Chocolate on Mondays Creating community Journal Kingdom Hospitality

Chocolate on Mondays: Imperfect Hospitality–A Work in Progress

April 10, 2016

Maybe you missed the early remodel photos. I don’t need a photo, I lived through it. I like to say, “We’ve been remodeling for   ____   years and we’re still married.”

People who’ve remodeled know what I’m talking about. All mercy.

As long as I could still have people over, and a dinner out once in awhile, I was okay. Well, mostly.

I don’t like being cold, and we didn’t have walls.

I don’t like drywall in my soup and we learned to eat it anyway.

I don’t like mice and many were born here–generations, I’m sure.

Here’s the Good News: I could always say, with confidence– “Sorry it’s a mess. It’s Mark’s fault.” I mean, “Sorry it’s a mess, we’re getting a new kitchen in a year or six.”

I don’t like housekeeping. It was a grand excuse to not do it. But there’s rarely an excuse not to invite a friend for tea.

Once I gave my Hospitality 101 workshop at a conference. Afterwards over lunch, I ended up seated next to a young mom. She said sweetly, “I didn’t sign up for your workshop because we are in the middle of a remodel.” I just smiled. She had no idea.

Here’s an early photo. Mark received great help from my wonderful brother-in-law, Roger. He actually is a contractor (vs. the Man-in-Plaid who is a wanna-be contractor–a very good wanna-be, mind you.)

This was our entry hall. Couldn’t blame me for not vacuuming.

imperfect hospitality


We had open-air hospitality that year. And if you could hold a hammer, you were invited to stay for dessert.


Imperfect hospitality


My whole life is a remodel-in-progress. I loved Pastor Jeff’s prayer:

Lord, what we are not, You will make us; what we do not have, You will provide.

Well, that’s a prayer and a half! I need to stencil it on my bedroom ceiling so I read it before getting out of bed. I need to keep my glasses by my bed.

God will do what we cannot. God will make us what we cannot be.

Gives hope, doesn’t it? And, peace on this imperfect earth. Hope and peace: God’s year-round Christmas gifts.

Next time you say the wrong thing or bark when you needed to wag, say:

I’m so sorry I hurt you. I’m in a remodel. I make things messy. But, someday I’ll be all finished. Please forgive me. I was wrong. I’m a work in progress by God’s grace.

I’ll pray this prayer with you:

“Lord, what I’m not (yet) You will make me; what I do not have, You will provide. Forever grateful, Amen.”

Try out some imperfect hospitality this week. Someone may meet Jesus at your table, hope and peace and mercy included. Don’t forget your free printable.

Imperfect hospitality


Linking often with these lovely bloggers–

The Art of HomeMaking Mondays Soul Survival LiveRandomlySimple  TestimonyTuesdays Me, Coffee, & Jesus,  CornerstoneConfessions, CoffeeandConversation,Purposeful Faith Intentional Tuesday Jennifer Dukes Holley Gerth KristinHillTaylor, SittingAmongFriends,Thought-Provoking Thursday Faith-Filled Friday Grace&Truth

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  • Reply Amy Jung April 11, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Your hospitality is inspiring!! I love that you’re challenging readers to welcome others in their space no matter how messy! I long to do this more and more as a Christian and a pastor’s wife. I’m always learning and growing in this area….

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      me, too, amy – and i don’t always thrive in the mess but trust God in spite of it all.

  • Reply Bon April 11, 2016 at 10:15 am

    On Spot….yet again!!!

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      thanks, friend

  • Reply Shawna April 11, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    It’s not important how perfect your home is;it’s about feeling welcome. I am up for the challenge!

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      yea! let me know what happens! thanks, shawna.

  • Reply Adrienne Terrebonne April 12, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I love this! And I love the quote about God making us what we are not. As a mom to three children, I’ve had to make a decision that I will open up my house to others, even when it’s a mess. Even when life is a mess. Thanks for sharing. #raralinkup

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      you’re so welcome and i love your intentionality! it’s good for your kids, too, as you know.

