Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inspired to be...Hospitable: Jenna of Dearest Love

Hey Everyone! We're getting Inspired again! Jenna is today's guest from over at Dearest Love. She has been so sweet to work with and she's here to share her hospitality story with you. If you get the chance, check out Dearest Love after you've read this post! Jenna has created a very cozy, welcoming environment there dedicated to all sorts of topics, but most importantly, to her faith. I'm thrilled she's here today. Y'all make sure to leave a comment! (Did you see that "y'all," Jenna? That was for you! To Georgia from Alabama. ;D)

Hello Banana Grove Designs readers! I'm Jenna and I blog over at Dearest Love. I'm a teacher, and I live near Atlanta with my husband and two cats. I'm so happy that Anna invited me over to share on a topic so near and dear to my heart! Thanks so much for having me, Anna!

Beautiful Mary Hannah, middle
When Anna first told me that hospitality is the topic for the month, one of my best friends, Mary Hannah, immediately came to mind. We have been friends for about four years now, and she has taught me so much about what it means to be hospitable. She genuinely loves to invite people into her home, feed them, and let them stay overnight "just because". There have been countless times where she and her husband have invited us over for dinner and let us stay the night in their super comfy guest bed. That's not it, though. In the morning, there is always fresh drop biscuits and gravy with plenty of coffee. It comes so naturally to her just pulling ingredients out of her pantry, nothing planned, yet it comes together beautifully. She's always prepared in case.

She's one of those people that knows how to use every ingredient in her pantry or fridge before it goes bad, and she blesses others in the process. So many times she has said, "I bought too many ______ so I made you a batch of _________". MH is an incredible cook, and my passion for cooking stems from her, actually. She's always thinking of others, which really taught me to think more about how I can bless others and bring bits of joys to other people's days like Mary Hannah has done for me a million times.

I'm on the left (in white), and Mary Hannah is wearing the stripes. :)
Mary Hannah taught and encouraged me to reach out and open up my home, especially my kitchen, to others. It doesn't come natural to me, but I've watched and learned Mary Hannah's ways, and any bit of hospitality that I have most definitely comes from her. Even if hospitality doesn't seem like your "thing", it can be if it's something you desire. The meal doesn't have to be perfect and the house doesn't need to be spotless. In Mary Hannah's own words, "There's always good food, an environment where people can gather around in conversation (kitchen table, living room, etc.), and just making people feel as comfortable as they would in their own home." 

So, I urge you. Even if it's out of your comfort zone (like it was for me), invite someone over for dinner. Focus on the conversation and making your guests feel comfortable and loved. Just that simple act can inspire others to do the same.

What about you? Who taught you the importance of hospitality? 

It was fun having you today, Jenna! Thanks so much for sharing Mary Hannah with us!



  1. Thanks so much for having me, Anna! This was so much fun. :)

    1. You're so welcome! You were wonderful to work with! Thanks again for sharing!

  2. It's amazing how welcoming it feels when someone invites you to hang out in their kitchen so they can feed you with food and conversation. :)


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