About the Author

Michele Morin is a wife, mum, and Bible teacher with a passion to see women become committed followers of Christ and inspired students of God’s Word.

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  1. Michele, this is a lovely story! How wonderful to both share and receive hospitality in the same setting. I need to open my home to friends more often. Your story shows me why it’s important.

    • I’ve learned from the example of so many other women who have opened their hearts to me. It’s not about the condition of my home, but I have a tendency to make it that way, so when I receive a corrective in the form of a great and gracious welcome — I’m thankful!
      Blessings, Sarah, as you share your home and your beautiful heart with the important people in your life.

  2. Michele,
    How Wonderful to be reading your words here today 🙂 I always think about hospitality as being shown by the person who is welcoming people into her home – which of course you did so sincerely and with warm affection. I had not, however, thought about showing hospitality as I enter someone else’s home. Do I put people at ease by letting them know I’m there to see them – not to give their coffee table the white glove test? Do I let her know that I appreciate the trouble she’s gone to, but focus on the fact that I truly care about her and what’s going on in her life? Do I make less of me and more of her? Whether I am receiving guests or being a guest, I pray that I would be like the image you drew of Christ extending my arms to receive others in “unity and acceptance.” Beautiful post!
    Blessings sweet friend,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, these questions you ask do get at the heart of the matter. If we could only trust one another to receive our humble offerings with grace . . .
      This is the essence of the cross-shaped welcome.

    • Thank you, Michele. I’ll carry your story with me today. And, Bev, those are great questions that will change the way I am a guest. Yes, it changes the meaning of “guest of honor”, doesn’t it? Where the honor is given, and not received. I like that.

      • Great point, Laura! And Peter has lots of advice for us in his first letter about giving honor where honor is due. Apparently, it’s due everywhere! Blessings to you today!

    • How true for me as well. Your article has given to me a different dimension of hospitality. Hospitality is not just received, but given as well. Thank for your well crafted words to put this so clearly before us!

  3. I love this post Michele. It is so true that those who come int our homes and accept us as we are also offer a form of hospitality toward us. I’ve had a few friends who’ve found both me and my house n a mess and it doesn’t really matter when true fellowship takes over.

    • Yes, and I’m always so grateful when this happens. It’s the sign of a true friendship, and it encourages me to offer that same kind of open-hearted love. Thanks, Patti, for your regular doses of encouragement in my direction.

  4. Michele Morin is one of my favorite online friends and oh, what a wordsmith she is. I want to sit down and break zucchini bread with her, spread with thick, rich, homemade apple butter. (((xo)))

  5. Michele, this is a beautiful story! As we open our hearts and homes, there is something precious which happens to us all. Bonds are forged. Truth is shared. Lives are changed. So grateful you shared this story!

    • Warm, open-hearted acceptance from our sisters in Christ is really God’s joyful surprise to me.
      When I take the risk and say yes to God, I’m always thankful afterward.

  6. Michele, this is just a beautiful story and weaving of words to grab our hearts and help us realize how desperate we are for this deep friendships. So glad to see you writing here!

    • Yes, desperate — and there are so many times that I wall myself off from others, carefully maintaining a safe distance to protect myself from the risk. Which of course, increases isolation . . .
      During this season of Lent, I’ve been thankful for all the ways in which Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way for us, and one of them applies here: we are received by God. I want to turn that around as a demonstration of the truth of the Gospel.

  7. Michele, it’s such a pleasant surprise to meet you here today and oh, what a beautiful example you’ve shared with us — a willingness to open our homes and hearts to others. Both you and your guests were blessed because of a desire to connect on a heart-level beyond our usual surface distractions. And now we’ve been blessed by reading about the beautiful encounter. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Marva! I think the biggest blessing of that day was their acceptance of me — just as I am. What a gift we can give to one another!

  8. Michele,

    I love that you are writing here… 🙂 Yay! And I love how practically filling your words are. My prayers have been replete with the “what if…not enough…how” questions as of late and I am encouraged by your the way hospitality led to this truth. I am guilty of choosing not to open my home because of those ‘what if, not enough and how…’ questions.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    • What fun to share this story of how God can build a bridge between hearts, and I’m glad that it is speaking to you in your place of questioning. Joining with you right now in prayer that you will hear the message of “enough” that God is speaking over you at all times!

  9. Michele, I am in agreement with so many! What a sweet story. From one introverted heart to another, I appreciate and understand this challenge because it is mine too. I have been praying about it and look, God sent you and your beautiful message! Blessings to you for your hospitality through your written words.

