the truth about hospitality

When I sit down and think about my passions, one of the things that pops up at the top of the list is hospitality. I am passionate about home. Not my home. But home, in general. I’m passionate about serving and creating and loving.

I even got my masters degree in hospitality management. It’s true.

I love cooking. I love hosting. I love the sound of people in my home as they laugh and share stories and connect.

More than hospitality, though, I am passionate about community. It’s why I invite people into our home. It’s why I share my stories here and open myself up. Because I want you all to do the same thing. I want you to find that community and share those stories and connect.

But here’s the truth about my journey with hospitality.

When we lived in our old bungalow, I was too hung up on the cramped layout of our home and our home’s imperfections and our home’s smallness to invite. I made excuses and said that the kitchen was too small and was too far from the family room. In five years, we only hosted people four or five times.

It took not having the opportunity to show hospitality that gave me the courage and the full-on passion to invite and open the doors. For 13 months, I missed the freedom to host. I wanted so badly to invite friends over to play or for dinner. And it was in those long months that I realized the truth about hospitality.

It’s not about having the perfect home or the big kitchen or the best layout for entertaining. It’s about those relationships and community. It’s about opening my heart and getting real with people, and giving them a place to get real, too.

I love beautiful things and we did spend a year building our house. I’m sure it seems easy for me to say, now, that hospitality is easy. But it’s not easy because of this house. It’s easy because I love our friends. I love sitting next to a friend on the couch with our feet on the furniture and sipping coffee and sharing insecurities and triumphs.

I would invite you all over to do that very thing today if I could!

In the next few weeks, I hope to share pieces of our home with you. In my eyes, it’s not perfect and it’s not finished. But it’s not about perfection or completion. We live here and we host friends here and this home is a place for us to love each other and open the doors for friends and family.

My dogs have scratched the floor. They shed. My boys drive their toy cars on the walls and there are already little marks there. We’ve splattered red sauce on the counter tops. We live here fully and want others to feel like they can, too, when they visit.

What I need is community. I need the freedom and the grace to be authentic. So hospitality, to me, is giving others the invitation to do the same.

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  1. says

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I struggle so much with hospitality although it’s something I long for. To be invited to other people’s homes, & to invite to mine. To be in community. I just don’t know how, I’m not a great cook, I’m not a great hostess, so why is my heart so heavy when I look ahead to yet another Easter weekend where we’ll see nobody apart from my parents, who I see every day anyway. When we lived at our old house it was too small & in a not so nice area I made excuses. Now we live in a nicer area of town & extended our home, we really have no excuses left. I just don’t know where to start & with who. Any help & advice gratefully received! Xx Lizzie UK

    • says

      Hey Lizzie 🙂 Try not to overthink it. Just extend an invitation for coffee to someone in passing. Don’t go overboard preparing food. Just invite someone over for the company and enjoy opening up with a friend. I hope you have a happy Easter! My dad can’t join us for Easter this year and my mom is here, my in laws will be here and we see them often, but having family here is worth celebrating. Try to embrace the smallness and intimacy of the celebration and enjoy the freedom to be yourself in your home. 🙂

  2. Katie B. says

    This is such a great post of encouragement. I love to host people, but make similar excuses about my apartment. Oh it’s too small, or I don’t have the right furniture, or I need to get a new couch. But when you open your doors (and give people food), people are too busy experiencing the company to notice the imperfections. Thanks for this today!

    • says

      Hey friend. I understand that feeling and have been there. But I promise that people just want to be with you and want to be with you because they can be themselves. Your heart and your sweetness are exactly why they want to be around you. 🙂

  3. Courtney says

    Love this! And so excited to see your house. Please don’t feel like it needs to be perfect. We all do that, and the pressure is unnecessary. We just REALLY want to see your pretty home, because you have excellent taste, my dear 🙂 We just moved into our new home at the end of January, and i can’t believe all our hardwood scratches already. And is your golden shedding like CRAZY like mine is? I mean, I can dustbust in the morning and have to vacuum within a few hours. But, we still love her anyway. In any case, we really appreciate you inviting us into your beautiful and inviting home! Can’t wait, Erin! And Happy Easter!

    • says

      Thank you, Courtney 🙂 and yes! Boudreaux has been shedding so bad. The crazy weather hasn’t helped. We have kept him cut short the past few months just to help him with the shedding. Happy Easter to you, too!

  4. April says

    I would love to see your home! I’ve enjoyed getting glimpses here and there that you post but would love to see it because it may give me ideas for our future (built) home.

  5. says

    I so feel you on this. My biggest hang up is what to feed my guests. Well, that and my perfectionism. I want everything to be perfect from start to finish, and I end up frazzled and stressed. I need to learn to relax, because I really do love having people over.

