About the Author

Sandra is a church-planter's wife, autism advocate, and author of Speechless and Held.

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  1. Sandra, thank you for writing and sharing your heart for hospitality! We moved to a new state five years ago when my husband was elected as the lead pastor for a small but growing church. Getting to know our neighbors was so important! We’ve grown to love our neighbors in this new community!

    My favorite fall recipe? Hmmm. Probably my pretzel bread, here: http://likeabubblingbrook.com/2016/07/pretzel-bread-recipe-easy-bread-machine-dough/

    Happy fall to you! It’s nice to “meet” you!

  2. Sandra,
    Fall is my favorite season as well – especially here in the south when it’s been a long, hot summer. God put me in this neighborhood 20 years for a certain season – raising my kids. Now, 20 years later, I see that I have a new role….younger families are moving in and the neighborhood is turning over. I am now the sweet older lady who gives candy to the neighborhood children and puts stickers in their mailbox that I’ve found from going through all my old preschool teaching materials. I can envision a popcorn and sno-cone machine in my driveway….your post has given me food for thought (no pun intended). What is my role, in hospitality, in THIS season of my life?? Great thought provoking post 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. Sandra, I too so love Fall! I live in western New York and I enjoy waking to foggy mornings, dew drops shimmering on grass blades, and that freshness of Autumn air. I’m a little shy, but I love to bake so that’s my way of worming myself into my neighbors lives. My husband isn’t shy, but can’t understand why I want to bake or cook meals then run up and down the street giving it all away…I love people and I love God. The other day a friend asked if I could bake some cookies for a nursing home she would visit. I intensely enjoyed the request and didn’t realize until hours later that I hadn’t had sat for my morning coffee! Blessings to all my sisters this morning.

  4. I’ve received huge encouragement from your words today — I’m in the midst of a season of roller coaster entertaining. All of it good and necessary, but my energy is flagging, so you’ve given me the boost that I needed!

  5. I love Fall! It’s the time of year we plan a trip to the mountains with grandparents to pick apples for making apple butter and when we invite the neighborhood kids over for football and persimmon picking (which I freeze for pudding- yum)! We set out new mums, pumpkins and scare-crows in preparation for the adorable little trick or treaters who will soon be ringing our doorbell. Then all of their older siblings come out dressed in their dreadful garb and guess what, we’ve saved some treats for them as well because truth be told, they are still kids too and a friendly gesture goes a long way throughout the rest of the year. Then it’s on to planning for Thanksgiving and that is when it really hits me; fall is the time of year I spend looking back, weighing the year that has passed and planning for the future. It’s the time of year when looking back allows me to see how God weaves our lives together, masterfully, in big and little ways.

  6. I lived in Houston for 25 years and live in Dallas now. I hope you found Texas friendly and welcoming, it is a great place!

    Blessings on your ministry and thank you for your ideas to help us with our hospitality opportunities.

  7. We just moved to a new neighborhood last week and was thinking I should bake some yummies and take to my new neighbors. Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. I have invented a fall holiday I hope will catch on, so here I am taking it to the national level!!!!! I call it Soup Day. We celebrate it on the day after Thanksgiving and, as you can imagine, the menu involves… soup! It is the perfect day to invite all the people who couldn’t get together on the big day. The ones who had to work or were obligated somewhere else. Loved ones in from out of town. Those who had to cook for a houseful. Invite the Black Friday weary, the football watchers and the football avoiders. Invite everyone!!!! Throw wide the doors and host an all out, all day, come as you are, warm soup and warm hospitality Soup Day! Our menu is soup, rolls and butter, and dessert (mostly pie and brownies). Make it yourself or hand out assignments as necessary. Have everyone bring their favorites or yours;) This should be FUN and simple. Line up the crockpots! Load up the stovetop! Light up the fireplace, the fire pit, the warmer thingy on the deck, and invite everyone… or just a handful of your best buds. But please, do enjoy Soup Day. And if at all possible, please hang a banner that says, “Happy Soup Day!” That’s how we do it!

  9. Sandra,

    Our small church makes welcome baskets for new families in the neighborhood. We put household goodies, mixes, etc. in there and top it off with a bulletin from our church. Someone from the church will take it and welcome them into the area. I found out a while back that one family joined our church simply because of the basket.

    Fall is my favorite time of the year! Love the crisp cool air and the many changing colors that show God’s splendor. I share love with elderly at the assisted living. I give the residents hugs and let them know they are loved.

    I really needed to hear this now: “He has a purpose for you being right where you are at this exact time, and part of that purpose is for you to show love to those around you.” Last June (2015) I quit my job. I thought I would be back to work shortly. Well my aging dad had many health issues. It helps to know that God has me right where He wants me at this time! I question whether the timing is right to go back to work.

    Blessings 🙂

    • It is encouraging to know God has a plan for us in this season and exactly where we are! Love the welcome basket idea your church does. A little kindness goes a long way!

  10. Welcome to Texas!! I love the idea of block parties. I visited a few National Night Out parties for my job this week and it was such a great experience. We’re often so busy we forget to connect with the people around us!

    • Thank you for the welcome! 🙂 We do forget to connect. National Night Out is a great opportunity to meet our neighbors!

  11. A fall gathering we enjoy is a bon-fire party. People can bring their camp chairs and lounge around the fire and cook food and roast marshmallows. Conversation often flows around a crackling fire.