    • It is an incredible honor to show up here today with the words that your heart needed to hear. May you find grace to walk in obedience and faith to the tune that God is singing in your heart right now.

  10. Michele,

    Thank you for this perfectly timed thought. It’s indeed so hard to put yourself out there in obedience to God and to be fearful of rejection and unworthiness. I’m in that same boat right now as I step out in a way that is uncomfortable but I believe God has given that call. I’m praying too for open hearts and open doors and that I can lift worthy lessons out of the mess I am.

    • Isn’t it true that the biggest obstacle to receiving one another is that fear of not being met in kind by the other heart? Erin, I’m praying for you right now as you take that risk that the lessons you share from “your mess” will be just what the hearts of others need to hear in that moment. Praying it for me, as well!

  11. Loved how beautiful this story of hospitality! We complicate our lives with trying to get everything in order when what truly matters is that our hearts are in order for when our guests arrive. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

    • And I learned so much from the dear women who came to me on that day, because it was clear that they were not looking for Pinterest Perfection or anything Monumental from me. So thankful for the truth that we have been received by God, through Jesus Christ, and our feet are on this bedrock of acceptance that frees us to take God-ordained risks.

    • Yes, and so much about acting upon our stated belief that Christ is enough and He makes us adequate, acceptable, and receive-able by the people God brings into our lives.
      Thanks for reading, Bethany!

  12. Thank you for the reminder that I am to be hospitable and gracious. I love having company but my house (and mind) are not always fully welcoming. You have reminded me that I must remember to welcome with open arms!

    Blessings to you and yours!

    • And I believe that you will find, Marie, that the warm acceptance and gracious welcome will be mutual. I’m reading Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise, and while I don’t agree with every word of the book, I love the grace that emanates from a heart that listens and asks questions and humbly receives another.

  13. Michele, this is beautiful! There are so many ways to extend hospitality to others. What is needed is a willing heart and love. We don’t need fancy dishes or a spotless house, but we do need to share the love that Christ has given us. I would sure love to sit and chat with you at your table while we sip tea. 🙂 Many blessings to you!

    • I would love it, too, Gayl. We could talk poetry and share family stories, and laugh about all the crazy challenges that come with writing at a dining room table that feels like ground zero. So happy to connect with you here — or anywhere!

  14. Hospitality is such a beautiful gift and what a blessing to have that extended back to you. The gift of friendship and community is one I treasure and count as gift from God. He took that time and and showed you that by opening up your door and heart he had so much more for you.

    • Yes, Mary, that truth is a blessing to me — and also a challenge. I want to be present to the cracked open door, and to the voice of God on the other side, assuring me that He is there, ahead of me, just as He has walked with me up to this point. As you well know, these heart-quaking, knee-knocking experiences that we (mostly) make worse with our “what ifs” and our self doubts, are part of God’s schooling.
      Glad to be in His classroom with you, my friend.

  15. Michele,

    What a beautiful, open, and honest story. Thank you for sharing it with us. It spoke so deeply to me as I know I spend far too much time behind the mask worrying about what others will think.

    I’m coming away with this precious thought, “The cross-shaped welcome!” May this be my guide rather than the worry.

    Blessings, my sweet friend!

  16. Give every other human being every right you claim for yourself. Keep your mind open to the influences of nature. Receive new thoughts with hospitality. Let us advance.

    • I certainly do want to offer trust to the people God brings into my life — to meet them with the assumption that we are much-loved by God and therefore, we can do away with our fearful and self-protective barriers.
      Thanks for reading.

  17. Michele – I’m so blessed by this post and the beautiful way you get to the heart of hospitality! I, too, have struggled with the ‘Pinterest perfection’ – thanks for clearer my vision and reminding me to receive one another as Christ receives us. Blessings!

  18. Dear Michele, you have written the words in my heart, the fear of being known as is, Jesus friend who lived my life in a family of gardeners, never focused on cleaning up, as more dirt would be tracked in on the next pair of boots or shoes.

    Thank you for teaching me it is better to sit in welcoming and hospitable fellowship, than alone.

    Dear new friend of the heart, when you visit the west, do call and stop in for a cup of tea, talk and hopefully, scones. We’ll see what’s available. Laugh!

    • Jill, I’m a gardener as well, with all the wonder and abundance and joy . . . and dirt! I love how you have expressed your heart here: ” . . . better to sit in welcoming and hospitable fellowship than alone.”
      So very true! And gardeners can always share their tomatoes and other goodies with their people!

