Parties with a Purpose with Guest Clare Smith

It is our last day for guests here on our hospitality online study. But we aren’t done yet!

Be sure to tune in Monday when all the winners from the past three weeks’ posts will be announced and I’ll also have one other fun announcement that involves you! (Especially those of you still waiting for your books :-()

Today, meet my friend Clare Smith. I LOVE how she took an interest of hers and turned it into a way to reach out to others and host a party with a purpose. I hope her post inspires you to do the same!

Clare and her husband and 2 children live in Northeast Ohio. She has her bachelorโ€™s degree in business management and left a promising career to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. She is a certified fitness instructor and teaches pilates and group fitness classes at her church and local university.

Clareโ€™s passion (outside of raising and nurturing her children and home) is motivating women of all ages and stages of life to live well physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visit her at Peak313 and on Facebook!

From Clare’s heart:

I have to be honest with you. “Hospitality” isn’t one of my greatest strengths.

I get caught up in a lot of things that prevent me from doing it: the size of our house, the need for lots of food and the way that my house is (or isn’t) decorated.

However God has given me a way to exercise hospitality that makes me not think twice about any of those roadblocks via one of my passions—Pilates!

I am a group exercise instructor and one of the classes I teach is pilates at a local university. I’ve been doing it for almost 5 years and I never expected it to provide me an opportunity to minister to others in my home!

College students are usually in need of 2 things: a change of scenery and good food! (You remember that well, right?)ย So I take advantage of that and have them over once or twice a year and give them snacks here and there!

I’ve been able to use this time to encourage these college students by laughing with them, answering their questions or just listening to everything they have on their heart. It’s good for me to get out of my life and into someone else’s and I really enjoy talking with them.

I usually try and make them something around exam time and snack mixes have been a real hit! Here are 2 I’ve done before.

“Healthy Snack Mix”

And around Christmas time,

“Santa’s Snack Mix”

I also enjoy having them in the house for a small meal and break from their studies. Here we are last year!

Unfortunately they have to graduate, which makes me very sad, but thanks to modern technology, I keep in contact with many of them!
I’ve attended their graduations and even a wedding! It brings me such joy to be a part of their lives and I’m thankful that God has used something I love to be the vehicle in which to do that!

So today I ask you, is there someone that God has put in your path to encourage?
Maybe it’s through a very unique situation, or maybe the person themselves, is very “unique”.
Ask Him who you could reach out, put your arms around and invite into your home. You might be surprised at the answer you get!

Thanks Clare!

Ok girls–leave a comment telling us a group of people (or even a single person) that ย you could either reach out to with a small gesture (like Clare’s snack mixes) or invite to your home for a get-together. With whom does your path naturally cross?

One of you will be chosen at random to win a $15 Target card to purchase some items to do just that!

Have a blessed Easter & we’ll see you Monday for the announcements!


  1. I have many opportunities awaiting me when I “retire” at the end of this school year. One volunteer opportunity that has become available to me is going to senior citizens’ homes and offering them the gift of music. I love accompanying 2 ladies at our church, and we’re thinking of singing at seniors’ homes once a month. I’m looking forward to this. I also love to bake & cook so your ideas are making me think of other ways I can reach out.

  2. I live in a rural area and am a member of our “community club” and if there is a need for meals, our members will supply some for the family. We each try to help out in times of sickness or deaths as we have been friends and neighbors for more than 40 years, knowing each others’ children and now, grandchildren. We are close to each other, almost like sisters. Karen, I hope you feel better as each day goes by. A blessed Easter to everyone, Yes, He is Risen!! Hallelujah!

  3. We have several widows in our church whom we have “adopted” as grandmas to our family :-) I know they don’t bake much for themselves, so several times a year I will bake a special dessert and split the entire thing amongst them. I package them in pretty bags or on cute plates and take them to church for them. I’ve been thinking it would be really fun to have them all out to our place for a luncheon soon and this has given me the push to finally send out invitations and just do it!

  4. A group that I could invite over is the mom’s I sit next to on the bleachers. We spend a lot of time together watching our kids plays and have started to get to know each other. It would be fun to have them over for a social occasion that doesn’t involve watching a game.

  5. I work at home depot and there are several times I will make sauage and gravy with biscits and take in for a meeting. Or i will do cup cakes cookies etc. Just because.

