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The Hospitality File

May 24, 2013

Hospitality is a gift.  But, unlike other spiritual gifts, it’s not a gift you have.  It’s a gift you give.

Hospitality is all about opening up your heart to another, putting others first, finding practical ways of demonstrating the love and acceptance of the Lord.

Years ago I stumbled upon a simple little tool that makes showing hospitality a wee bit easier.  It’s my hospitality file.

Hospitality File

It’s a simple recipe file box, but it doesn’t hold recipes.  In it is an alphabetical file system and colorful index cards.

Hospitality File

When we have someone over for a meal or party, I sneakily take notes.  Oh, he doesn’t like red wine.  She’s allergic to diary.  The whole family is going gluten free.  These are things I want to know and remember!  Not only that, but simple things such as: He takes his coffee with cream, no sugar.  She doesn’t drink coffee, but likes tea.

This way the next time they are over, I can strive to serve them what they really enjoy, without having to ask for the umpteenth time, “How do you take your coffee?”  It’s one small way I can honor my guests and make them feel truly at home.  I always assume if you dined with us once, you’ll dine with us again.  (I guess I assume that we are pretty likable people.)   And the next time you dine with us I want you to feel truly like family, not like an outsider.  Having what you enjoy eating and drinking on hand (and not trying to put a food you’re allergic to in front of you constantly!) helps in that process.

This little tool also aid those of us inclined towards entertaining and not necessarily hospitality to lay aside our preconceived ideas of what is good, proper, delicious, etc. and really place another first.  Want a silly example?  We have a dear friend who likes his wine with ice.  No really.  He likes a glass of ice to go with his wine, so he can keep it thoroughly iced and chilled as he drinks.  As odd as this sounds to some people (me!) and as much as we tease him about it, that’s one way I can set aside my preferences and put his pleasure above my own.   Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another…” Romans 12:10  There is no pressure to perform or conform at our home.  We want you to enjoy.  We want your soul refreshed.  We want you to feel that you are among family.  If a glass of ice can do that, you are welcomed to all the ice I have.

Hospitality File

“…hospitality prevents us from living either desperately or indifferently.  Hospitality requires not grand gestures, but open hearts.  When I let a stranger into my heart, I let a new possibility approach me.  When I reach past my own ideas, I begin to stretch myself open to the world, and this opening of my heart could change everything.”  Radical Hospitality, St. Benedict’s Way of Love by Father Daniel Holman and Lonni Collins Pratt

Give it a try.  It costs nearly nothing to keep a little hospitality file, but the impact is huge!

(Linked to From The Farm, Allergy Free WednesdayFight Back Fridays! Foodie Friends FridayHomemaking Party at Hope In Every SeasonBlooms DesignsThriving ThursdayMaking Your Home Sing, Creative HomeAcre HopMotivation MondayManic MondayMostly Homemade MondayYou’re Gonna Love It! Titus 2 Tuesday Wise Woman Link-UpPin It Monday and A Living Sacrifice)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2013 7:30 am

    Thanks for linking up to Thriving THursdays 🙂 Great tip! I recently found out that a friend of ours doesn’t like ice in his drink at all–it gets in his way, he says. So, it’s something I remembered the next time they came over.

  2. May 26, 2013 11:29 am

    Great idea. It shows you really care enough to go the extra mile!

  3. May 26, 2013 5:49 pm

    I love this! Having people over is something I really enjoy, and so far, I tend to remember what people like and dislike. But after time I’m sure that it would become impossible to remember every-one’s tastes.

  4. May 26, 2013 6:18 pm

    Wow! I’m impressed. I never even thought of keeping a file on my guests preferences and allergies, but I can see how it would really make people feel special when they make a return visit.

  5. May 27, 2013 1:59 am

    Stopping by from A Life In Balance – what a great idea! I love it that you take such care in being a good hostess. I need to remember this for the future!

  6. Nicole permalink
    May 27, 2013 12:29 pm

    I really love this idea. I have told my return guests that my kitchen is open and they are welcome to whatever they would like, but what if I don’t have what they are looking for? This is my thought when they come over, and I think you have come up with the solution!

  7. May 28, 2013 8:40 am

    We have been praying about this very thing. Thanks for sharing!

  8. May 28, 2013 10:12 am

    I love this idea! I keep a notebook but this is an easier way to retrieve information. Thanks for sharing.

  9. May 29, 2013 6:32 pm

    Awesome idea. I sort of do this but not in such an organized way. Love it. Stopping by from MYHS link up.

  10. May 31, 2013 1:00 pm

    Wow! This is a great idea!

  11. June 2, 2013 5:49 pm

    great idea!
    Found your post on the Pin It Monday link-up.
    Mrs. Lopez of Loving Life In Pink

  12. June 8, 2013 8:08 am

    This is such a great idea, I would have never thought of it on my own. Do your guests know you have this file, or do you keep it a secret? 🙂 So thoughtful! I think courtesy is seriously lacking in our society today, this is one way to demonstrate it in your own home. Thanks for linking up to our Home Improvement Party!

    {And just so you know…I’m a coffee drinker with a little cream and sugar! 😉 }

    • June 8, 2013 8:16 am

      Well, I used to keep it a secret. But, having a blogged about it, I’ve let the cat out of the bag! 🙂

      I’ll make a note of your coffee preferences! 🙂

  13. June 10, 2013 4:40 pm

    Im here visiting from “A Living Sacrifice” and I have to say that this is a neat idea. Thanks so much for sharing it and I for one will be using this brilliance in the future! 🙂


  1. Hospitality of the Table – He Prepares A Table Before Me | The Provision Room

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