The Orange Slate

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Interviews

Conversations About Hospitality – with Amy

January 19, 2015

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On Monday mornings around here, we talk about issues near and dear to our hearts. This month and next, we are chatting about hospitality. Grab a cup of coffee and join in the conversation!

Today, my lovely friend Amy agreed to chat with me. Amy is a wonderful hostess who pours her heart into events, whether it’s dinner with another couple, small group at her house, or an elaborately planned bachelorette party. She’s a classic extrovert (the opposite of me!) and watching the energy and excitement with which she plans is inspiring. (She also has two of the cutest twin girls EVER.) I was so excited when she agreed to answer these questions.

What is your favorite event to host?

I really love hosting life event parties like baby showers and wedding showers.  Celebrating with others over blessings that God has given them encourages me personally and spiritually.  Watching God work in people’s lives and throwing a party to celebrate that makes me beyond happy!

What is the most ambitious event you’ve ever hosted?

My sister’s wedding shower, which was out of town (4 hours away).  My sister and I are only 18 months apart and very close.  Throwing her a shower was important for me, not because she and I are close in age, but because I am inspired by her and wanted to show off her diligence to God’s will.  She waited until she was in her 30’s to marry and was happy with her singleness and where God had her.  I wanted to invite all her friends and throw a “perfect” shower to celebrate her faithfulness and uniqueness.

What was your favorite event to host? 

My sister’s shower was the most special to me but a baby shower I hosted for a single female friend of mine had the most impact on me.

What is your go-to dish for a crowd?

Spinach dip!  I’m a big fan of dips and I think finger food is always the easiest for guests.  

What was your biggest hosting mistake?

For my sister’s shower I recorded a video of her now husband answering questions for a game and we could not for the life of us get the video to play on the TV.  So when it came to the game I had to play the video on my phone, which could not really be heard by a room of people.  It was a flop as the video was meant to be a hilarious icebreaker to set the tone.  OOPS!

Why are you motivated to host? 

I truly believe my spiritual gift is hospitality.  God gave me an outgoing personality and a deep care and compassion for others and their needs. Getting the chance to celebrate with others in the ways God has blessed them (babies, weddings, etc.) brings me more joy and excitement than anyone would think.  I get to see first hand how God is at work.

Any fun hosting plans for 2015? 

I will soon have my twins’ 6th birthday (in April) to plan! Children’s parties at this age are so fun. I like to keep my schedule open so that I can celebrate any occasion with friends and family as things arise – we always have things to celebrate.

Any tips for those who would like to host more in 2015?

Those who host often get excited over the details, the food, the decorations, their house’s cleanliness, etc.  I do, of course, worry about those things as I don’t want to poison anyone or have an unsanitary home.  Sometimes, though, I am so busy running around making sure people have drinks or food that by the end of the event I realize I didn’t have one meaningful conversation.

There are always people and things to celebrate, even small things need to be recognized and celebrated!  Find others, even people you don’t know well, and take the initiative – throw them a party to celebrate blessings.  Keep the food simple so you can spend the time talking and engaging with the guests.  When guests arrive, make sure things are set up so that you’re not running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  

In summary, find any reason to celebrate, keep the food simple so you are not chronically checking on it, and, above all, make sure to spend the time at the event connecting with others!

Thanks, Amy!

Don’t forget to check out the first conversation in this series with Kathy.

If you need some extra encouragement or inspiration as you entertain others, check out one of the sweetest food memoirs I’ve ever read, Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage.

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