Monday, October 19

All Because of an Invitation {Guest Post}

Good morning, friends! Today we are so excited to have a guest post from Sue Moore Donaldson. The three of us love hospitality, and Sue's post is such a great reminder on how even something as simple as an invitation truly matters. We're also giving away a copy of Sue's book this week so DON'T MISS OUT! Find out how you can enter below. Here's more from Sue:

“Would you like to come for Thanksgiving?” I asked Amie, a regular customer at our store.

The question hung in silence a little too long for my comfort—2 seconds or so. I rushed on, “We’re kinda loud. We play games. We have lots of food. Really, a lot of food….”

She smiled. “I’m a good cook.  Just made caramel salted brownies. I could bring caramel salted brownies.”

Well, well. My kids don’t like pie. I’ve tried, really. But brownies? Caramel salted?

“You’re in, Amie—you don’t even have to come—just leave the brownies on the porch!”

We laughed and said goodbye.

I didn’t know Amie’s last name or phone number. She didn’t know where we lived. All I knew was that Amie, recently divorced, wasn’t going to have her two little girls on Thanksgiving for the first time ever. And I didn’t want her to be alone.


The night before the big day, I got a text: “50/50 I’m coming.” My sister-in-law said, “Tell her to send the 50.”

The next morning, Amie made brownies and bravely faced our wild clan. Everyone loved her and loved on her. My artist brother gave her a painting. My poet brother gave her a book of poetry. My children fell in love with her brownies.
We're giving away a book! Details below

After the singing and sharing, she pulled me aside and quietly said, “This was the best Thanksgiving in my whole life.”

Really. I said she and her girls and her brownies were always welcome.

Two weeks later, she came to church. Three days later, she came to coffee. At the same table, minus the extra leaf, Amie grabbed my hand and said, “I’m ready,” and prayed to become God’s new child.

A new guest in God’s kingdom. All because of an invitation.

“Want to come for coffee?”
“Can you stop by this week?”
“Would you like to come to church? You can sit with us.”

God’s in the business of filling up all the seats around his table. Who do you know who could use an invitation?

Oswald Chambers wrote: “The questions in life are remarkably few and they are all answered by the words—‘Come unto Me.’” (My Utmost for His Highest, June 11)

Jesus says, “Come to Me” whenever we take the risk to invite another.

“Would you like to come over? We’re normal—well, you know, ordinary—but fun and I think you’d enjoy yourself. We’d love to have you join us. Yes, you can bring your kids and your mother and Aunt Jessie from New York. You don’t have to bring anything but you can if you want.”

Invite someone. The holidays are the perfect time. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be homemade. It’s doesn’t have to be planned in advance or pinned on Pinterest. There’s always room for more.

Maybe the next person you meet needs an invitation to your table. Maybe the next person they meet will be Jesus.

P.S. Amie and girls come most Sundays for chocolate chip pancakes. We look forward to our second Thanksgiving together this year.

Sue's a wife of one man-in-plaid and mom of three daughters--who keep her either at the bank or on her knees. She writes about God’s inviting heart at www.welcomeheart.com. Her book, Come to My Table: God's Hospitality and Yours includes stories, tips and recipes to help you get started inviting the world to your table. She speaks for women's conferences, MOPS, and retreats; series and event topics listed on welcomeheart.com. See and hear a bit of Sue here.



Sue has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her book, Come to My Table: God's Hospitality and Yours. To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is comment below and answer the question: Describe a time when you were on the receiving end of some heart-warming hospitality. The giveaway will end Sunday, Oct. 25 at 12 a.m. We'll announce a winner within a few days of the giveaway's close. We can't wait to hear from you!

15 comments :

  1. So well said -- thanks for taking the time to write it out! Reminds me to be hospitable wherever I am -- whether it's a smile at the store or letting someone in front of me in traffic. It's all good.... but thank you for living the example!

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  2. What a great idea for a book! You know, I have a neighbor who just gets hospitality. Every time I walk into her house, she makes me feel as if she had been waiting all day for me to stop by. So sweet.

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    1. Wow - what a great neighbor and friend! Thanks, Amy

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  3. I think of Thanksgiving as well, when I think of hospitality and being on the receiving end. There are many for me -- because I must just know some really loving people around me.

    My mother passed away just before Thanksgiving several years ago and I was on my own. Being single, and working all the time, I either get to share with people at their table, or I'm hanging out at home. I've had the blessing of being asked to come to a Mexican style Thanksgiving, and a couple times, a singles-style where we all brought things and the turkey was sort of Cajun style... and I've been folded into a large family gathering a few times as well. Only once have I been solo on Thanksgiving. What a joy it is to be remembered and included! It gives me a chance to make my favorite mashed potatoes to share (which I can't for my one self. hah!)! Or a chance to bring some pies I love! And to eat with people and talk and enjoy and laugh.... which again, as a single, doesn't happen hardly at all. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for people, and WITH people. It's my favorite. And like I said, I know some really lovely people! The Lord knows exactly what we need, and He sure does know how to provide it. Our part is to open our eyes and look around to see it. It's all around.

    One thing that Sue (your guest writer here on the blog today) taught me when I spent time with her in Papua New Guinea, was to take time to go over the day, or an event, and to re-live it and enjoy it. To be thankful for it, and to remember as much of it as possible, to imprint it in your memory. I still try to do that... not to rush from place to place or event, but to savor the moments and memories like delicious dessert. Thanks, Sue!

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  4. Beautiful, Sue. The invitation? Simply beautiful. Praising God for Amie's salvation. Thanking Him for your generosity. Visiting today via #tellHisstory.

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    1. Me, too - thanks, Kristi. Knowing her is a blessing, that's for sure.

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    2. Kristi, you were chosen to receive Sue's book!! Would you mind emailing us your contact infomartion at: theruthexperience@hotmail.com and we'll get your copy shipped out to you!

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  5. Sue,
    I love your post and it goes so well with what we're talking about in seminary about the practice of hospitality. Such an important and oft-neglected practice. I felt so welcomed by Karen at our first time at our church as she scheduled a time to have lunch with me and we've clicked and been friends ever since...years ago. I was going through a tough patch and her invitation and friendliness meant so much as we had also recently moved to the area. Blessings :-)

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    1. i know from experience I need to schedule hospitality or it can get lost in the shuffle. A sweet testimony, Dolly.

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  6. Your story brought tears. My husband ran into a young mechanic last week; the guy remembered him b/c we used to pick him and his siblings up for kids' club on Wednesday nights. He said he's in a church today because he went with us when he was 4 years old. We haven't seen him for 20 years. I had asked God that morning to give me a "boost" b/c I was discouraged. You said to give an example of when someone was hospitable to me - this is the first thing that came to my mind.

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    1. What a beautiful story - we don't always get to hear the results on this side of glory. So encouraging!!

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  7. Love everything about this! Want this book!

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    1. Thanks, Katie - it's been a labor of love that keeps on going. Head on over to welcomeheart.com if you like. My Bible study on hospitality comes out in two weeks. But more stories in this book. (:

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