Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lots of Hospitality

I recently won this book from Susan P and I have already finished it! I cannot say enough good things about this book. Karen Ehman and I are definitely kindred spirits and I feel like she is my friend after reading this book even though she has no idea who I am!

God has been providing me many opportunities for hospitality over the past few days and I am so excited about it!

Day one: took dinner to a friend who just had a baby; took a muffin to another friend who lived close by her house

Day two: had a friend stop by around dinner prep time who had only had a banana to eat ALL DAY! Fixed leftover lasagna, a salad and some watermelon for her and her fiancee. God put it on my heart to ask her about toiletry items (I have an abundance from all my sale shopping and freebates) and I was encouraged as she said they would be able to skip their Wal-Mart stop on the way home because the very things they were stopping for were found in my abundance box.

Day three: David's brother came over for dinner.

Day four: made three apple pies, gathered plates, napkins and forks or spoons for each pie. Wrote notes for my deliveries.

Day five: delivered an apple pie with utensils to each of the drug stores I frequent for their sales and deals: CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. I included in my note that I realize it is more work to help a customer like me who combines sales, coupons and rebates and I appreciate their service. Being able to shop at these stores is a great blessing to my family!

What will be next? I don't know yet - but I'm excited to find out!! How about you? How do you look for ways to practice hospitality?


Edi said...

Another great book on hospitality is "The Hospitality Commands" by Anexander Strauch...you might want to check that one out also.

Great job on the pies! I'm sure the store has never had something like that happen before! What were their reactions??

Patty said...

Hi, I like your pie idea. The kids and I used to deliver for our local Meals-on-Wheels until the gas got too high. Now we focus on an elderly couple down the road from us. It’s amazing how a little attention can really make someone’s day.

Julie said...

Great idea to deliver homemade goodies to the stores. Did you just take them to the register? Give them to a manager? I'd love to try this.

Rebecca said...

I love that book too! I think it would be so fun to attend some of the conferences that she speaks at. The book has been very helpful as I am learning how to host and entertain out of town guests.

You've been busy and so very thoughtful.


LynnMarie said...

I never thought of the pie idea - you are so cleaver. You're right, it is more work for the stores to deal with customers who have lots of coupons. Great service! Thanks for the idea.

Anonymous said...

Great opportunities for hospitality! I, too, am interested in the reactions of the stores where you took the pies. :) Love you, Mom

Katy said...

How wonderful Monica!!! I am so glad you were able to show your hospitality in these ways this week! :)

Amy said...

I am always inspired by your hospitality, Monica! I would love to hear what the stores thought because I think that is such a great idea. Working in retail is tough and I admire the people who can do it well!

I will have to add this book to my reading list!

Momala said...

I love that book! I've been wanting to show more hospitality too, but all I've done so far is to make our house open to all my teens friends.

Your pie idea is great!

Lee said...

Monica, this inspires me SO much. And your heart of service helps kindle so many fires. Thanks for that example.
Question. How do you get past the fear of having a not quite perfect home (not picked up) with three littles and still welcoming drop in friends? The anxiety of what my home looks like is almost dibilitating in the area of hospitality. And it honestly isn't dirty. There are just toys about. :)

Christi said...

Monica, what lovely hospitality ideas. I especially love the one about the apple pies. Very thoughtful!

Paula said...

Thank you for sharin these encouraging ideas. I need to get ahold of a copy of that book! :)

April said...

I love the pie idea, too! That is just so brilliant -- and thoughtful! Thanks for sharing your tips!

Anonymous said...

I think that is so neat that you made pies for the stores you frequent. When we were building our house, I would bake cookies for the hardware store where we were doing most of our business. Let me tell you, they were so appreciative and willing to help when we needed them.

Shan said...


What a blessing you are to others. And what an inspiration you are to me too! I am sure that those who received your hospitality felt so honored.

Love made visible!

Yours kindredly,
Honey Hill Farm

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

So YOU were the first place winner. (I won second place but I loved the book I won, too.)

Thanks for the review. I am always looking for such books as birthday and Christmas gifts for my daughter. She enjoys opening her home to have friends over as well as tea parties.

Just recently, she invited Sally Clarkson's two oldest kids (young adults) to spend the night when they were in the area.

I could learn a lot from her. :)

Sarah M said...

Wow. I would never even think of taking a pie to a store I frequent (even when I know the employees' names!). How thoughtful and I bet they appreciate it SO much! What a great idea.

Kelly @ The Barefoot Mama said...

I loved this beautiful post, Monica! The apple pie idea for the stores - that's simply the sweetest, most phenomenal thing. You rock, mama!

asnipofgoodness said...

