About the Author

Now graduated from her role as a homeschooling mom of 8, Dawn Camp devotes her time and love of stories to writing her first novel. She enjoys movie nights, cups of Earl Grey, and cheering on the Braves. She and her husband navigate an ever-emptying nest in the Atlanta suburbs.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


    • Charina, you should totally sign up to host! With it being this close, everyone will know if they’re available then. It looks to me like a lot of new meetups have been added lately.

  1. Ah yes, how I can relate! I don’t often play hostess, because I feel inadequate. A friend of mine wisely counselled: your friends aren’t going to remember if your house was tidy, or if the food was amazing, they are going to remember how they felt. Did they feel loved and appreciated?

    • I almost never notice if people’s houses are messy, and if I do, it just makes me feel better and realize that I’m not the only one who can’t do it all. 🙂

  2. Oh the wonderful timing of this post — I will be hosting three teenage girls the next two days (they’re coming to Beijing for Youth Camp this weekend, very big in their world) and need a place to stay until it starts. Could they stay with me? Yes, but I don’t have the gift of hospitality. However, not having the gift doesn’t mean I can’t do something! I am reminding myself that I have enough (!) (time, energy, hosting skills, patience with the cluter). 🙂 (When is enough, enough? http://wp.me/p1Ut5W-bf)

    • Amy, those girls will surely remember your hospitality for years to come. What a unique hostessing opportunity you’ve been given!

  3. Dawn..thank you for such a genuine post! I was hoping there would be a bit more information/ideas/suggestions for hosts of the (in) rl Meetup. I looked on the “host” tab..but there were not many ideas..perhaps I am missing were to connect? I was hoping other hosts would be posting their ideas, plans, etc? Thank you so much!!

    • Cindy, did you see this? http://inrl.us/downloads/Hosting_Ideas.pdf
      It helped give me some ideas. I love those questions and the idea of putting together a Facebook group for your meetup. 🙂

  4. Man, oh, man. Isn’t that the truth!

    I am looking at this post in a slightly different way.

    I am 36 weeks pregnant and being an overly clean/tidy person to begin with, I’ve been bit by the “nesting bug.” Bad.

    I need to remember and focus that when I become the “host” of a new baby in a few weeks, that my newborn son is simply not going to decide to whip up an omlete, see that the silverware drawer is sprinkled with crumbs and think less of me as a mother.

    It’s just NOT going to happen!

    I need to focus on “hosting” him in my womb instead with rest (when I can — haha), water, healthy eating, and connecting with my husband and son.


  5. You sound just like me! I am always reluctant to hostess anything, I’m worried about all my shortcomings, etc. Once things are underway, it is fabulous…

    • Lisa, that’s exactly how it is for me. If you’re not hosting an (in)RL event, maybe it would be fun to go to someone else’s and make her feel better and help her out. 🙂

  6. I haven’t ever hosted anything, partly due to the room & now due to living rurally away from most people.

    No one in this world–those that matter–care if you’re perfectly put together with immaculate house. I’m lucky to keep my house swept, dusted & clean for a few days & that’s without kids. Just be like Christ and invite friends over–if you want have everyone bring some dish to share & enjoy–that way you’re not doing ALL the cooking & having tons of fun with friends & family!

  7. This had me really laughing. Dawn, you described exactly what I do so often when hosting. Once I had someone come out of my bathroom worried because the toilet seat was wet…it was because I had just cleaned it. (groan)

  8. Hola Dawn,
    I slowly became unstressed about hosting. I taught all age Bible classes at church. Taught in a public school, and summers I worked with patients in nursing and a Lab Technologist. What helped the most was home schooling my own children. Then, I got sick (for a long, long time). Even though it’s still a thrill (in my mind), I wonder if it’s like bike riding (u never 4 get)..although, I never learned how to ride a bike 😉 …I went straight to driving a car. I’ll be watching from home, by myself. I think I just may be a perfectionist (all or nothing) kind of woman. I’m in the midst of organizing my empty nest and a bunch of other goals that I’m trying to reach. Pray for me. Thanks and God bless you.

    • Sandy, I’ll be praying for you to feel a part of it all – even if you’re at home alone. I’m hosting at our church …my empty nest recently got invaded by a daughter/son-in-law and 4 grandkids!
      Healing, rest, renewal and restoration be yours –
      Grace and peace…

  9. I gotta be honest I am not hosting, I don’t know anyone at the event I’m attending and I am going a bit out of my comfort zone. I am so much more a 1 on 1 person and there are 30 + other women attending.

    Excited and uncomfortable all at the same time,

  10. I felt the same way at that stage in life…until I learned the difference between the “gift of hospitality” and “entertaining”. I was actually living in GA at the time (loving all that Southern Hospitality!!) when I learned that “entertaining” was a “come into my house, see all that I have, and participate in my event” and “sharing the gift of hospitality” was a “come into my home, put your feet up on my couch, take a nap, or make my kitchen yours” time to be shared.
    Since I had 3 kids, 3 years in a row, my house was not always clean. It WAS always cluttered. I used to joke that you could come into my kitchen and eat off my floor most any day of the week!! Not that it was THAT clean, but you could usually find enough food on the floor to put a small meal together. 🙂
    Once I was able to get over my fear of being judged by my peers (not fancy enough, clean enough, or not *something* enough house), I WAS able to relax, and let God open my home to be used by Him for hospitality.
    Now I AM hosting an (in)RL event, but doing it at church instead of my home! I know a few of the women that have RSVP’d, but not all of them. It will be challenging to make the room feel like home, but I’m not going to worry about it! I’ll bring several of my DaySpring and Blessings Unlimited items from home, and I’ve got some great give-aways (and who doesn’t love give-aways!!). I’ll bring food, and ask ladies to bring something along if they’d like to share. Mi casa es su casa!! In God’s house, we’ll ALL feel at home!! 🙂

  11. Thank you for ‘Confessions of a hesitant host’. That sounds just so much like me. I often compare myself with those with immaculate homes and the way the are so organized and wish I was blessed like that too. Your thoughts were very encouraging. I would love to join in with in(RL) as I have been so blessed by in(courage) but in Australia we are a day ahead of you, by the clock that is, and so your 28th is actually the 29th here in Australia and we are meeting at the aiprort 2 American gals we met on a trip in China 2 yrs ago. So I haven’t signed up. I do hope that there will be some sharing of this day in posts in the future. This is such a neat thing to do and am so disappointed that I will miss it. Will be there in spirit though.

  12. Thank You so much for sharing your heart . Like so many others have said….this sounds just like me! I have a Love/Hate relationship with hosting and having parties. I really do love having people over but…I want everything to be perfect and I want everyone to LOVE everything and think I have it all together. Truth is my house is always messy and if you ever stop by unannounced I will 9 times out of 10 meet you at the front door (if I answer the door at all) because I won’t let anyone see my house in it’s normal state. Why? There have been those few people that I did let in and they made comments about my messy home. I felt judged and I felt like a failure. My grandmother always said ” A Godly home is a clean home”. I envy those women that always have a clean and organized home and have tried so hard to be like them, but it’s not me….it’s not who God created me to be. I am working so hard on getting over this pressure that I feel and hope that God can help me stop obsessing about having a perfect house and start focusing on furthering His Kingdom.