    I get up with my hubby every morning (28 years of marriage in June) and I will make breakfast and his lunch ( some times for his coworkers) and send him on his way to work. Of course with a hug and kiss.

  6. My husband teaches at a small Christian school with a wonderful group of Godly servants, many of whom work second jobs just to make ends meet. Whenever I make a yummy dessert at home (which happens pretty often, thanks to my sweet tooth and pinterest :), I send the remaining sweets to school with him the next day. Everyone thoroughly enjoys having a special treat that they didn’t have to make!

  7. Off topic but this hospitality-challenged gal served free breakfast burritos and hot dogs to folks in the midst of cleaning up after a tornado all day today. What an amazing blessing it was. The last man we served was so upbeat and appreciative. One of the girls asked if he’d sustained much damage to his home, and he responded “Oh yeah. I lost everything.” I was so humbled and so glad I did it. And people laughed when I plopped a tablespoon of relish in one spot on their hot dog and I said, “Fortunately, it’s free, right?” (I did grab a knife and spread it out.) Even I was able to bless some people in their day of need. Maybe I can conquer hospitality after all.

  8. It is good to be reminded that hospitally comes is different forms. I occasionally package treats for the girls at work and I usually include a scripture tag. I haven’t done it for a while and this is telling me it is time to do it again. I have really enjoyed this study and am looking forward to recieving my book though it will be close to the end of the month before they expect it to ship, but that should be good timing to reinforce what I learned and was reminded that I did know that I just need to practice it. Karen, thanks so much.

  9. I think those snack ideas would be great to make for our Wednesday night kids group. Kids are always hungry. Thanks!

  10. I am a Childbirth Educator and a Lactation Consultant. I never thought of me being in a position to be an extra blessing on these new Moms…..what a great idea, Thanks!

  11. The Lord puts women in my path that need encouragement in His Word concerning their marriages. From the newly married who are so excited to hear about their role in the relationship to the ones that have been married for a while and need help with their marriages to the ones that just need a reminder. I invite them over and have a one on one with the One who designed marriage and assigned our unique roles. I take them through a three week course the Lord has given me and I love on them and practice good old hospitality!

  12. Having just moved to the area and attending a new church, I’d like to invite over each lady (or family) of our small group to get to know them better, build relationships and invest in their lives!

  13. I think that the bus driver that takes my kids to school would be a GREAT person to reach out to…. I have in the past but this reminds me that those that take my place during the day in my kiddos lives need some extra care. Thanks for the reminder!!

  14. i asked this question a year ago and it brought a bible study group into my house! that group is now changing and I’m asking God to show me people to come to my house. we have 2 empty nest bedrooms, there are unsaved neighbors, unsaved co-workers, couples at church that i call “the middle” (we don’t have young kids to go to groups with, we don’t go to the “seniors saints” get-togethers,…we’re in the middle!)

  15. I have been mentoring a 13 year old girl. We usually read through different books relating to being christian teenage girl. And sometime a fun girls day out together too. I have been so blessed just to be someone who encourages and loves a beautiful young lady.

  16. There are many different couples/families that I can think of that we need to have over more often. It doesn’t take much to host guests and it means so much to them! Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  17. One year when we had many roses in our garden, I cut many and put them in buckets and went down the street, picked some roses from the bucket, wrapped them in wet newspaper, went to a door, rang the door bell and left.

  18. We just recently started attending a new church, and I plan on having the ladies over so I can get to know them better.

  19. What a great reminder! I’m a youth pastors wife so I have LOTS of opportunity and LOTS of teens to pour into :) We used to have the senior high aged guys over on Mondays for football {on tv}. There were always plenty of snacks and the night usually ended up being a wrestling match…and I would sneak away up to my sleeping baby girl. ;) I have hosted jr high girl bible studies in my home, had movie marathons and christmas cookie decorating parties. So many great memories! But I am challenged now to think of new ways!

  20. I love this idea. I also teach fitness and could especially reach out to my Sat morning class. All regulars and we have a lot of classes on holidays. I am going to do the snack mix idea.

  21. I can reach out to the people at bible study, we have to bring snacks every week and this gives me the opportunity to bless them with an amazing dish or snack every week :).

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