Hospitality Set {Making Hospitality THAT Much Easier}

Some of us LOVE having people into our home and others...not so much.

Whether you do or don't like it, many of us just don't do it. I think most of the time we aren't hospitable for one or more of the following reasons.

  1. We don't feel like our house is big, clean, nice, host-able {for whatever reason} enough.
  2. We are too busy and aren't home enough to have others over.
  3. We feel like its going to be a lot of work that we don't have the energy for.

Ready-Made Hospitality Set makes being hospitable easy, fast, and natural

I can't solve all these issues but I have found something that helps with a little of all of them. Creating a hospitality set will allow you to

  1. have a set of dishes clean for just the occasion
  2. to grab fast when last-minute hospitality opportunities arise
  3. and it's ready with little to no effort.

This is how I created my hospitality set {based on my most common hospitality needs}:

  • purchased 16 bowls and 16 plates at the Dollar tree for $1 for a set of 4,
  • silverware from a local open-to-the-public restaurant store
  • used containers also from the Dollar tree to store them in. hospitable

This set stays under the counter in these containers and are ONLY used for sudden {and main large} hospitality. This keeps me from freaking out about not having enough dishes clean to feed everyone, it's so easy to get ready, my kids can snatch these items and lay them out, and I don't feel overwhelmed cleaning up afterwards because these are dishwasher save but the kids also think its fun to hand-wash them and I'm not scared to let them.

Using the Dollar Tree to create your own Hospitality Set is cheap and Dry-Erasable

***Another really cool thing about this set that I just realized, they're Dry-Erasable! Marking friends and family's drinks/plates/bowls are easily marked. Very important right now during flu season! ***

 We also have a mini-fridge to set up a drink/snack station this summer for neighborhood friends! What common hospitality needs do you have that might need to be considered for a set you're building?


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TMNT Share the Gospel {finding truth in the secular}

I was recently watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie with my hubs and a friend. Well, lets be honest, I was 'mom watching' it meaning I was going something else at the same time. I was catching the bulk of things and the main plot of the movie. That's when I realized that TMNT were sharing the Gospel.

TMNT Share the Gospel {finding Truth ni the Secular}

Everything under the sun is groaning for the day when all will be set right again so I don't know why I was surprised at yet again finding truth in the secular. April Oneal is chasing Jesus {or at least a shadow of Jesus}.

You see, we're all on the hunt for the grand plan we're made to be apart of. For April, she runs toward things that seem to be meaningful. She knows there's more and she needs to know what it is. We can learn a lot from her in this movie and apply it to how we should be digging into the bigger picture we're apart of.

{{possible spoiler alert!!!}}}

How to Chase Jesus Like April Oneal

In the mist of her hunt she is taken hostage momentarily and rather than focus on how she is going to be affected she turns immediately to how she can use the situation. She thinks of how she can learn and expose the bad by growing through the situations. Doesn't fear but looks for opportunity. She's not sure how but is sure that there is a way to heal the hurts occurring.

After the "vigilante" saved the day {as she trusted would happen}, April chases the "vigilante" down in hopes of exposure to those in need. When she finds out it is in fact 4 "vigilantes" she begins a relationship with them. Though there are obvious reasons to question what is happening, she trust those who have saved her {and so many others} with few questions.

As a natural reaction to salvation and meeting the one whom loves unconditionally, April runs back into her world to tell as many people as she can about story unfolding behind the scene.

The vigilante(s) makes a plan to capture April, bring her into his custody, and protect her from harm. Once in his care, he wants to train her the best way to live as well as how to protect others.

April realizing the war she's in the middle of is way bigger than she had once seen but decides to join the adventure she's been seeking knowing she'll be taken care of and can't wait to share the awesomeness she's discovered with others.

19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:19-24

Our "vigilante" is Jesus Christ. He comes to rescue us as no one else can. We along with the rest of our world are seeking that salvation. Just like April, the natural reaction to salvation and meeting the one whom loves unconditionally is to begin an intimate relationship with that person as well as run back into our world to tell as many people as we can about story unfolding behind the scene. Christ has a plan to bring us under His protection and wants to train us the best way to live as well as how to lead others to His life-changing salvation.

God is in everything. Nothing is inherently bad because He made it all. Therefor it isn't hard to find truth even in the seemingly secular.

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Our Newest Journey in Chasing After God’s Own Heart

I'm sure some of you know that my husband, Matt and I love the idea of adventure. We totally see chasing Jesus in this way; a glorious adventure we get to be apart of!

Our Newest Journey in Chasing After God's Own Heart on fostercare and adoption in Arkansas

Sometimes God's call on our life feels quite humorous. As soon as things seem to settle, become routine, or even comfortable, God shows us a new part of His heart and lets us know its time to take part in that with Him. The newest part of this journey is something that was never a plan B. It has never been is we can't ___ then we'll ___. It isn't something God recently unveiled our eyes about.

Care for orphans has always been plan A. When, if, and every time the change was available, we want to care for the children and their parents who's families have been broken. Some times this might look like having students in our home on a regular basis to give them love, encouragement, and consistency. It might be taking part in sharing love through Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child boxes. Wither these are children in need of care domestically or abroad, we want to be apart of it!

Most recently, God has shown us that becoming someone's "forever family" may be on the horizon. This excites me so much. I think adoption can be one of the best pictures of what Christ did for us and I want to experience that. At the same time, I've been learning a lot about foster-care and adoption that gives me a better picture of the entire scenario that breaks my heart more but also softens the excitement about being ask to step in as someone's adopted parent.

