Today I hosted a bridal shower for one of my Monday Night Girls.  She is also a young woman who I absolutely adore.

Colorful flowers in mason jars decorated my patio, beautiful china was set on the table, and champagne flutes were filled with fresh fruit and sparkling Prosecco.  It was a delightful afternoon of entertaining.  And my heart overflowed with joy watching everyone celebrate the bride and all of our hopes for her future.

I often say that hospitality and entertaining are not synonymous. Hospitality is what I practice every week when I gather people around my table to be seen, loved, and nourished with a home cooked meal and authentic conversation. Every Monday and Thursday young adults are invited into my home as is.  I don’t spend a lot of energy fussing over the details, and everyone is asked to help.

Entertaining is what I do for holiday feasts and celebratory events and bridal showers. Entertaining is a lot more work than hospitality.  As the hostess I don’t ask everyone to help, and I can make myself (and my family) a little crazy wanting everything to be beautiful and perfect.  But for a special occasion it is absolutely worth the effort to create a lovely experience for people, milestones, and holidays that I want to honor.

Even though my passion will always be to share about hospitality, it’s worth periodically mentioning that the difference between hospitality and entertaining is not a discussion of good and bad, or right and wrong.  They are just different. And I love to do both.

Entertaining and Hospitality both have value, but they aren’t the same thing.  Entertaining takes a lot more energy than hospitality.  I could never entertain twice a week like I enjoy with the practice of hospitality.  So don’t miss out on the gifts that come with hospitality because you think that your hosting has to be elaborate or that you have to do all the work. 

Hospitality is not entertaining.  It is the kind and friendly welcome of strangers and guests – nothing fancy is required. 

Regardless of whether you prefer to make a homemade meal or eat take out pizza on paper plates, I hope you’ll invite someone to find a place of belonging at your table this week.

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