About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as the former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host for ten years. Renee is a mom of three Joshua (25), Andrew (22) and...

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  1. Renee,
    I love all the truths…but “being present trumps being perfect” really resonated with me. This is a lesson that God has continued to teach me over the years. I don’t have the concept down “perfectly” yet, but I am a long way from where I used to be. I’m learning that life is too short to get so caught up in the minutia of trying to present the perfect get together…after all, isn’t that the goal…to get together? Thank you for sharing your real life story to encourage us as to where our priorities need to be when trying to create community. Good stuff 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Oh Bev, me too. “Being present trumps being perfect” is a truth I need to preach to myself daily. Thanks for your presence here in the inCourage community. It’s a gift!! 🙂

  2. I hear ha, Renee! I’m constantly fighting the battle to put togetherness ahead of my to-do list, and I fail more times than I win. The struggle is real 🙂 Thank you for all you do!

  3. I have a friend who is my mother’s age and she has said, Hospitality isn’t what you serve, it’s about how welcome you make the people feel in your home. She would serve a glass of water if that is all she had, and people loved having her listening ear. I have to remember that. I can get so caught up in what I serve when it can just be simple.

      • Well, this also applies to your kids. I’m a fairly new adoptive Mom. I adopted my son almost two years ago and with getting a routine down for him, myself, and husband was tricky. I wanted to maintain the house better now with a kid in the house but I also work. So, I found myself always picking things up and cleaning on my off days. One day my son said “lets play” and I told him we would but after I was done cleaning this and that. He said ok but I saw the look in his eyes. Him being a child who had a lot of disappointments early in life I did not want to end up being another disappointment for him. So, I put down the cleaning rag and said “you know what, it can wait. Lets play.” His face lit up and we had a ball for a few hours. When we were done I finished what I wanted to get done. I missed his first 8 years of life and he is only going to want to hang out with me for so long before friends take priority and I don’t want to miss a chance to hang out or spend time with him just to clean the house.

  4. You can do it Bevy! It’s so worth it.

    We had the best time that night my plans didn’t go as planned :). Praying you’ll say yes to hosting a “Mugs & Muffin” event.

  5. I needed to read this. I am hosting a gathering this weekend. I didn’t want to get overstressed, but to keep things simple. I did not expect continual rain the week of sharing my garden as a place we are to gather and enjoy. Nor could I have known an army of stinging asp worms would invade our property. The tree guys had only one date, this past weekend, that they could come finish taking down a huge limb compromising our home; thus unplanned cleanup. Your story helped me to remember the important things. So each one will arrive and be welcomed, knowing they matter. My garden may be muddy, and far from pristine. It’s not a fussy garden anyway, but a work in progress– just as we are. Come rain or sunshine we will still gather, and share our lives and our stories. This is real life!

  6. I’m not good at having people over. I guess it’s partly because we live out in the country far from a lot of people and my husband is an introvert. You are right about “being present trumps being perfect”. Sometimes people just want to come over and visit–actually talk with you. Most of us don’t care how the house looks or what food we eat. I enjoy the company!