Mitzi’s hospitality aspires to show God’s love and provide a warm and accepting environment. Her mother-in-law showed her how to experience more than food at her table–although since they are both Southerners, you know the food was good, too! –Sue
I love a good gathering. One of my favorites is bringing our family together for a delicious meal. Most of the time the meal centers around an event or holiday, but you know the old saying, “Feed them and they will come.” There’s nothing quite like it.
The same thing holds true for impromptu gatherings with friends. We enjoy the food, but it’s the powerful conversations that make a lasting impact. It’s exciting to be with others who share common interests over a delicious meal.
The favorite part for me is two-fold. I love those with whom I’m sharing the experience because we talk ninety-to-nothing and try to convey every thought known to man in a relatively short time period. The other part I love is that everyone contributes. There’s just something special about engaging conversations that are piled high and deep with emotions and laughter.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24 ESV
When our bunch gathers it’s about more than food. It’s a time for sharing hopes, dreams, and experiences. It’s an opportunity for real life to take center stage and where words of wisdom are appreciated and empowering. Every gathering produces memories and leaves each person with something to carry home and reflect on.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20 NIV
I always want our home to be a place people want to come–to experience joy, peace, laughter, and God’s love. My mother-in-law did this better than anyone I know. She was a Proverbs 31 woman and the true matriarch of our family. A gathering for her could be five or thirty-five, and the results were still the same. She provided warm, Southern hospitality to all who entered.
I aspire to be like her everyday and I’m so thankful to have been a part of her life. It was her ability to love everyone, reserve judgment, and extend a helping hand that defined who she was. Her character, integrity, and Christlikeness made people feel special, safe, and cared for.
Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 The MSG
Some of the best times in life are with those you love and care about. Our time together is valuable, the conversations are important, and the food is a bonus. But it’s our hospitality, our love and compassion for others, and our ability to make everyone feel welcome that makes the difference.
So open your home. Throw out the perfection. Embrace the togetherness. And build memories to last a lifetime.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 NIV
Here’s Mitzi’s crowd-pleaser recipe–who wouldn’t want to gather at her table? As she says:
- 1 bag 32 oz. Southern Style Hashbrowns (little cubes, not shredded)
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 2-3 cups Colby/Monterey Jack grated cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1½ sticks melted margarine
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly spray a 9x13 casserole with Pam on bottom and sides of dish.
- Place potatoes in dish; pour whipping cream over top of potatoes
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over potatoes
- Add grated cheese
- Pour melted margarine over cheese and sprinkle with parsley.
- Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes covered; cook uncovered for another 30-45 minutes until done.
Mitzi Neely is a motivational speaker who inspires women of all ages through her experiences and shortcomings. She has been blessed with a passion and love for people that stretches across the generations. Her heart is to lighten your load, while conveying her message that nobody’s perfect. Whatever your struggle or need, you will find encouragement through her words as she refreshes your heart and renews your joy.
Follow Mitzi at www.peacefullyimperfect.net because the joy of the journey is learning in His word together. You can also connect with Mitzi on Instagram @mitzi4936.