About the Author

Ann Swindell is passionate about equipping other women to share their stories beautifully and powerfully through Writing with Grace, where she teaches Christ-centered writing courses. She is the author of Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want.

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  1. Thank you for sharing! I often struggle with “small home hosting syndrome” as well. I find it really encouraging to know that I’m not alone, and to remember God can work big things anywhere…even in small spaces!

    • Mary, yes–it’s so good to know that many of us are in the same place and that God can use anything we offer to him, no matter the size. Grace to you!

  2. I love it, Ann! I’m a pastor’s wife too, and our home overseas also has a small kitchen with little counter space. I know the scenarios you’re talking about. I love hosting big groups, now that I learned not to let a little chaos and a big lack of perfection stop me.

    • Betsy, I love that–“a little chaos and a big lack of perfection.” So true! God is often in that chaos, I think. 🙂 Thanks for loving Jesus and serving him while you are overseas!

  3. Thank you for this beautiful message of God’s goodness even in tight spaces. We recently downsized from our 1800 sq ft bungalow to a 1950’s “fixer-upper” that my husband and I inherited from his parents. I struggle with no longer having the big rooms to accomodate my Bible study groups but I can see how God is using this quaint little house to show me “great and wonderful things that I never knew”.

    • That’s so wonderful, Brenda. God often surprises me by showing up in unexpected places. May that fixer-upper be a place where you meet him deeply and richly!

  4. Ann, thank you. This is a flesh issue I struggle with all the time. My excuse of not having “enough” space or the finest of things stops me dead in my track of what God has called me to do. It really needs to stop, thank you for sharing, Gods really called me out through you today.

  5. So true! I have been involved in home groups at our church since the 80’s and hands-down, the coziest, most memorable meetings are in smaller spaces. It’s always good to have it feel clean (not neat necessarily), and have pets away so allergies and dogs jumping on everyone aren’t an issue, but I would take a happy small space over a big one any day.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love that you were able to focus on true hospitality after you released the fear of not enough space. We have a tiny galley kitchen and smaller home as well but I’ve been feeling the nudge from God to “use what you have…use this house I’ve given you.” I’ve started to and it’s been amazingly refreshing.

    Thanks for this reminder!

  7. I LOVE this post…mainly because I can relate so much to it. I always felt so self-conscious about our home…if we didn’t have enough seating. But I remember going to another friend’s house…a smaller house than ours…and sitting on the floor or the stairs or a bean bag…and I didn’t care at all! That’s when God reminded me to give myself a little of the grace I give others…and it has made all the difference!

  8. Good for you, Ann. So glad you didn’t let people’s impressions or “keeping up with the Jones” sway you from just loving on people. I’m sure people will remember the love way longer than they will remember the small space. 🙂 Beautiful article!

  9. Ann,

    Glad you were able to get over what people think. It is far more important to have hospitality no matter the size than to worry about stuff.

    I am not very hospitable when it comes to my house–my hubby is an introvert and we don’t live close to our church or much of anything. I am always looking for ways to help someone. If I hear of a need or even a small situation then I want to help in some way. Love sending cards, e-cards, e-mails, or preparing meals for friends or family! I believe hospitality is important as it can encourage that person!

  10. Ann, I loved this post so much! I have a very small house, too – and it takes a LOT of intentional gratitude for me to remain content here, especially when it comes to having people over. I love entertaining and it’s so hard in a tiny space! And yet…in the 11 years we’ve been “stuck” here, we’ve managed to have all sorts and sizes of parties and gatherings. Funny how that works. 🙂

  11. I rent a small space and keep thinking about my next place, the bigger space to come – how then it’ll be the right time for all the good ministry to happen. Sheesh. This read is the good kind of kick in the pants. Thanks for it.

  12. I’m reading this at JUST the right time, as I get ready to host my grandsons first birthday. And those nagging thoughts of “too small” or “not enough” keep creeping in. Squashing them today for good.

  13. So proud of you, Ann!–both for being here at (in)Courage and for opening up your home to others. Both are acts of bravery and a gift of yourself to others. You’re the best!