Remember how our grandmothers’ generation always had an “open door” policy and never broke a sweat prepping a meal? How a shared pot of tea was the answer to every world problem and neighbors literally popped over for a cup of sugar and a chat? In this latest edition of iola Magazine, I share my thoughts on the horrors of hospitality we experience today—plus, there’s my chocolate cake recipe…




It’s a joy to be a contributor to such a beautiful magazine (which is actually more like a coffee table book) with such a beautiful heart! In this latest “Bloom” issue, iola says:

“If you’ve ever struggled to know, feel or trust that you are blooming, or that you will bloom, this issue is for you. We explore what it is to bloom where we are planted. This issue will provide a much-needed respite from the clamour of the world that we must have more, and be more.”

Iola Magazine is filled with encouraging articles and gorgeous images—I hope you’ll consider buying a copy for yourself or as a sweet gift for a friend.

I have my Amazon affiliate link available for you (full disclosure here) which basically means I get a very tiny commission while you pay the regular awesome price. Grab a copy of iola Magazine HERE!

You can also enter my monthly giveaway for a copy HERE (you’ll get a free e-book, too!) or buy directly from me if you are local in Kelowna, B.C—just give me a shout.



In the above article, I write about the panic that sets in when we know company’s coming—how we seem to have made something natural into something nightmarish. We sweat and fret over our unvacuumed floors and unbathed dogs and new recipes and mismatched dishes, when all our guests really want is our attention. Our heart.

“Somehow we’ve dressed up this simple desire to gather, and we’ve laced it with imposing expectations and the pressure of performance.” Jen Schmidt, Just Open the Door

So how do we strip away the stress and make hospitality into something real and joyful and doable again?

By thinking of our guests MORE than thinking of ourselves.

More than our reputation, our cooking abilities, and our spotless house. By putting our guest first. By being fully present. By focussing on them. By loving them.” Laura Thomas, iola Magazine.

Sounds simple, but it’s a mind-shift and it’s counter-cultural, this “putting others first” notion. We are told to “treat ourselves” because we are worth it. To post images of our Pinterest-perfect homes, outfits, meals, kids, and dogs, in an attempt to have others “like” us. To strive for more stuff for us because we earned it and heck, that’s what a credit card is for. To nip and tuck to keep the focus on us looking amazing and never, ever aging. To look after Number One. Have me time. Me, myself, and I.

It’s exhausting. And it leaves a person strangely hollow, all this focus on self. Could it be the reason why our kind, wise Jesus commanded us to “Love one another.”? He always knows what is best for our hearts, doesn’t He? And when we look up from our messy house and busy agenda and list of excuses, we see the friend, the stranger, the family member who just needs us to open our hearts for a while. Show some love over a cup of coffee and a cookie.



Keep it simple, friend. Don’t focus on YOU and what you think hospitality should look like—just love on THEM.

An open heart is the place to start. (Sorry about the rhyming thing there…)

Oh, and if you want to read more on this and many other life-giving topics, don’t forget to snag your copy of iola! 🙂


Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: