Five Senses of Hospitality with Guest Janelle Nehrenz

Ok, who else gained weight yesterday just scrolling through the delicious recipes listed? We could write a cyber cookbook!

If you haven’t left one yet, you still can. And remember, you may comment on all of the post until Easter. Then, all winners will be announced the day after. :-)

And speaking of cooking….today’s guest does a lot of that. From comfy in the kitchen, meet my new friend and culinary expert Janelle Nehrenz!

Janelle Nehrenz is a Christian wife and mom of 3 young children. She has a meal ministry, co-leads a Summer bible study, and happily stays busy volunteering at church and her children’s school. Her spiritual gifts are a mix of “hospitality and evangelism” and she shares all about it on her blog Comfy in the Kitchen.



From Janelle’s heart:

Preparing your home for guests is a huge you, your guests, and to the Lord.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

What a great reminder of how important it is to open up our homes to others. Hospitality creates an opportunity to love others well all in the name of the Lord-A Lord who has given us a home to entertain in, food to prepare, friends and family who want to be with us, and the energy to serve others! It can also be the very foundation for fellowship, building bonds, memories, and relationships.

To some, opening up your home may be overwhelming…but please do not fret! If you tune into your guests “5 senses” you will be sure to be a “hostess with the mostess” and guests will feel very much at home. There is no doubt our loving God gave us these senses to bless us and to bless others…

How to touch on all of the “5 senses of hospitality” for your beloved guests.

The Five Senses:

  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste

Hearing: Play soft background music and turn dishwashers and washer/driers off before company arrives. If you think about it, how does it make you feel when you walk into a completely silent home? A home with a very loud TV? How about a home where the laundry and dishwasher is on? It’s awfully hard to have a conversation when there is too much background noise. In turn, it can also be “uncomfortable” if it is stark quite. Preparing your home’s “noise level” is a great way to think about your guests before they arrive.

Sight: Tidy up, vacuum, and wipe counter tops/floors before guests arrive. This will give them a nice, clean, and relaxing environment. Think of where your guests will travel through your home. Add a welcoming wreath to your front door, a few seasonal decorations, flowers, and make sure the guest bathroom is clean with fresh towels. Give an atmosphere of “loving well”.

Touch: Greet your guests! A hug, kiss on the cheek, handshake- whatever you feel comfortable with, but please make contact with them! Take their coats and walk them into the room you’d like to gather in…put your arm around them and make them feel at home. You are happy they are there and they took the time to visit you! What better gift is the gift of time? Welcome it.

Smell: Ahhhh….this is such an important one for me. When guests first walk into your home they are greeted by the smell!!! Food baking/cooking is definitely a smell everyone loves. But, that isn’t all! Open some windows for fresh air (weather permitting) and light a few candles for a special touch. I typically have candles lit in the foyer, living room, kitchen, and guest bath. If you have throw pillows/blankets on your couch, throw them in the wash before guests arrive so they smell fresh. I also love the smell of “Murphy’s Oil Soap”- I make sure to wipe my first floor floors down before company comes over simply for the smell!

Taste: Prepare a delicious appetizer, meal, and/ or dessert for your guests. If you are having guests over for dessert, put your dish in the oven so it will be finished 20 mins after guests arrive that way you can serve it piping hot out of the oven. Make a fresh pot of coffee. Casually place food and drinks in front of your guests-most people if asked, “Would you like something to drink” reply, “I am ok for now, thank you” . But if a pitcher of lemonade is in front of them with an empty glass, they are more willing to make themselves at home. Lay out napkins, silverware, and plates ahead of time so you can relax with your guests.

As you see, tuning into the 5 senses of your guests tackles all of the important steps it takes to love others well in your home! What a blessing it is to know others want to learn more about hospitality…may you light many candles and share much banana bread with those you love!

Now for the question and the giveaway:

It includes:

~ A funky flash drive (to save some great recipes from Janelle’s site?)

~ Some recipe cards

~ A Mint-Dark Chocolate Ghiradelli bar

~ A $10 Target card to buy a candle for your sense of smell to enjoy:-)

Just leave us a comment telling us which of the five senses of hospitality to which you usually pay most attention. Or, which one hadn’t you thought about before?

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


  1. I always notice smells and try to always have a candle lit at home. It really makes a difference in the mood of my home.

  2. I am a smell girl too and I loved learning that this is important to others (especially the wonderful expert). Thank you for sharing. I am excited to have friends over!

  3. Smell is the one I always think about and the one that I am most drawn to also…. Don’t really think about the touch sense regularly.

