Facing Hospitality Fear with LaToya Edwards

Ever have knots in your stomach when getting ready to have company?

Today’s topic? Facing and overcoming the fear of hospitality. Our guest? My fellow Roomag.com contributor and new cyber friend, the lovely LaToya Edwards.

LaToya is a single, homeschooling mom of two and a graduate student. In her spare time {haha} she loves to read, listen to music and write.

She writes about life in all its ups and down over at Christian Momma {www.christian-momma.com}

Here she is with her thoughts on this common issue:

Growing up I believe I had a misconception about hospitality. I never really heard the word used in a way that wasn’t connected with entertaining. {Karen makes this distinction in her book} Because I thought that I needed to put on a grand affair in order to be hospitable I stayed away from it.

Really when it comes to hospitality I have three major reasons {excuses really} that keep me from opening my home to others:

~ My house is not decorated:  I have never mastered the art of interior design. There was a short stint in my teen years where every inch of my wall was covered with a poster or picture of my favorite teen idols. Once that was over it’s been bare walls ever since.

To me, I have furniture because I need something other than the floor to sit on, the TV needs a place to go other than the floor, and I need something soft to land on when I crash for the night.

My home always looks like I just moved in or like we’re about to pack up and leave.

~ I’m not a fantastic cook: I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen growing up. My mom didn’t really like anyone in the kitchen when she was cooking, especially around the holidays. And by the time she wanted to start teaching me, I preferred to sit in my room and read.

Cooking is an area that I have struggled and struggled with. It took my dad 10 years to teach me to fry chicken and I just in the last few months mastered the art of cooking bacon.

Most of my family is excellent cooks and I feel like I don’t measure up to that. {I usually offer to bring drinks when we get together}.

~ I’m a perfectionist: Really this is what it boils down to. If I’m going to do something then I want it to be perfect. If it’s not going to be perfect then there’s no point in trying.

I’ve been working towards overcoming this struggle and I’m proud to say that I’m making some series strides towards reality. Unfortunately this really hasn’t extended towards hospitality for me.

I’m sure that we all have some reason or excuse that keeps us from opening our homes to others. Really when I think about it, God isn’t calling me to have a house of perfection. He just wants me to love other people.  And I can do that with my bare walls, cracked dishes, and crock-pot spaghetti right??

Thanks LaToya!

Since today’s topic has to do with fear, for our giveaway we have a copy of my Proverbs 31 sister Micca Campbell’s book An Untroubled Heart: Finding a Faith That is Stronger Than All My Fears

To be entered to win, leave us a comment with your fear when it comes to hospitalty. It can be a great one or a silly one too.

REMEMBER: We are also interacting over at Karen Ehman’s Book Studies on Facebook. Click here to “like” the page & join us.
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185 Comments

  1. I used to worry about what guests would think of me if they came to my house and it was cluttered and dusty. One day I had a revelation…my house looks like we live there! I have slowly been lessening my grip on the need for my house to look perfect. I find a lot of times, some of the items that are left laying out spark conversation! When it’s necessary, I just shove everything into the laundry room and nobody knows the difference!

  2. My biggest fear is that my home doesn’t ‘measure-up’. it is not a decorator’s dream, the carpet is clean, but getting worn, it isn’t as big as some of my friend’s home and the yard is never picture perfect…..we live in the country. I love to cook…taught by my dad and must say I am a good cook. I guess I just feel a sense of rejection of what “I don’t have” before the meal is even served.

  3. That old perfectionism can rear it’s ugly head and keep us from being used by the Lord. I would much rather visit with a friend in her house as it normally is. That means I’m in her ‘in crowd’. It makes me uncomfortable to think someone slaved away for hours/days before I came!

  4. Our home is not the cleanest – clutter is my enemy and there are quite a few home improvements that need to be made. Unfortunately, money is quite tight and we just are having to make do. I fear being rejected or critized for the condition of my home. It is a silly fear because when I have friends over, we usually have a good time and well, they are still my friends. My active imagination causes so much uneccessary fear in my life. If I could find a way to use that active imagination in a positive way….that is my prayer.

