House, and is available for pre-order now. You can also find her regularly blogging on issues close to her heart, including parenting, faith, creativity, social justice, and holding onto hope when things are hard at www.annakettle.com Anna is a coffee lover, bookworm, travel enthusiast, live music fan, a keen foodie, a gatherer of people, and a big believer in the healing power of words. She is married to her husband Andy, and mum to their son Ben (aged 5). They live in the beautiful waterfront city of Liverpool, England.

Sisters Know When to Step In and Step Up

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two young girls, older color photo

She didn’t have to do the dishes. She was there to give us a break while my husband and I went out for our monthly date night and my birthday dinner. The dishes weren’t a part of that deal, but she did them anyway. That’s the beauty of sisters. They know just when to step in and step up so you don’t completely lose your mind. They can see it on your face when life catches up to you and you’re close to breaking down. They know when you’re drowning, and without a thought, they dive in to save you....

Keep Reading

Friendship in Motherhood is Beautifully Unique

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Three mothers sitting on lawn watching kids on trampoline, color photo

Friendships in motherhood hold a unique and treasured place, distinctly different from any we’ve experienced before. The ones we meet in the trenches of parenting, as we nurture our kids and rediscover ourselves after becoming mothers—these are the relationships forged amidst the chaos of early morning T-ball practices, the joy of trampoline birthday parties, and the occasional playground meltdown. Motherhood friendships have a distinct depth that sets them apart from the rest. Of course, the friends from our youth are treasures—steadfast companions through the awkwardness of adolescence, through every scraped knee and heartache. Then there are the friends of our...

Keep Reading

There’s No One Who Gets It Like a Mom Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mom friends in the park with strollers

I made my first mom friend at six weeks postpartum. I was pushing our son in his brand-new stroller not yet stained by sunscreen or covered in cracker crumbs. My husband spotted her first, gesturing to a woman who looked my age pushing a similarly unblemished stroller with the same bleary-eyed look. “Go talk to her,” he encouraged, sensing what I was too tired to realize at the time, which was how badly I needed a friend who understood what I was going through. We hit it off immediately and discovered we lived just seven doors away from each other....

Keep Reading

She’s the Friend I Hope You Have

In: Friendship, Living
Two women smiling, selfie

Good friends are hard to come by. Life is busy and friendships take a backseat. I’ve never had a large circle of friends, there have always just been a few I’ve kept close. But the ones who stick around, the ones who stay with me when the waves of life are high and when the waves of life are pummeling me, those are the ones to treasure. You don’t talk every day. You don’t see one another every week. But she’s your go-to no matter what because . . . She’s the walk through the grocery store or an early...

Keep Reading

I’m Sorry I Let Our Friendship Fade Away

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Lonely woman watching sunset sitting on swing

Do you ever find yourself reminiscing, longing for the simplicity of youth and the bonds of friendship that once defined your life? For me, those memories often take me back to our college residence hall days when laughter was abundant and friendships were unbreakable. This is a story of regret, redemption, and the enduring power of friendship—a journey that spans decades and explores the depths of human connection. Our residence hall was more than just a place to sleep; it was our sanctuary, our haven of friendship and fellowship. From late-night chats to impromptu adventures, every moment was a treasure,...

Keep Reading

Not Sure If She’ll Join Your Girls Night Out? Invite Her Anyway.

In: Friendship, Living
Woman looking at phone in evening at home

Who doesn’t love dinner out with friends? Maybe some tacos with a slice of cheesecake at the end with lots of laughter and witty or heartfelt conversation. It’s the best. But I’m going to point out something you may not realize. There are people out there you are forgetting to include, and it’s probably not on purpose. You know your really good friend who’s divorced? When you went out for a group couples dinner, did you think to invite her? What about your other friend whose husband is gone for several months on business and who both usually join your...

Keep Reading

Be the Friend Who Meets You In Your Mess

In: Friendship, Living
Two mothers push strollers outside

Be the friend who doesn’t look at the baseboards, the friend who overlooks the dirt. Be the friend who comes to sit and chat at a messy counter still piled high with breakfast plates yet to be cleaned and junk mail yet to be sorted. Be the friend who explains to her husband every week that the extra $20 out of the budget went to a couple of sisters who needed a surprise coffee and a smile delivered to their door. Be the friend who sees your messy bun, unwashed face, and sweatpants and says, “Girl, you look cute,” and...

Keep Reading

Having Kids Shows Who Your Real Friends Are

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother and child walking through forest, color photo

Any mom, typical or special needs, will tell you having kids is the fastest way to tell who your real friends are. When your child is born with special needs this process becomes even more severe and obvious. At first, people visit and want to hold the baby, but once the delays kick in slowly people start to pull away. Disability makes them uncomfortable. That’s the truth. They hope you won’t notice, but you do. Honestly, most stop trying altogether. It’s not just friends who act this way either, sometimes it’s family too. That hurts the most. As a parent...

Keep Reading

Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk about How Hard Adult Friendships Are?

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting along on couch looking at smartphone

The scary thing about friendship is it’s completely disposable. You actively choose to remain friends. It can dissolve at any time. No one can force you into it. In marriage, you are bound to one another before God. As a parent, you have a familial obligation to your child. But friendship? That comes completely free and clear. You intentionally let them in, let them see your underbelly. Your messy house. Your imperfect marriage. Your rebellious children. Your weirdness, your quirks, your sin. And they can walk away at any moment. Oh, there are a few exceptions. Maybe you work together....

Keep Reading

The Last Text I Sent Said “I Love You”

In: Friendship, Grief, Living
Soldier in dress uniform, color photo

I’ve been saying “I love you” a lot recently. Not because I have been swept off my feet. Rather, out of a deep appreciation for the people in my life. My children, their significant others, and friends near and far. I have been blessed to keep many faithful friendships, despite the transitions we all experience throughout our lives.  Those from childhood, reunited high school classmates, children of my parent’s friends (who became like family), and those I met at college, through work and shared activities. While physical distance has challenged many of these relationships, cell phones, and Facebook have made...

Keep Reading