  4. I liked your advice about putting drinks out to make your guests feel at home and comfortable. I am guilty of asking someone if they would like a drink. But I completely agree with your suggestion… If it is out with a glass waiting for them, they are more likely to enjoy the drink. Great Advice. Also, I usually time my meal to be finished at the exact time guests come over- which makes our introductions rushed. I liked the advice of timing it to be done 20 minutes after guests arrive. This would give us more time to show them how much we care that they came rather than rushing them to the table.

  5. I favor smell, I love walking into a home and being greated with a wonderful smelling candle or the anticipation of sharing some food.

  6. I pay the most attention to sight and smell. I love to bake and try to have something fresh out of the oven. I love your idea of having drinks out and ready so people are more likely to take you up on the offer.

  7. Probably smell – I have a very sensitive nose myself, so I always make sure a Scentsy is going in two or three rooms, and that the bathrooms have that “just cleaned” smell by spashing a little cleaner in the toilet and leaving it there after I’m done cleaning.

  8. I am almost neurotic about making sure my house smells nice. Whenever company comes over I like to turn on my Scentsy burner for the ambiance & wonderful smells they have! Before I married I used to ban my parents from cooking fish when I had a date coming over. What a horrible first date smell! And no visit is complete without getting to share some laughs over tea, be it sweet or vanilla chai.

  9. I pay most attention to sight because I want my house to look perfect and if it’s not, I’d rather not have people over. I don’t always think about sound. I do like to play soft music but I often wonder if my choice of music is their choice. Over the past few years I have tried to get over having displeasure with pop in guests since my college kids bring their friends by. I have had to learn that fellowship is more important than if I have a basket of clothes to fold sitting in the living room!

  10. If I go somewhere it would be smell first, then touch. If someone comes to my house I would put site first, then smell followed by touch. Why does my house need to be perfect, but when I am somewhere else it is nice to see it looked lived in! I never thought about the sound levels, but that makes alot of sense. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I think I pay most attention to smell. I lOVE candles and essential oils.

    I need to pay more attention to touch! I don’t think much about it making my guests feel comfortable and welcome.

    Wonderful post!

  12. I am such a big “smell” person! I immediately notice scent wherever I go!

    I have NEVER considered “sound,” though! Thanks for the great post!

  13. I’ve definitely got taste covered. The one I am most conscious of is probably smell. I’m a little obsessed with always making sure my house smells good and clean.

  14. I like to make sure my home smells nice. I always have a Bath and Body plug in behind our grandfather clock in the foyer. I usually have a seasonal scent in it.

  15. I had never thought of the suggestion to casually put food and drinks out in front of guests. You are absolutely right – most people, when asked, say they are fine and don’t want anything if they are just stopping by for a brief visit and not a meal. I love that tip and all the great ideas. Thanks so much!

  16. Most definitely – SMELL! In the entry way, I put a new “Scentsy” wax scent in before company comes, always have a Bath & Body wallflower plugged in near where they enter the house, have candles buring in the living room, and a new 99 cent glade solid in the bathroom. I also spray Fabreeze on the couches/chairs/pillows – and sometimes even the carpet. And yes, weather permitting, I like to “air out the house” the way my mother did. Oh, and the BEST scent that I love to provide for guests whenever possible is that of freshly washed bedding that has been hung outside on the clothesline to dry. There is no other smell quite like that – AHHHH! You can’t help but have sweet dreams ?.

  17. I usually focus on sight and taste the most. I spend a lot of time deciding on just the right menu and making sure the house is at least tidied up, if not always dusted and vacuumed. I’ve never really thought much about the touch aspect. I think I’ll be paying more attention to that one in the future.

  18. I would give the most attention to taste and the least attention to sound, most likely because I like it quiet, I don’t need a radio or music on but I do need to think of my guests.

  19. The sense of hospitality I pay most attention to is: Sight. I make sure the house is clean and decorate with a few seasonal decorations/ flowers.
    The one I didn’t think about was Touch. I read the five senses to my husband and he hadn’t thought about it either. So, next time we have company, which is this coming Sunday, he is going to greet the males and I am greeting the females. But we are usually so busy with preparations, that we forget the greeting and people just come in. Can’t wait to try it out.

  20. sight & smell. I use them to critize & put myself down – why can’t I have a home as neat as her or I wish I could decorate like she does or her home is always so clean and smells so fresh. Then fear sets in and I don’t invite people over. When someone stops by unexpectedly, I meet them on the front porch and don’t invite them in and my family has learned to do the same. How very sad of me and what does the person who stopped by think….

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