avatar

by Nina Nelson

Nina is a wellness coach, healer and author at Shalom Mama, where she helps families simplify wellness. She loves simplicity, natural remedies, Americanos and miniature horses. Nina and her husband live in central Oregon.

Simple table arrangement

On simple hospitality

Growing up, we always had people at our house. Whether it was family or school friends, my parents were quick to invite people over for a meal (my dad’s authentic Mexican cooking is legendary). But often, it went beyond filling bellies.

People kept coming back because my parents offered more than just delicious food – they offered love, acceptance and unbelievable generosity.

I saw them welcome guests into their home that they didn’t even know because their car broke down. They opened up rooms for people to stay in. Sometimes it was temporary, like when my cousin’s brothers-in-law from France decided to visit the U.S. and needed a place to stay. Sometimes it was on a more permanent basis for friends whose home situation wasn’t the best.

They’ve been modeling simple hospitality for as long as I can remember.

I shared a few months ago that the thing I loved about moving out of our bus was the many chances we’ve had for practicing hospitality. I wasn’t too keen on moving out in the first place and my hope was that our new house would at least give us opportunities to host guests in our home.

And it has. But not in the way I expected.

When we moved, I envisioned dinner parties, with guests talking in our cozy, well-decorated living room (I picked up The Nesting Place right before we moved and it may have inspired my daydreams) before enjoying a meal at our farmhouse table topped with a few perfectly pulled-off Pinterest projects.

I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen.

What has happened, though, has been even better (though I do have a vision of a fun dinner party for my birthday). Instead, we often find ourselves practicing hospitality in more simple, intimate ways that don’t end up on Instagram.

We’ve been following my parents’ model of just letting people know they’re welcome. Anytime.

Since we’ve moved in, we’ve sipped microbrews with friends and played countless games of Settlers of Catan. My dear neighbor drops in for coffee or tea a few times a week when my house is far from spotless. And we’ve filled some bellies, too, often with simple bowls of beans and rice topped with my dad’s homemade salsa.

What I’ve learned is that hospitality isn’t about the state of my home or complexity of my meals. It’s about showing people I love them in simple ways. With coffee. Or beer. Or by allowing them into my mess so they can see that perfection isn’t a prerequisite to being loved by our family – not for us, not for them.

It means welcoming people in, no matter what.

How do you practice simple hospitality?

Join the Conversation
3things

3 things I miss about our bus (plus one thing I don’t)

A few years ago, I pitched a crazy idea to my husband – what if we moved our family of six into an RV? His response was an emphatic NO! Thankfully, he’s used to my crazy ideas and eventually agreed to give it a try. You see, up until that time, we’d been on a (read more…)

Join the Conversation
budgeting

3 items I won’t cut from my budget

Have you ever made a decision you knew would change your life? Maybe you’re not sure how you know, but you know. This is big. Life will never be the same. A few years ago, my husband and I made one of those decisions. It was a simple one, yes, but the decision led us (read more…)

Join the Conversation
Come out of your shell

Come out of your shell

Being a painfully shy introvert has its bonuses. You get a lot of reading done. Sometimes, your quiet contemplativeness makes people think you’re mysterious and sexy. You never run out of themes for pity parties. But that’s about it. I’ve struggled with being shy most of my life. And did I mention that social awkwardness (read more…)

Join the Conversation
Four reasons to create everyday

Create every day

I‘m a fan of simple habits; daily actions that seem small but are an integral part of an intentional life. Things like doing dishes after a meal, taking an evening walk and creating something new and lovely. Oh, how I love creativity and the way it enriches my days. Because at one point, I didn’t (read more…)

Join the Conversation