  • Reply debwilson2 April 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Sue, we went through a remodel a couple of years ago. I feel your pain! I love how you applied it to our lives. I often say we are all in process. Maybe I’ll start saying I’m in the middle of a remodel!

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      i think i will, too –not sure what mark will think! haha- thanks, deb!

  • Reply Lisa Appelo April 12, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Love this! Especially bc I’ve been in an excuse making season. And that prayer. 😍 Yes, I need that framed and on my walls as well. So, so happy to be visiting from #IntentionalTuesday.

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      hmm i think i can be in that season all year long – thanks for coming by, lisa – i’ll try not to make any more excuses today,anyway!

  • Reply Anna Smit April 12, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Love this! Oh yes: “I’m so sorry I hurt you. I’m in a remodel. I make things messy. But, someday I’ll be all finished. Please forgive me. I was wrong. I’m a work in progress by God’s grace.” That’s me: definitely in progress and a mess-maker: so thankful for God’s mighty grace! I’m also slowly learning to work with what God’s given me and expecting Him to enter with the help needed to follow His calling, instead of backing out and sinking into a demoralized heap! So, loved your encouragement here. My first time at Testimony Tuesday: so glad to be your neighbor!

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      thanks, anna – i hate being a demoralized heap. been there often enough. be encouraged and let me know how it goes.

  • Reply MaryHill April 12, 2016 at 11:36 am

    We are still going through the remodel period. It has been going on 10 plus years, but our remodeling looks nothing like yours. Good luck in getting everything in order.

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      well, thankfully it doesn’t look like these pictures anymore – it was a challenge. God gave grace and patience and now it makes for mostly great stories…haha Of course, now I want to redo the old rooms upstairs. not sure when that will happen…

  • Reply hopeful50 April 13, 2016 at 6:30 am

    We’re not neighbors today at Holly’s but I saw your sweet face and decided to swing over for a cuppa – so glad I did. You must read my post today. Aside from the advertisement and promo….I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH. We aren’t remodeling now but I so related to this, “we’re getting a new kitchen in a year or 6.” Ours was a year or 12. ;) I like you, Sue, you are a kindred soul. xo

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      ours was more like 10 …no back splash. i gues back splash is overrated..xx

  • Reply Anita Ojeda April 13, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Yes! I have a hard time remembering this–especially when it’s my life that’s being remodeled!

    • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      amen, anita. have a lovely evening.

  • Reply Dawn Boyer April 17, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    This made me smile today. I really enjoyed it. I have never embraced hospitality because my house just didn’t seem like a place to entertain. The reality is… I am not a good housekeeper, but I am a good cook and I love to do that for people. I don’t have a nice house, but it feels like a home and people feel welcome here. I don’t have a lot of fancy things, but what I have is His so it should be used for His glory. Once i got this… once I really got this, opening my home took a new perspective. The real meaning of hospitality lodged itself in my heart and I so enjoy having people over for tea and coffee and something yummy, as long as they don’t mind the chaos and clutter that tend to be a part of our fully lived in home. :)


  • Reply Sue April 17, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    sounds like to me, dawn, that you have embraced hospitality – and now you just get a little bit confirmation that you have! send me a recipe – i love to cook and eat but i’m not fancy. I’m a piler – so much clutter. sigh. blessings back!

  • Reply Jennifer @ A Divine Encounter April 18, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Hospitality doesn’t come naturally to me, due to my introverted tendencies. Thankfully, my husband is an extrovert through-and-through, and by God’s grace, I have learned to embrace the way he strengthens my weaknesses in this area and others. Thank you for your transparency and openness, and for sharing this with us at Grace & Truth!

    • Reply Sue April 18, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      so amazing how God puts opposites together for His sake and for ours. mark always just wants one family at a time, and i say, hey, i cleaned and cooked, let’s do a crowd! but as I wrote in my book, he’s usually right – that we get deeper and closer when we have fewer at a time. but I get the holidays – the more the merrier and he’s great at accommodating my extroversion. God bless us every one!

    I do talk to myself (a lot) — but I’d love to hear what you might have to say HERE: