Recently a friend challenged me to include more of my home in my blog and social media. I thought about it. At first I thought Does anyone care? Is this too look-at-me? But her sincere enthusiasm made me think further. I love being in people’s homes. I love seeing the spaces where my favorite people live. Even this morning I was at a friend’s home and was inspired by a neat fall decoration she put together. It was simple and I loved it. I took a picture so I could do a similar thing in my home.
Often the value and role of hospitality is handed off to those we feel are more qualified. Hospitality is not natural for me. Over many years I studied how others welcomed guests into their home—what worked, what didn’t. In whose homes did I feel “at home” and in whose homes would I have done anything for one more cup of coffee, which was never offered.
All the above thoughts have brought me to this point—My goal will be to once a week or so do a blog of pictures of what you would see if you were a guest in my home that week. It will not an all-about-me post. I want to show you how easy it is to make your home comfortable and welcoming to your guests. When you feel more at ease with your home, you are more likely to have people in your home. Currently, I’m reading through the book of Mark. I’m struck by how often I see the phrase, “when He was in the house”, “when He had come into the house”, etc. Jesus spent much of His life and ministry in people’s homes. Our homes are where the important parts of life happen. I want to help you open your door and your arms wide and say, “Welcome, come on in!” to others who need your love.
Here we go. . .This is the first blog in the series, “If there’s one thing I learned about hospitality. . .”
I love fall and having my home look welcoming. However, I don’t have lots of talent, money or time to decorate. Here are a couple of easy, inexpensive things I’ve done to give our home a “fall feel.”
The above picture is a little wooden bowl of pinecones I collected in our yard this weekend. I brought them in the house and put them in a warm oven to release their aroma and make the house smell good. But when I took them out they had turned this shiny, rich brown color. Kelsey said, “Mom, you could decorate with those.” So I put them in the little wooden bowl. How easy is that? If you have fresh pinecones, put them on a wax paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheet in the oven at 250o for about 20 minutes. Careful they don’t start smoking. They open up and the sap will coat them to make a beautiful shine.
The picture below is on my dining room table. Gene and I had quite the adventure finding the wood slice it sits on. He found an ad for several wood slices for $20. We drove on what seemed a wild goose chase for about an hour. Finally the pieces of the puzzle came together and we found the house. I bought the pumpkins at a nearby produce stand. Super simple, but it gives a feel of fall. It is the perfect centerpiece as I often use the dining room table as a serving table.
This basket of pumpkins, again, is super easy. Wire baskets are popular right now. Hobby Lobby has a nice selection. I found this at Home Goods. Can you tell I love pumpkins! Two of these are fake and make a nice filler. This basket sets on the coffee table in the living room where we do most of our hanging out with friends and family.
Finally, this little arrangement is on the kitchen table. Yes, it’s another wood slice from our adventure. The pumpkins came from the nearby produce stand and the gourds actually grew in my garden. In the background you can see a tiny piece of our fall tree (yes, it’s a thing!). It’s an artificial 3-foot pine tree that I put lights and leaves on for fall. The lights give a warm glow at night. After Thanksgiving it becomes a Christmas tree. After Christmas, it becomes a winter tree (stay tuned for pictures in seasons to come!).
Pretty simple, huh? I told you I don’t have much talent, time, or money. But these simple decorations make the house feel homey and cozy. It’s one way to help people feel welcome and loved.
I’d love to see pics of your fall decorations. Email them to me (Brenda@brendagarrison.com) and I will share them here.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.