  19. I suppose, Michele, that we wouldn’t worry about what our homes looked like if PERFECT wasn’t thrust out there in all the women’s magazines. You are a gardener, canner, freezer person who writes all the time. You are amazing!
    So what conference is this? Are you going to speak then? Best wishes to you.

    • Wow, you hit the nail on the head, Diane. We compare ourselves with an unreasonable standard — Even I could get my house to look stunning for long enough to take a picture (as long as the dog was banished, anyway!). I’ll be in Massachusetts next weekend — will pm you with details!

  20. Yay, Michele. Sweet to see your name when I opened this email. Beautiful inverted perspective, Michele. When we’re gracious guests — we welcome the host into deeper level of friendship. I’ve never considered the hospitality of the guest before. Thanks for sharing that perspective, friend. ((xoxo))

    • Sweet to see your face here as well!
      And thanks for seeing what I was really trying to share, Brenda. The blessing I received that day was completely unexpected and overwhelming. But I won’t forget it! Lesson learned!

  21. This!! “This, for me, has been the challenge of the Christian life: to boldly welcome others into the mess that is me, and then to trust – to trust that God will build a bridge between our hearts, and to trust that others will respond with acceptance and love”

    SO MUCH AMEN. Loved it!

  22. Ooo such a treat to find your words here, Michele! I love the phrase “cross shaped love.” That’s the point of connection in the great exchange of hospitality.

    • Yes, and when I read Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way, I was reminded that it’s our brokenness that God often uses to help us to connect with others on this fallen planet. Just as Christ’s brokenness on the cross has made us whole, our brokenness can be turned into something beautiful and redemptive when we offer it to Him and boldly turn our faces toward the needs of others.
      Thanks, Kelly, for reading and for taking the time to comment.

  23. I love this so much, Michele. We want our house to be like this and I’m grateful to have experienced the hospitality of others. It’s no coincidence hospital and hospitality have the same root word; they both can heal us.

    • That’s such a great “word nerd” fact to keep in mind whenever we feel like shutting down, closing off, and playing it safe. Thanks, Kristin, for the helpful thought!

  24. This is so beautiful – and convicting. I have a long list of people that I want to have over…but I consistently put it off “until I get the house together.” But I have really high standards for what that means, and neither the time nor the wherewithal to accomplish it. So friends remain uninvited. That’s for the encouragement to break out of that!

    • My friends did not come to the house to see my house, and for that I am very grateful! Praying for you, right now, that you will be bold in your inviting and kind to yourself in relation to your standards.
      Blessings!

  25. I loved seeing your name and words here today, Michele! (After skimming the comments before me, I see I’m not alone in that … you nurture wonderful fellowship online, my friend!) I appreciate your story so much … what a great example of how, no matter how ordinary or “important” we might seem, we are all on equal footing at the foot of the cross (and around the kitchen table).

    • Your words bring to mind this wonderful image of a kitchen table surrounded by loving friends — including those four women who stood at the foot of the cross, in fellowship with Jesus even in His dying. I’m trusting along with you, Lois for grace to live in congruity with my belief in “level ground,” and am so thankful to sit around that online table with you!

  26. I have learned to be different about housekeeping, lived in is better than pig pen which it would be if I let if obut ut doesn’t have to be just perfect, as long as peace still say it’s peaceful I’m okay.

  27. Michele,

    Surprised and joyful to read your words here 🙂 Love reading your comments on this blog!

    I can relate to one of their groups of women the faithful caregivers who bridge and mend the generations. I have been a part-time turned full-time caregiver for my aging dad. I would do it again. Sadly he passed this AM. But he is at peace and in Heaven with a new body. One thing I have learned is that people don’t come to see the house, yard, etc. They want to see you fully present with them. Enjoying time, going for walks, etc. True hospitality is being yourself with friends and family. That is what Jesus did here on Earth. He spent time with people and met them in their place.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Dear Beth,
      I am so sorry to hear of your Dad passing. May you know God’s arms around you today and in the coming period especially. I pray God’s body draws near you as you grieve and lean into Hope.
      Love from a sister in Christ,
      Anna

    • Beth, it is an honor that you shared your fresh grief and loss here, because your joy comes through the cracks. My years as a caregiver to my mum here in our home comprised the hardest season of my life, so I applaud your giving heart and rejoice with you that your dad has left behind his sick body. In these coming days, may the presence of family and friends create a network of hospitality and love that will encourage you as you walk this path of grief and Hope.