Matt and I are beginning the process of opening our home for foster-care/adoption through DHS here in Arkansas. There's a whole lot to what that means and what it looks like BUT we are also apart of a group called The CALL who exist to help Christian families navigate the overwhelming process within this agency. The CALL stands for Children of Arkansas being Loved for a Lifetime. We have filled out initial paperwork to begin the process and just this past weekend completed our first 15 of 30 hours of PRIDE {Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education} training via The Call so that we can soon finalize everything so our home qualifies to be opened to state agencies to assist those children {and their families} in need of care.

During this process I'm going to try and share as much as possible because I know there are tons of you out there who are curious about this process. Maybe you have a heart for fostering or adoption. Maybe you have a gazillion questions, aren't sure if this is for you, or maybe you just want some help walking through all of this. If you're like me, it would be nice to at least have an idea of what you're walking into before you start. That's what I'm doing to attempt to do. I wanna cover logistics like names of agencies I'm learning, resources that have deemed super helpful, and even thoughts and emotions that come up during this journey.

SO if you have any questions, PLEASE ask {comment, email, message, etc} or I may not touch on something that would be great for you and others to hear about. We've started more detailed conversations with our littles lately about this and their questions have lead to some great discussions!

Just for the record: our family hasn't decided which route(s) we are taking at this time {ie fostering and/or adoption}

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Homemade Hibachi-like Fried Rice/Scrambled Eggs and Chicken

I went on a date-night with my hubs to Fugis Hibachi Gill and Steakhouse. I'd never been there before and it was num num nummy! I don't usually like to pay for food unless I know I'm going to love it. I'm just frugal like that and don't want to waste money. But I went out on a ledge and ordered something I'd never tried before.Homemade Hibachi-like Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chicken

If you've ever been to one of those places you probably know they give you HUGE portions. I didn't know that or I would have shared with hubs. Since I didn't I ended up with an amazing box of leftovers I couldn't stop eating on until my tummy hurt.

When it was gone I wanted so badly to try and make it but just like I don't like ordering things unless I know I'd like it, I don't like to try new recipes unless I know it won't be a terrible waste. This week. I finally attempted it.

It was oh so yummy and I'm totally gonna be making it for our entire family to try. :D Here's what I did in case you wanna try it too::

Homemade Hibachi-like Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chicken Recipe

Ingredients {based on the 1 portion I made}:

  • eggs 2 large
  • green peppers ~3 Tbs diced small
  • carrots ~3 Tbs diced small
  • white rice 1.5 cups cooked
  • margarine ~1/8 cup
  • onion powder ~ 1/4 tsp
  • chicken 1/4 cup cooked
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • soy sauce to taste


  1. scramble eggs {I've learned I really like using a Tbs of butter rather than milk}
  2. mix in white rice, peppers, carrots, onion powder, and salt and pepper until well mixed
  3. add butter and "fry" everything together until heated to your liking
  4. serve hot and add soy sauce to your liking


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An Open Letter to Our Former Youth Group

Dear Former Youth Group {an open letter to generation Xers and Millennials}

Dear former youth group,

I'm here to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we told you not have sex, do drugs, or drink alcohol. I'm sorry we guilted you into devoting your midweek to our service rather than your God-given-interest. I'm sorry we taught you self-righteous religion rather than the true character of God.

Here's the thing. The Bible isn't a book mostly about YOU and what YOU should be doing. It's a book about GOD and what HE has done.

We unintentionally taught you that that every story in the Bible somehow points to you. We explained that your behavior was the ultimate dictator of salvation. Though we never would have come out and said it knowing it was totally false, we let you believe that your behavior swayed God in some way, good or bad. We painted a picture of God as a Santa-figure who sees you when you were sleeping, sees when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good, so please be good for goodness sake.

The Bible does have guidelines for how life works best. Why wouldn't it. It's a story about the Creator and His creation. It's bound to come up because the story of God and what He's done is made even more amazing in light of how things were supposed to work, how we jaked it up, and how His genius master plan is going to redeem us even though we don't deserve anything.

Many of you in our youth group were coming to 'church' alone. You're parents weren't devout Christ-followers or even if they were, they were possibly relying on us to teach about God. Most adult use youth group like a public school, trusting that the fundamentals of "Christianity" are the responsibility of the staff at a 'church'. Because of that, I'm even more sorry we didn't show you complete truths.

Every story in the Bible points to Jesus. Not you. You're not supposed to attempt to find yourself in the stories of Noah, Mosis, or David. You're supposed to seek God and His kingdom. Every story whispers His name.

As I watch you grow-up, go to college, move, get jobs, get married, have kids I see religion failing you. No matter how much attempting to be 'good' you can handle it will always leave you empty. Life won't unfold into the christian-karma-crap we filled you with. Because of that you will run. You are running. You're leaving the Church in droves because morality has failed you.

I'm sorry I helped lead you to this place but now I'm hear to fight to lead you back to Christ. To show you His true character. Every aspect of our life bleeds the DNA of who we think God is. Your view of who God is the foundation for your belief system and you believe system determines your actions. Out of our love for you in our youth group, we targeted the only thing we could see, your actions, in an attempt to determine if you were a Christ-follower.

Maybe we had a savior complex, maybe we were just that ingnorant. Painting a picture of a self-serving, smoke and lights, hype and games, fame and fortune religion remorsefully. God's taught us so much over the last few years and we hope to chase down the dechurched generation that we had a hand in running off.

Sincerely yours,

Regretful Youth Pastors of Generation Xers and Millennials

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