Wow Monica, I am so proud of you!!! The pie idea is wonderful, and such a testimony!! I certainly do not have the gift of hospitality, but that certainly doesn't excuse me from practicing it. I am often irritated by employee rudeness, and to reward a store for their helpfullness is certainly more profitable!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Anonymous said...

I am so inspired by your ideas and actions! Thank you for these ideas to extend hospitality to those who need it! God Bless!


Anonymous said...

Great ideas Monica!! Would you do a book review for us and tell us maybe the 5 things that most spoke to you. I have this book and have so enjoyed it. Also i am doing a review for our ladies group. I love how she helps us understand its a heart matter :*)! I agree with edi about *The Hospitality Commands* book. He is right on and the book is small and a quick read--very well worth it.tammyp
ps-that was so very sweet of you to bring your friend a special treat because you were near the area. I am sure all were blessed by your love and yummys!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a special treat for the store employees. When I was making weekly trips to the hospital for tests, I used to take goodies for the people in the Admissions office. I did it simply because I saw how busy they were and to say thank you for their kindness. I was treated in return by getting to skip the line to complete my paperwork. Kindness goes a long way no matter what the situation.

Anonymous said...

This is such a very nice idea. I am sure that the employees were both surprised and delighted for this treat.
I would love to practice more hospitality. I know that it is something lacking in our society today.

Anonymous said...

Monica, you are awesome! Who else would think of apple-pie presents for the pharmacy? God has given you a true gift of hospitality---You are giving glory to Him by using your talents!

P.S. Will you come live next door to me?

*carrie* said...

You blow me away, Monica! You not only have wonderful ideas, you ACT on them. Good job. Thanks for sharing all the ways you're welcoming others into your life! Oh, no, another book I want to borrow . . . =)

Anonymous said...

WOW! You are such an encouragement! So often I think of things to do, but if I don't take the time then, I don't act on it. The other week, I did see some of the guys that my husband works with doing a project at our neighbors. Even though my hubby wasn't working w/ them, I decided to walk some fresh baked chocolate whoopie pies over to them. As I walked away, I heard the foreman call out to his crew, "Ok guys, who wants the first one!!!" :-) My honey got his snack when he got home from work, and was tickled that I thought of "his" guys!

Thanks again for your challenges!!


Jamie - Family Focused Fun said...

Monica - I am just amazed by the kindness you showed to the employees of those drugstores. What a sweet thing to do! My husband works in retail and believe me I am sure they appreciated such an unusual act of kindness and thankfulness.

debi said...

You are the kindest sweet woman ever.Thank you for the note today. God Bless you.

PolishMishka said...

You are very inspiring Monica! Blessing those we come in contact with IS a wonderful thing, often I think it is just as much as the one giving. I like to bake treats for my local firemen and police officers. A couple of times I have been having lunch in a sit-down resturant and police officers have come in. Right before I leave I will tell the waitress that I want to pay for their meal and request that she just tell them it has been covered. As I drove home the first time I did this, my heart raced and I realized with heaviness that Jesus paid MY bill... the intensity and thankfullness I felt was like nothing felt before in such a way. Helping others and blessing them in such small ways is an AWESOME witnessing tool.
I also attend a small country church and am president of the women's group... for the women of the church I try to make a little something for their birthday. This year I am doing cookies or small homemade treat that will fit into those hot cocoa mix canisters. I print alittle label with the name of the treat, list of ingredients and such and add my scrapbooking addiction craziness to it- it isn't much expense but the response blesses me and I think them also.
Blessing those around us is endless. Blessing those without them knowing the giver is even more exciting.

Michelle said...

Monica, I know that this is an old post, but I have recently read the same book, and I wanted to comment. You mentioned that you were led to ask about toiletries... if you remember, how do you ask about something like that without taking the chance that the people will feel offended? I occasionally want to offer things like extra pantry staples to a friend who is over, but I feel like they may be insulted... do you have any tips to share? Thanks! :)

Monica Wilkinson said...

Hi Michelle!

I'm so glad you had a chance to read this book! I love it! :)

Great question on how to ask - a couple of things I've done are just to set some things in a box or bag by my door. When a friend is over I might casually say, "There are some extra freebies over by the door - please feel free to take anything you can use."

Some of my friends are kind of used to it now and we almost laugh when they come over and I say, "Anyone need any toothpaste?"

Listen for opportunities - if someone mentions being on their way to the store - which is how my opportunity came up - it would be an easy way to say something.

Let the Lord guide you - if you have a nudging, go with it. You could say, "I hope you don't mind, but I have some extra things I was wondering if you could use."

One last thought - if the things are taking up too much space in your house (like they are sometimes for me) you could make it seem like they are doing you a favor (which they are!) by looking through some extra freebies you have.

Hope something here helps or sparks an idea that will work for you!