  5. Fear – My house is always dirty! I honestly hate to clean – LOVE LOVE LOVE a clean house, but would rather do laundry, pay bills, cook, bake, even do taxes rather than clean. I honestly don’t know what causes this block, but I just can’t make myself clean house. Thus I don’t want to have anyone over because my floors are dirty. Doesn’t help that I have an aunt that loves to travel around the country visiting all my aunts, uncles, cousins etc and tells me about each of their homes and their housekeeping. Which means she is telling them about mine! YIPES!

    I am decluttering – but I am constantly decluttering as my husband loves junque – he brings it in the back door and I scoot it out the front in boxes for charity collection trucks.

  6. My biggest entertaining frustration is that just as soon as I get the house cleaned up for guests I get it messed up again waiting for the guests to get here. After getting a bath there are a whole new batch of dirty clothes to try to hide…Cooking messes up the kitchen…and on and on….

  7. I hate to sound repetetive but perfection is my problem too. My house is far from perfect but I want my guests to have a perfect experience when they come over.

  8. My biggest fear is that someone will think less of me because my house is a mess or my bathroom is not clean. If I don’t have someone over then I don’t have to fear what someone will think. Funny thing is I don’t mind my kids friends coming over because I don’t think they look at the house like an adult would.

  9. Thanks you for sharing this message. My house sounds exactly like you described.
    My fears are that my house is not big enough, clean enough, nothing to do, the food won’t turn out and most people are too polite to say anything. I could go on and on. Hopefully by the end of this study some of that will start to change.

  10. Fear is a definite issue for me. I hesitate to have others over until the house is remodeled and finished.

  11. My biggest fear is perfection, and neither my home or me is perfect, but I am learning that only God is perfect which is helping me overcome my perfection issues.

  12. My fear when it comes to hospitality stems from my house being small and one of my friends pointing that out to me. Actually I don’t care as much about it now because it is plenty of house for my family of 4. Just because I have a friend that has a 1st floor bigger than my entire house and she also has a basement and a 2nd floor doesn’t mean that my house is bad. My 2 children have their own bedrooms and they are plenty big for a bed, a bookshelf and some toys. A bigger house just means a lot more to clean and who wants to spend all of their free time doing that?

  13. My is cleaning. My family members are neat freaks and my husbands are the exact opposite. We meet in the middle as certain rooms need to be CLEAN (bathrooms, kitchen and our living room) the others not as much attention. This leads me to stress and panic the day before/day of. I have not mastered the art of breaking things into pieces when it comes to cleaning, as I came from a Mom who cleaned just about top to bottom every other day.

  14. This past year has been a rough one for our family. So to deal with it, I’ve focused on my family and my priorities, and cleaning my house is not even close to the top of my list. I’d love to have people over, but if they see how much I’ve let things go they’ll know how rough things have been, or just think I’m a really bad housekeeper. And since my husband is a minister, I feel I have a certain “image” to uphold.

  15. I can so rrelate! Even when my house is decorated I still tend to think it’s not as nicely deocrated as someone elses. I had one friend that would invite me over to Sunday dinner with his three boys and even though their house was definitely a batchelor’s home and the meals were very simple I always felt loved and cared for. We actually got married and now
    I am trying to apply that to our new found friends in the town we moved to a few years ago. I really struggle but am making great strides with God’s help and I am even learning to cook with some recipes that I’ve had for years but was always afraid to try!

  16. My fear is not being a “social” person I don’t know how to carry a conversation and fear we won’t know what to say. Generally isn’t an issue when we do actually have people but it is intimidating.

  17. With a young child, I find that I”m so distracted at times to keep a good conversation going! This is especially true when I don’t know the person well.

  18. I live in an old trailer that needs ALOT of repairs. I am afraid of what people will say when they see my home. I love our home. It has brightly colored walls, but carpet is extremely old and stained, base boards need new paint…just a long list of repairs. I know it is a pride thing. I am working toward remembering people are not there to see my house, but the family who lives in the house!

  19. I work out of my home so often my living room is very messy even when its clean.. (ie.e there are boxes of product and packing materials) I worry that people will think poorly of me.

  20. like Latoya, it’s about not having a nice enough house! our furniture is old and it’s quite obvious that 3 small children have their way with our home!

  21. My fear is an unperfect house that doesn’t quite measure up to what I picture it should be in my mind! I know it won’t matter if guests comeover and see toys in the floor or that I have dusted or that there aren’t enough pictures on the wall – I am working hard to get over this and just enjoy the company!

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