  28. This is most lovely, Michelle — thanks for sharing. And if you’re ever in Silverton OR (not too far from Salem), you will be most welcomed to my little house as a dear sister in our Lord. 🙂

  29. Michele, thank you so much for this! You’ve helped reshape my definition of hospitality. I have a mental block that hospitality is having someone over for dinner (and trying hard not to pull a Martha in the process). It is so much more. And so much simpler. But not always easy! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • We do get confused between “hospitality” and “entertaining.” There’s probably a place for both, but I think the latter might bring out our Martha tendencies. It just popped into my head that some of my dearest visits with one friend happened while we were riding in my mini-van (with my four kids in the back seats listening to an audio book) while we covered the miles to get apples and talked and shared our hearts. She loved my kids and put up with the playground side trips, and then we had wonderful fellowship at 55 mph.

      • Pearl shared your quote with our writers group about how hospitality is welcoming others into the mess that is us, and it’s stuck with me all day. Thank you so much. I got a call from an old friend asking to drop by at the last minute, and your quote was running through my mind as we talked. I was completely insecure, having had no time to prepare, but I shared your quote with her and she mentioned that when we are in Christ, all that mess is hidden in the beauty of Him. I sure do beg Him to be my strength and shield to keep people from seeing what a mess I really am! Thanks for a transformative post. God bless. 🙂

    • I love your heart, Hazel, and will be upholding you in prayer as you journey through this season of adjustment and caregiving. Thank you for being here!

  30. Michele, this is a beautifully encouraging piece. So lovely to see your name here. I was especially encouraged to read about the very different circumstances these women who visited you are/were walking through and how God brought you together to encourage each other and show you that you all belong in Him. I needed to be reminded of that as I wade through insecurities of my own and lean into new opportunities of engaging with women so very different to me.

    • Whenever we sit in a room full of women, it’s easy to look around at the perfect hair and the flawless makeup and nails and to broadcast a golden “FINE” over the entire gathering. We all strive for FINE, and that’s our answer when we’re asked how we’re doing, but I look at the faces around tables and in living rooms where I teach, and I know that there is sorrow and disappointment not far beneath the surface — even if it’s never once mentioned in the group. I want to offer Truth alongside my own vulnerability so that women will know that they are also able to bring their imperfections to the cross and be healed from the inside out.

  31. Oh Michele, how I love to see you here.

    Beautifully inscirbed upon the table of our hearts is the Love of Jesus. As we open the doors to, we not only invite them for a meal or conversation, we usher them into our hearts where they see the goodness of His love.

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    God Bless

    • Ifeoma, thank you for bringing the conversation around to Jesus. He is the true Host, and the source of all the goodness we have to offer around our tables.

  32. I love having people in my home, but often don’t do it as often as I like because of the fact that I can’t always find time to get myself together. I love the idea of inviting others into my mess and be open and authentic. Lately, I’ve people over several times when their dishes in my sink and the floors weren’t one hundred percent clean. I’ve learned that it didn’t matter, but it was more important to enjoy our friendships.

    • I think the dirty details bother us more than they bother our guests, and if we could only come to a place of solidarity (I’ll accept your dog hair covered floors. You accept my less than shiny bathroom mirror.), imagine how much more freedom we would have to come together with spontaneity and greater frequency! Thanks for going first, Rosanna!

  33. You have so beautifully drawn us in to your story…only for me to discover it’s my story too. Not the exact details, but the heart. I hear your heart and I’m sure so many others do as well. Praying for all of the hearts that are longing for people to see them right where they are (mom jeans & imperfect housekeeping) and for them to KNOW they are ENOUGH.
    Amen.

    • So grateful to be sharing and living one story alongside you, Becky. You’ve given me the gift of being seen and known today as well, and I’m blessed by it!

  34. Michele, I can so relate to your feelings (even the Canadian grandmother & teacups image) and I love your conclusions! You, obviously, struck a cord with many! I need to open my home more and worry less about my less-than-perfect housekeeping (there are so many more important things! lol). Blessings sweet sister!

    • Do you have your Canadian grandmother’s teacups, too?
      This blogging life certainly makes for some tough choices in the housekeeping arena, and I think we both agree that there are plenty of things that are more critical than the fine layer of dust that lives on top of my piano. The growth-point for me is a willingness to own that choice and to welcome people into my life in spite of that, and to accept their “hospitality” of receiving me — dust and all!
      Thanks for meeting me here, Donna! Have a great weekend!

  35. Michele, I love your examples of reaching across artificial boundaries and then God is glorified. Breaking boundaries, and Jesus’ examples, have been on my heart recently – and ones I’ve written about on my blog – wanting to be more like him.