  6. Ann says

    This post really spoke to my heart! I struggle with inviting people to our home. I always think something isn’t good enough. We are in the midst of painting, new flooring and new carpet. We have a lot of family that live out of state, so we get visitors whether we like it or not! I have learned (and it’s still not easy to remember), that they really don’t look at the state of your house. If they are true friends and/or family they just want your company. I have to constantly remind my self to just enjoy! And not worry so much!

  7. says

    I love this so much! Mainly because I was in the same position before we moved. The house was small and the layout, choppy. But in this house, I feel like we really live and host and offer hospitality to friends and family. And things aren’t perfect, but I don’t think anyone feels like they need to walk on eggshells, and that’s what I love.
    I can’t wait to see more of your house!

  8. Amanda says

    Erin – I love everything about this post. I am the girl in bungalow who is scared to have people over because it is small and I do not have true dinning area. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. says

    I love you…and your house…and all the imperfections that come with boys and fur babies. My favorite thing about your home? As soon as you walk in you feel warm, you feel loved, and most importantly you can tell that Jesus is the center of your home and your lives. Love your heart dear friend…

  10. says

    Yes! I love this whole post.

    We moved into a new house last month, and nothing makes me happier than having people over. It’s made for some exhausting Mondays after hosting friends & family all weekend, but it’s so worth it. You know if you’re pulling out the folding camping chairs (because the couches and armchairs are full of people!) that it’s a good time.

  11. says

    This post is full of truths, my friend. You inspire me to strive less for perfection and more for filling my life with the things I’m most passionate about. Now, if only I could come over and sit on your couch with you. Love you!

  12. says

    I completely struggle with this as well. For some reason most of our friends have much higher incomes than us so it feels weird to invite them to our house when the comforts of their home seem so much nicer (it seems weirder now with kids, bc I just imagine their children totally bored here – not that my children don’t have toys). But I realize it’s more about the feeling you have when you are in a home than the items. I just need help creating that feeling. I look forward to seeing your beautiful new home!

  13. says

    The gift of hospitality is a wonderful thing! You already show us that by sharing with everyone on this blog. Can’t wait to see pictures of your home – I’m sure it’s beautiful. Have a wonderful Easter weekend 🙂

  14. says

    Erin, Erin, Erin. I’m so excited that you’re going to show us some photos of your gorgeous home! I can so relate to the feelings of “my home isn’t perfect so I can’t share it” thing. We lived in a tiny bungalow and I was miserable with how small it was so we did everything we could to move. We put all our resources into the home we have now, which is a beautiful home! But to be honest, when I started seeing a few photos of your home I was like – No, she has my dream home! Seriously, how ridiculous am I?! The truth is, I think the grass is always greener. I’m sitting here like her house is perfect and you’re sitting there thinking no it’s not. Story of life, man.

    I finally realized that our house is my dream house and I can certainly turn it into whatever style I want since we own it! In fact, although it’s brand new and the kitchen cabinets are beautiful I plan on painting them white soon because it is much more my style. I say rock what you’ve got, girl. Everyone is going to love it!

  15. Barbara says

    Erin this is a great post. I wish I had some friends or even a friend to come over and visit and talk and have tea with. I love to cook and bake and love to do themes things.Your friends are blessed to have you for a friend. Next month my husband and I are coming to Columbia this is our first visit to Columbia and we are looking forward to it.
    Happy Easter!!!

  16. Linda Rocco says

    Good morning! Great post…so you regret not hosting in your first house?…

    We live in a 3 bedroom ranch with a 3 car detached garage nice size kitchen

    My house to entertain and would like more living space however that will be our next house when hubby retires and we will relocate down south somewhere ! Just not too sure but somewhere where it does not SNOW!,, lol

    We have an open door policy all are welcome no matter what time it is,my Aunt taught me that and husband too.

    My house will never be big enough for my size family brothers/sisters and all my nieces n nephews that’s 40 peeps right there so we have slot of Summer party’s .

    But we love what we have because it’s ours and we make a great home together with our children

    The more the Merrier!!!!

  17. Alison says

    I needed to read this today. We are contemplating when we want to put this house up for sale and begin the building process and I am so completely burdened by the thought of things being “perfect” that I can’t move forward to make any progress. And, I’m missing the comfortableness that I share with friends and family that aren’t just around the corner any more that we had an open door policy into each other’s homes and things didn’t have to be just so to welcome each other in.

  18. says


    What job or jobs were you able to get with a hospitality management degree? I graduated last June with a bachelors degree in hospitality management and can’t find any jobs. Just wanted to know you thoughts & advice! Thanks 🙂

  19. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! My husband and I are hosting a couple for a month and there have been times when I feel overwhelmed. Lovely blog!

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