Intimate Hospitality: Keep it Real!

I have to admit, I was scared to death when I was asked to speak to a group of young mommies about hospitality.

But I knew I couldn’t say no.

When I arrived, I just couldn’t picture myself standing at a podium and delivering my message.

I am NOT a podium girl!

So I begged the leaders – puleeeez can we sit in a circle? So the tables were set in somewhat a circle format. But I still wasn’t happy.

I begged again … puleeeez can we move the chairs and form a circle with those?

Ok, Sandy. (I could tell they were hesitant.)

Each mommy picked up her chair and moved it in FRONT of the table, forming a circle (about 20 ladies).

And then I began … Hospitality is not about you …

I was so blessed to be a part of this hour-and-a-half time with mommies and darling babies. Mommies just learning about motherhood and being wives. They were young sponges that need nurturing. And as almost every woman in the group spoke up and shared in one way or another, I thought to myself – Wow! This group really knows how to engage!

They shared heartfelt worries, anxieties, fears, frustrations – all that had to do with expectations or the lack of hospitality!

After our session ended (and I was relieved!), I found out that the leaders had never seen such “engagement” or liveliness in the group. Now, it’s possible that the subject was relevant and hit home with each lady. But I like to attribute it to the “intimate circle” that we formed.

There’s something about feeling safe within a circle, where you can let your guard down and be real with one another.

Do you feel you can open up and share in a smaller, more intimate group setting?

17 comments on “Intimate Hospitality: Keep it Real!”

  1. Love this Sandy… it’s so true… even though you weren’t the hostess at that event you brought your inviting hospitality with you and that’s what spurred the engagement… it’s what we hope to do everyday through our blog and facebook page… love this post!!

  2. Lovely Piece of Writing!! I have to take a look at the rest of your Blog…. Keep it Up!! : )

  3. Nothing stikes terror in my heart like a podium moment! I am a behind the scenes kinda girl! I definitely open up more in a small group (10 at the most) and even that takes me a few times and some trust built up before I can really let myself be known.

  4. I knew you’d do a great job and that’s why I wanted you at our event last year. I’m glad you are stepping into this part of your life because all of us who are not hospitality minded…no matter the age need encouragement to just do it!! Love your circle idea and I agree…a circle is more intimate.

    Love ya, Connie

  5. Whenever the subject of hospitality comes up at our MOPS group, it’s always a lively discussion – lots of angst, insecurity, but a rich desire to do more! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at your group!

  6. Oh me and my big mouth…

    Literally. I’m one of those bizarre rare people who really enjoy public speaking, and the bigger the group the better. I did it competitively in college for scholarship money, and would do it still except the academic types frown on mothers of teenagers barging in on the college kids just so they can commandeer the podium.

    I know…I’m odd!
    .-= Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points´s last blog ..Ways in Which I am High-Maintenance…and The Surprise! =-.

  7. That’s why were firm believers in coming to the table. At the table, we all sit eye to eye. It puts us all on the same playing field, so to speak. No one is above or higher than…and if we had our way, they’d all be round tables!
    ~kristin and chris ann
    .-= LoveFeast Table´s last blog ..I Fell in Love in Colorado =-.

  8. I’m slightly fascinated by this “circle”, as someone who also leads meetings. I too HATE a podium. Love this post. I could just say that as my comment for every post…LOL! Have a great day.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The Hat Junkie =-.

  9. Just before I saw your “thought” on why they were more engaged, I thought the same thing. I totally agree that sitting in a circle with the “speaker” sitting amongst you is so much more intimate and for whatever weird reason makes those listening feel like you are human and real, rather than the “SPEAKER” (C;

    Way to go. I’m sure you did an absolutely amazing job!

  10. I love it. I’m like you- NOT a speaker. But I can totally talk to people one on one or across tables. Good for you in finding a way to fit your gifting and yet still minister to others! :)

  11. I think it depends on the kind of crowd I’m around. I do think smaller groups are better though.

  12. It seems to me, that insisting on a circle was the perfect way to show that hospitality “isn’t about you”. You took the focus off of yourself, as the speaker, and put the focus on sharing with one another. You are an awesome inspiration to this “reluctant entertainer”, who is your own age, but has fallen away from entertaining and wants to come back to it!
    Michelle in Texas

  13. You were so the right lady for that job Mrs C!! The sponges appreciated it! And yes – the circle thing worked – but only because what you were sharing was honest and real and you created the atmosphere that was open for sharing!
    .-= Fiona´s last blog ..Beneath the surface =-.

  14. Yes. I agree that the small circle of women creates the warmth that is easier to open up & share. This is how we sit in our MOPS groups that I attend as well. I’m thankful for those times. I probably would be considered one of those “sponges” you mentioned. lol. But, for all of us- thank you for putting your info out there. It’s good to learn about hospitality & such from a more experienced woman!

    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Around the Town: Grapevine’s "Rainforest Cafe" =-.

  15. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and in our women’s organization (the Relief Society) our local congregation has the theme this year of “Circle of Sisters.” So I really feel a connection to the idea of circles to form intimate and close connections. It’s great that you had the courage to change the setting that you were presented with, and came out of it with such a great experience!

  16. Definitely!!! At our last MOPS meeting of the year, our pastor’s wife came and spoke to us about intimacy in marriages. She’s an excellent speaker, and very funny and sweet, but not many people were comfortable to raise their hands for Q and A because our tables weren’t really arranged to make people feel comfortable….
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Tribute =-.

  17. It was proximity and way to go on insisting on it!
    .-= Tara G.´s last blog ..One Thing Leads to Another…Deal! =-.

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