October 22, 2017

Hospitality…who would ever have thought…


Encouraging spontaneous hospitality last weekend yielded a wonderful evening with family and new friends. There’s just something about root beer floats that bring out memories of sweet family moments gone by.
No “screen time” was allowed, so the kids attempted to play board games outside. Unfortunately for them, the dogs wanted active participation with the simple pleasures of life as well.
Who says we needed all those game pieces anyhow? We’ll get creative. ๐Ÿ™‚
Candle lit ambiance added to the experience, but the kids moved to the safety of the family room floor.
For those with an analytical eye, yes, that is poker they are playing. Now that it’s out there…no judgment please…can I just tell you how hilarious it is to hear a little prissy 6 year old girl call, “Fold,” with all the emotion she can muster.
Yep, it sure it. (For those of you concerned – no money was involved, so just call it a card game. ๐Ÿ˜‰
There are so many delights in enjoying a welcoming home, but one of our joys in practicing hospitality in our home is the opportunity to engage those of radically different cultures, religious and/or political persuasions and beliefs.
Due to my parents’ modeling and revolving door mentality, we had the opportunity to enjoy an evening we will never forget.
Meet Luke.
Coming to the US from China, Luke has been a part of the “family” for four years. Coming from a “one child policy” country, can you imagine the pondering he has done by being around our harried homestead? I love it!
Now meet Marti. Without revealing too much information, he hails from a radically Islamic country. The irony lies in the fact that my parents dove into researching the radical Islam movement this past year, and are passionate about bringing Truth to light. When they found out that Marti was coming to live with them, they knew that it was truly a God thing.
Delightful describes him, and the eye opening education received equates to a year of home schooling.

Who would ever have thought that a spontaneous root beer float party would yield these lessons.

  • First, clearly communicate that root beer is a soda beverage. Alcohol is completely forbidden in Islam. Do you think he thought we were trying to play a fast one on him?
  • Second, be assured that if you’re a weird American family with “way too many kids,” then a Muslim guest will feel right at home. He is one of 13, yes 13, siblings.
  • Third, be ready with multiple answers when your children drop all thoughts of playing board games because Marti declares those thirteen siblings come from his father’s FOUR wives.
  • Lastly, rest assured that if you think the grass is greener on the other side, Marti assures us that he will only have one wife because two, three or four are WAY too difficult.

Can you envision actually living out the finals of “The Bachelor”…every since day of your life?
SMART, SMART MAN! One wife is the way to go. ๐Ÿ™‚
So what’s stopping you from practicing some spontaneous hospitality with your neighbor?
Buy a few 2 liters of root beer, a few ‘buy one get one free’ ice creams, and enjoy the blessing of a welcoming home.
I can’t wait to hear the lessons you learn.
Don’t worry, I don’t think you’ll have to deal with the sex ed discussions that we addressed after our interestingly educational evening. ๐Ÿ™‚ Gotta love it!!


  1. I am so moved by this post and the previous one. I have let fear dictate whether I am hospitable or not. Fear of things not being perfect, house not clean enough. Thank you for showing me that it's not about the house, it's what goes on inside the house. Sharing our lives and the love of Christ is most important!!!


  2. Jessica Morris says:

    I love this and the previous post too.

    We attempt to have a revolving door at our home, mainly with the high school/college students from church. They are fabulous young men and women and have been such good examples to our young children.
    We truly love them.


  3. sunshine says:

    Loved this post.
    Hospitality is something that I struggle with. And … I really hate struggling with it because I want my home to be welcoming. (people assure me that they feel welcome when they come though). I guess I just like my privacy.
    My kids play poker too. Meh, whatever. LOL.. could be worse.
    We are having a Spanish exchange student come to live with us for two months starting in September. I just keep telling myself.."If it was one of your kids in someone else's home, how would you want them to be treated by the parents?" It's exciting but I'm nervous too. I guess just hoping that he'll like us and have a good time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your Mum and Dad sound like great people. What great spirits they have!

    P.S. Our puppy "cheech" is doing much better. Still a bit miserable but hey, aren't we all? ;D
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


  4. Looks like everyone had a blast!


  5. Sandy Toes says:

    Very interesting post…what a blessing for your kids to be around different cultures but yet with you and open conversation. I loved this post…amazing that all you need are rootbeer floats!
    sandy toe


  6. Kristen, The Pajama Mama says:

    AH! That's great!!! I love hosting on the fly and am always much more willing to when it's unplanned or unexpected and so low-key. And I'm sure the spirit of hospitality is much more present when I haven't been stressing about cleaning for days in advance.

    Love the root beer float idea! Thanks,



  7. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    How wonderful that your parents fostered this gift of hospitality in you and now you are passing it on to your children!


  8. Wow – that looks like so much fun! I often have to remind and even force myself to step out of my comfort zone and be hospitable and have people over. And when I do, I LOVE it!

    And it has been WAY too long since I've had a Root Beer Float…

    I may just have to steal this idea all around!!


  9. Jen,

    You make hospitality seem…almost doable for me. Wow.

    How was She Speaks for you? I LOVED it!!!!



  10. HeathahLee says:

    Oh, man! I laughed out LOUD about the lessons! I had to read them to my husband and my mom. That was too funny. How blessed your children are to be raised in a home where love is a verb. : )


  11. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Fun!! I thought of you several times last week when I had my giveaway. The book was "Family Fragrance," and it is all about creating a warm, welcoming environment in your home–whether your house is ready or not! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you must be the perfect model of the welcoming family b/c you are a happy entertainer. ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. Organizing Mommy says:

    We live in a revolving door kind of home too. Love it. Yes, my kids are far better off because of it, even if they have to give up their beds once in a while.


  13. southerninspiration says:

    Sounds like a fun night!!



  14. Blushing hostess says:

    so full of happy loving faces, what wonderful memories for every generation! i wish we had more family near us, such is a military life…


  15. Wilson Ramblings says:

    what an awesome evening and great experiences for your kiddos to take away and carry for ever! I think I need a root beer float now though!


  16. Pat@Back Porch Musings says:

    What an absolutely wonderful post, Jen.

    Ironically, the post I published, early yesterday morning, has a little bit to do with Root Beer floats! I'm going to add it to your Tasty Tuesday, this week.


  17. Kelly @ Wisdom Begun says:

    I was not taught hospitality growing up. Unfortunately, I am having to learn it now that I am grown. What a blessing that your children are learning it while they are young!

    I laughed a lot at the four wives part. Hehehe


  18. Amy Lynne says:

    What fun! We love root beer floats around here!


  19. August Rose says:

    Actually, I did the same thing this weekend with root beer floats. I added chili cheese fries to go along and let me tell you they must have been good because I got 1; 1 little french fry with a dab of chili cheese on it. I love serving appetizers before the meal


  20. Looks like everyone had a great time!


  21. MommySecrets says:

    I love it!


  22. Oh my. Just Monday night Kimball's old friend whom we hadn't heard from in 5 years call spur of the moment and asked if he and a cousin could stay the night. They were IN TOWN! Yeah, I have a ways to go when it comes to spontaneous hospitality. I griped like a mad woman on facebook. I hate 'pop ins', but I am going to try and do better. It all worked out though, house got cleaned in time, we enjoyed a great breakfast together and it was good to see him.


  23. Hillary @ The Other Mama says:

    I love that you were so moved and blessed by your openness! How awesome!!



  1. […] minute invitation to a group often works incredibly well. Why not invite your โ€œcul-de-sacโ€ to a root beer float party? Or send out a group text invitation for a last minute Baked Potato, Burrito or Build Your Own Pizza […]

Share Your Thoughts