About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. Jennifer,
    The Girlfriend Gathering sounds like fun 🙂 Thank you and (in)courage for all the special things you do to build community! A mentor of mine when I was younger impressed upon me the difference between “entertaining” and “hospitality”. Entertaining is when you get stressed out wanting everything to be perfect and the emphasis is on you and how lovely your home is and how beautiful the food looks that you prepared. Hospitality switches the focus to your guest(s) and it offers a listening ear as to how they are and what’s going on in their lives. It’s a Me to You tradeoff. I’ve always tried to keep that in mind when I think I can’t have someone over because you can write your initials in the dust on my coffee table lol. Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Ugh! I’m an anxious person in general. Having company over. Going on vacations. I’ve seriously tried to let go. Better start “letting” God.

  3. well, i’ve just started a Pintrest board “friends” and i’m not sure how to work it so if you could help by posting on my board i’d appreciate it

  4. You are so right, Jennifer. Almost all of our house guests won’t even notice a bit of dust, smudges on the walls, or crumbs on the counter. Countless times over the years I’ve been in homes where the hostess will apologize for the condition of something in her home. Most of the time I haven’t even noticed. And If I had, it didn’t matter. We all LIVE in our homes. They are not museums! Nevertheless, I have stressed myself about cleaning for company and wanting everything just right. Truth is, that kind of attitude just fuels my pride. I need to fight against that! Thank you for the worthwhile reminders, Jennifer.

    • How’s the piano playing (note clunking) coming, Nancy?
      Thinking of you when I do make time to play 🙂

      • Bev, you are so kind to ask. The most I’ve played are a few nursery tunes for our two year old granddaughter. Every time I pass by the piano I think, Get out the music. Get on those keys. Part of my problem is the house we now live in, with an open floor plan. Most of the time I love the spaciousness, but it does mean I can’t play the piano without causing disturbance. (Our previous homes had separate living rooms and family rooms.) So glad you are making time to play!

    • Yes… I have heard people apologize for things I would have never noticed! You are right, we are not visiting a friend the same way we would visit a museum! Love it, Nancy!

  5. Jennifer, I’ve had times where I’ve struggled with the “need” to impress with my home, the food I serve. Early in my marriage, a sweet older woman shared that we should practice hospitality, regardless of how our homes look. People will remember how they were treated, not how nice the digs were.

    I loved this line: What matters most is to welcome friends into my home and love them where I am.

    May that be what I do every day. Thanks for sharing this.

    And, I’m praying about the Girlfriend Gathering. What a super idea!

  6. I wish more people would invite others over. I don’t look at how clean or “perfect” the house is–I enjoy the company! Good food and friends is what I aim for!

  7. I planned a girlfriend gathering just over a month ago. No one came. Everyone said it was a great idea. I got a babysitter for my kids got some snacks. It was a gathering of sisters in Christ. Again no one came. That was followed by the embarrassment of everyone asking how it went. I am still trying to process the whole thing.

  8. I have recently begun having a Friendship Breakfast every 4-6 weeks on Saturday mornings. Just a few of my friends here, some yummy breakfast food we all help supply, pretty flowers on the table, and fun as well as serious conversation. We always end with sharing prayer requests and a time of prayer. I was trying to decide on the date or our next breakfast when I came upon this post. It will be April 25! 🙂