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Simple Hospitality    by Jane Jarrell order for
Simple Hospitality
by Jane Jarrell
Order:  USA  Can
W. Publishing Group, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

The word hospitality often evokes a sense of dread. What do you do if you aren't gifted in this area? What if your home isn't spotless, if you aren't a great cook, if you just don't have a clue? In Simple Hospitality, Jane Jarrell sets out to 'share ideas and experiences to help you find a hospitality style that works for you, no matter how hectic your life, no matter how 'hospitality challenged' you think you are.'

In Part One, we are encouraged to 'Keep it Simple.' This means clarifying thinking, defining your own idea of what hospitality might look like in your life, and getting to the heart of God's ideas about being hospitable. The author ends this section by discussing moving beyond 'harried holidays' to find the balance that is right for each person. Part Two focuses on our homes. How to be the best homemaker you can be, cleaning and de-cluttering, the basics of being a good cook, gardening, and designing an inviting entrance. Part Three brings all of the concepts together and discusses 'ministry moments' and how to discover these in your own life. Entertaining, including children, giving gifts (along with ideas), and dealing with people who are ill or hurting, are all covered.

There is nothing spectacularly new here, but the tone is cozy and the concepts presented clearly. Jarrell takes the mystique out of entertaining, offering numerous ideas for simple things that let others in our lives know that we care. You will refer to this handbook over and over again, in many different situations, for recipes, timelines, and decorating ideas. A unique list of teacher and hostess gifts are included (these are always needed!) and gift suggestions provided for everything from sending a child off to school, to moving, to owning a new pet. If you are looking for ways to show your love and concern for those around you, Simple Hospitality is packed with useful tips and information to help you reach out in God's name.

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