Confident-hearted Hospitality with Guest Renee Swope

We kick off our last week of our online study of A Life That Says Welcome with my good friend and ministry partner Renee Swope.

My family was able to hang out with the Swopes just yesterday during our surprise visit to Charlotte, NC for spring break. In today’s post, you’ll see Renee share a bit about our time together and give us some encouragement for offering impromtptu hospitalty with a confident heart.

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Renee Swope loves being home more than anywhere else! You can find her there almost every day working in her pajamas, answering emails, writing radio shows and more. Renee claims to be hospitality-challenged but, despite her shortcomings, she and and her family love opening their home for a church Bible Study group they lead together each week.

Renee also serves as Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Executive Director and Senior Editor of Devotions and Radio.  You may recognize her voice as the co-host of the P31 radio show or her face as a featured writer for Encouragement for Today devotions. She wears a lot of hats, but Renee’s favorite roles are wife to J.J and mom to Joshua (17),  Andrew (14) and her Ethiopian princess, Aster (3).

Renee is also the author of A Confident Heart. Today she shares a short video message about how to get past insecurities that make us hesitant to practice hospitality — and she’s giving away 3 copies of her book and a Target gift card! Watch this short message to find out more!


Today’s Giveaways:

A Confident Heart Ebook for Kindle is FREE — TODAY ONLY!!  We’d love for you to download a copy and then also share the news with your friends via Twitter, Facebook and Email! This incredible deal ends at midnight.

Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a FREE Kindle App on your computer, cell phone and other electronic devices here!

Renee’s giving away 3 copies of A Confident Heart (paperback copies) and one $15 TARGET gift card so you can buy some cute paper plates and napkins – because nothing says confidence like cuter paper products! {And you can use the left over gift card $ on a heart-shaped candle to remind you it’s your heart that matters most – not the size of your house or impressive meals you serve.)

Enter to Win:
When was the last time you spontaneously opened your home to friends? Who could you invite over this week for something easy like frozen pizza or a cup of coffee? Is there anything Renee shared that helped ease your hesitancies about inviting friends over? Answer any of these questions and you’ll be entered to win today’s giveaway!

Just click “comments ” below this post and share your thoughts.

193 Comments

  1. When the weather is nice, and my house isn’t exactly clean, we invite our friends over for a Bon fire. We roast marshmallows and hot dogs and use paper plates. No preparation needed and easy clean up and the kids always have a blast!

  2. I opened my home last Sunday before leaving for a week long trip to my sister and her chidlren to decorate eggs and then to have an impromptu meal. I can open my home to children without a problem, it’s the adults that I’m afraid of.

  3. It’s nice to know that others are okay with spontaneous, less than perfectly planned out get togethers. Sometimes it felt like maybe I was just being lazy…but I prefer the spontaneous rather than spending all sorts of time worrying about a menu, housework, etc.

  4. I appreciate your suggestion for spontaneous hospitality! Sometimes it is easier to plan last minute than weeks ahead as schedules can change. I am so thankful for this study! I hope to have friends over soon!

  5. Renee’s video was so encouraging and she spoke directly to the thoughts I have had in the past about having people over. She really challenged me to be more confident and just invite people over!!

  6. I was inspired by the statement of opening my heart rather than worrying about what I have to offer. Thanks!

  7. One of our friends helped my husband fill a hole in our backyard with dirt in a week ago, and while they were finishing up I called his wife and invited the rest of their family over for dinner. Good time of fellowship with Apples to Apples game included :)

  8. I invited a girl who I didn’t really know well from hospital and her son to stay with us while she recovered in our guest room. Now that is a spontaneous move! She felt refreshed and ready to continue with her life afterwards.

  9. Thanks for the ebook! I love the simplicity of just ordering pizza and having a watermelon and store bought cookies! Less worry and more time to spend with your guests.

  10. Renee does a wonderful job at boosting confidence! I have her book and think it’s great! Today’s video is just another way to reassure women that we do have something to offer and it serves as a reminder to focus on the fellowship that takes place inside your home rather than how fancy the food is (or not), how clean your house is (or not), or how much space you have (or don’t). One of the biggest factors in my hesitancy to offer our home for Bible Study when our normal location is unavailable or just inviting friends over, is that our house is WAY out of the way. We live way out in the country and I always tell myself, “Nobody wants to come all the way out here.” While that may be true sometimes, I need to forget about that and just continue to offer our home!

  11. I think that I practice hospitality when my brother and his family come over – they have kids, too, so they understand when there are toys still on the floor and the house may be a mess. It makes me feel less stressed out that the house isn’t perfect. And that gives me more confidence to go outside my “family circle” and invite other people over!

  12. My home has been a struggle for inviting people over, not big, nice enough. But thru this study and the video it is helping me realize, as long as I make my company feel welcomed and I want them there. That is ALL that matters. THanks so much for this study.

  13. I remember a friend showing up once and I had a laundry basket on the couch. She was so grateful I was a normal mom we had a great conversation and it allowed both of us to relax and enjoy the moment.

  14. I don’t spontaneously invite people over. I honestly don’t know a lot of people. I did invite my sister and her children, but they were busy.

  15. I was so encouraged by the video. I too, feel like my home is not big enough. But what was most encouraging was written…. It’s about the Heart! I hate that I am just getting an opportunity to read this today. I missed out on the free book. April 2 is my sons birthday and I have been super busy. Hopefully I can still get a copy soon. Thanks so much to all the blogs everyday! Great encouragement and ideas!

  16. We actually took our friend’s son out to dinner last night after our boy’s played baseball. Our friend was not feeling well and her husband had a meeting. So, we offered to take their son out after the game with us to eat. It worked out for everyone and was a spur-of-the-moment idea.

  17. A lot of my friends do not have children like I do so when I ask them over, they are hesitent because my kids are crazy, all kids are crazy lol. My best friend I have known for about 10 years (since jr. high) and she has no children. I know that I need to start asking her over more and I need to stop being scared that she won’t want to because of my children. :)

  18. I have not been spontaneous in a very long time but so thankful for this study! Can’t wait to open my home!! Thank you!

  19. Renee’s video encourages me to want to be more spontaneous in the area of hospitality. That’s a weak area for me, even though in my heart I would like to be spontaneous. It probably boils down to a lack of confidence, so I feel more motivated now to think of ways to break my cycle of needing a week to clean the house, shop, cook, etc.

  20. The last time I opened my home to quests without being prepared was several years ago. Why do you think I was so excited about this study. An old friend came by while they were visiting from out of town. I was so glad to see her, however I did wish that I had done a better job of keeping things tidy.

  21. I am really considering this. The intentional-spontaneous aspect. Going to talk with our Lord and my husbend on this. We do have very real limitations yet i don’t want to miss what i CAN do. I am aware that it is easier/preferred for me to meet someone elsewhere. i feel more comfy with that. a buffer perhaps?

  22. We’ve moved to the country and drop ins just don’t happen often. We are planning a potluck next month at our house.

  23. Oh Renee -thank you for letting me know its ok to invite ppl over without having to put me a 5 course meal together :) i would love to have a family over for Easter who always has my daughter and I over for holidays. they just put her mom in hospice so I know preparing Easter dinner will not be on the top of her list. A great opportunity for me to bless her family for once

  24. I read your blog post one day too late. I hope you will offer your book kindle version for free again because that’s the only way I’d be able to read it.. I enjoyed your video, and especially what you said about offering your guest what you have from your heart.

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