Moving and Change

Change. We love it. We hate it. It is good. It is bad. It is easy. It is difficult. It makes us vulnerable. It gives us confidence. It shakes our very foundation. It grows our sense of security. It stretches us. It causes us to withdraw. It is frightening. It is refreshing.Change is challenging. Change brings a creative flow of feelings and experiences that give life more quality. Change brings new perspectives. Change teaches us. Change….Change is an inevitable part of life.–Ann Kiemel Anderson

Recently I have found myself thinking about moving and change. Just two years ago we left behind our beloved home and incredible neighbors (who were like family to us), and the home where we started raising our 3 kids. We left behind so many memories. But we were also excited about our new “fixer-upper” home and the possibilities and dreams of having more space to reach out to more people. (Above photo: Coughlin clan right after moving into our new home)

A reader wrote to me yesterday asking me if, while moving, you should keep hospitality in mind?

My answer is a definite “yes!” Without a doubt! The house we moved to doesn’t have an over-abundance of space, but it works for us! We wanted a larger yard, pool and an area to entertain outdoors. Are we limited in the wintertime? A hearty “yes!” Do we take advantage of our garage during that time? Another “amen!”
(Ping-pong in our garage with some girlfriends!)

Does it matter that the bedrooms are on the smaller side? No, as I don’t want my kids hanging out in their bedrooms much anyway!

But what if you don’t have a choice and live in a tiny home or apartment? Do we feel like we could entertain in any home? Pretty much! Hospitality can happen anywhere, as it’s not about the space or the surroundings that make or break a pleasurable time together. I know this, because we entertained for years in our 1500 sq. foot home, and in our home before that of 900 sq. feet!

It’s about being with people you enjoy, those you are built up and encouraged by.

A home where, when the family walks away, they’ve grown a little more, from being with friends who care. A tight-knit family home where love, wisdom, and a lot of humor flows! (Playing Pictionary with adults & kids in our current home!)

It’s about taking our minds off of circumstances and ourselves and moving through the changes of life.
Change is scary but it can be a radical break from the rut of normal living. It can grow us in positive ways.

So wherever you choose to live, keep hospitality in mind, and don’t hesitate to utilize what you have, as much as you can!

(In my early twenties I discovered Ann K. Anderson (very top quote) and read all of her books. I’ve always resonated with her style and love for people. Bottom photo: Coughlin kids 2 yrs. ago with our beloved HAGGIS MCSTITCH)

19 comments on “Moving and Change”

  1. Even though we do live in a tiny apartment, I need to plan some evenings to invite people over. The hard part is knowing where to let the kids play while the adults talk and interact. We barely have 800 square feet, and a lot of that is the master bedroom where the kids aren’t allowed. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the encouragement and motivation!

  2. I have been a lurker for a while and am really enjoying your blog. I absolutely LOVE having people over, entertaing, feeding them, everything envolved. I loved this post, there are a lot of changes happening in our lives right now and I just wanted to thank you for the quote at the top. I hope you don’t mind but I used it over on my blog also.

    Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and knowledge

  3. If you’re driving near our capital, stop on by, Linda T!
    A hospitable house–it occurred to me when I was stripping out the last of the garden this morning that children don’t worry about these types of issues–hospitality-friendly accomodations. They’re just happy to be invited somewhere–doesn’t matter how big or well-decorated or dusted a home is.

  4. I agree with Barb (from WI, right?) Hey Barb, we’re heading to WI for two weeks in Oct.!! Can’t wait to see the colors!!
    Anyway, I know I have blessed alot of folks by entertaining them when my home has been less than presentable… you know, during remodels, rearranging rooms, the usual messes.
    It has inspired them to not wait for their home to be “perfect” but to be OK about having them in their home just the way it is.
    Love these last two posts sooo much Sandy!

  5. What a timely post for me! Sandy, I so needed to be reminded of these things.

    We have already entertained people in our apartment – grilling on our tiny deck and crowding around our table in the tiny dining room. But my heart is still yearning for a yard, and spacious living/family rooms, and kitchen.

    I keep reminding myself that this is an opportunity to learn some really creative ways to entertain – both guests, and my own family! My boys may not have a yard they can run out into, but they have imaginations, and a mama who can guide them when they feel cooped up.

    We have lived in a 900 sq ft home as well – and still entertained! It is always good to keep it simple in a space like that, but I find that it is cozier and warmer (emotionally) when we are crowded together around a little table, playing a board game and laughing hysterically. Guests seem to agree!

    Again, thank you for your exhortation – I am inspired today! :)

  6. I think when you’re able, definitely choose a place to live that allows for lots of hospitality. But don’t let that be an excuse for not reaching out where you’re at. When we were young marrieds, we purchased an old 2 flat that needed lots of work. We ripped out walls and had wires hanging out of the ceiling and I realized that at the rate we were going, we’d never be able to have company over. So–I started inviting people into our chaos and it always went fine. They’d sit with us surrounded by bare stud walls and torn up floors, go home feeling better about their own homes, and be curious as to how our project was going when we’d see them after. Now we have lots of space, great options for hosting for snax or meals or long-term stays, and we planned it that way. But the lessons we learned when we weren’t so fortunate have been invaluable.

  7. I agree. Hospitality is so important. I recently had our church board and their wives to our home for a day of prayer and planning. We had 3 meals together and I just so enjoyed how nicely everything went that day.

  8. Sandy, I just read these last two posts catching up, and they really, truly blessed me.

    The one below, where you and your daughter went to visit your previous neighbor, now a widow, and she played the violin…so beautiful.

    And this one, showing you and your women friends enjoying a ping pong game in the garage…I love it! (And it made me want to come over and play!) It inspires us to look beyond always trying to entertain in the same way. And to be creative no matter where we live.

    Thank you again, for your inspiring posts!

  9. Thanks so much for this and thanks, too, for Paul’s book. It arrived! I’m looking forward to reading it . . . when my DP is finished with it : )

  10. PS. I don’t remember for sure, but I think you said quite a while ago that you were interested in hearing my bizarre proposal story. If it wasn’t you, don’t worry about it, but if it was, it’s here.

  11. Change… I know exactly what you mean! Wonderful, scary and everything in between.
    Thankfully our God does not change- solid rock- never moves!


  12. I too, have used a small house as an excuse to not open my home. I’m going to come up with a plan for future occasions so that I can’t use that anymore. I love how you utilize whatever space you have to create a warm environment for your friends. I want people to be able to say that about me someday.

  13. I love the idea of having the pool table in the garage. Very smart!

  14. Sandy, I love this whole, entire post! We have a very small space–An old home with great character…but I’ve found it is hard to entertain here. But I have some ideas. You have inspired me! I have a vision for our family in regard to hospitality. I’ll be asking some questions as I let it develop. Is that okay with you?

  15. One more thought: along with being hosted by others, we do a lot of family events, plus host our kids’ friends. All part of the hospitality mix!

  16. Thank you for your thoughts and great pictures.

  17. I was asked how many evenings a week we entertain? During soccer season when my husband is coaching? Probably one night a month. Other than those 2 months, probably 2-4 evenings per month.

    Practice hospitality? Daily! :)

  18. On overage, how many evenings a week do you entertain? Just curious…

  19. Amen to the quote and to the whole post…
    Hospitality in small spaces has always been modeled to us by my parents and continues. Last night my mother and father had 12 over to their one bedroom, 600 square foot apartment. We eat in the livngroom. We squeeze in and have a great time. (folding table, folding chairs) Continued blessings on your hospitable heart!

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