    • Yes, so many of the issues that separate us are of our own making, carefully tended opinions and prejudices that keep us small and safe. Rachel, I always appreciate the words you write about becoming more like Jesus!

  36. Hey Michelle,

    I absolutely LOVE this post! I have seen you around linkups for so long now, but I don’t remember having the privilege of reading your work. This post is so lovely and beautiful. I’m so glad that I’ve finally gotten acquainted with your words.

    I particularly love when you said: “This, for me, has been the challenge of the Christian life: to boldly welcome others into the mess that is me, and then to trust.” Ok, how did you reach into my heart and grab my emotion?! Because that is one of the biggest challenges of my life. I don’t know if you know anything about my story, but I live in a “little house on the freeway”.

    I also love when you said: “God is mightily glorified when, by grace, we reach across the artificial boundaries of politics, race, or denomination in order to truly “receive one another” in unity and acceptance.” Great words, my friend! That sentiment rings LOUD with truth.

    So good to finally get better acquainted with you!

    Your neighbor over at G&T,
    Tiffiney 🙂

    • Tiffiney, thank you for reaching out. I struggle with those boundaries, and have spent the past year doing some reading, praying, and thinking about my blind spots. I guess when we write about the raw edges of our own experience, we find fellowship with others who are navigating the same rocky terrain. I’m blessed by your fellowship in the Gospel, and by your words of encouragement today!

  37. Michele- this post left me smiling! Oh how I want to experience this in each interaction. To feel embraced and welcomed with open arms like my Savior does for me.
    Lovely post!

  38. Michele – taking the first step and actually saying yes to welcoming them into your home, was the hardest, and yet, isn’t it funny on how we focus on all the other things after that first yes comes. It’s like God gives us a moment of strong courage and we don’t give it a thought until after the YES is being said, then we think “oh no what did I do?” or “why did I say yes?” I love that these ladies brought their gift of hospiatailty, love and friendship to your home and I love even more than you sent them home with practical gifts of their own. (apple butter – yum!)
    I so appreciate your linking up with me at #TuneInThursday

    • Really sharp observations, Debbie — so true, and I’m thankful for the sweet hospitality I received. What a gift it is to be accepted by sisters in Christ, to receive the surprise of friendship and the demonstration of cross-shaped love. Blessings, Debbie, and thanks for reading!

  39. Thank you for this, Michele. I used to get so flustered over the cleaning and preparing for hospitality that I sometimes didn’t have any energy left to really engage with my guests, and I was all too glad when they left. :-/ Thankfully God has shown me better ways over the years. I appreciate this aspect you’ve brought out, too, that hospitality is a way of heart in any situation, not just cleaning and making food.

    • Oh, yes . . . a way of the heart. And we can receive someone with grace in the aisles at Target, or when we’re sitting in a pew and making room for the woman who feels like she’s on the outside. I’m learning that it’s really a posture of humility: by grace I have been received, and, therefore, I extend grace to others. Thank you, Barbara, for joining the conversation.

  40. Michele this is so touching! I am truly astounded at the family of God, their hearts…what a gift He placed within each of us for us to share. So blessed you are in my life. I learn so much from what you write. Thanks for being so real with your own feelings. I am sure I would have felt the same way. So wonderful to see God’s word come alive in our lives. Blessings to you!

    • Sure sign of friendship according to C.S. Lewis — that feeling of, “Oh, you too? I thought I was the only one!”

      And, Meghan, because of the timing of your comment, I can report to you that I just got home from the conference a couple of hours ago, and it was fantastic. The women were so receptive and welcoming that it was a JOY to teach them!

  41. I was so blessed to be one of the women in attendance at the conference you were preparing for in this visit. One of the leaders organizing this event told me earlier this week that she just loved your words. I didn’t know what she meant, and then I heard you speak today, and oh, how I loved your words. God has gifted you with the ability to turn a delightful phrase, to bring conviction balanced with encouragement, to reveal truth with love. They told me that speaking at women’s conferences isn’t something you have done much before. It should be something you do often moving forward. Perhaps this is the work that God has prepared for you as you transition into post-homeschooling life. Thank you for sharing your heart with us today. I have several nuggets of wisdom to chew on and will be pulling out my notes from today when God brings me to my next season in the wilderness.

    • Lori, I hope you know that your words here are a huge encouragement to me. Not only that, but even though I can’t put a face to your name, the truth is that as I looked at every face during each session, you were all a sea of smiles and nods and openness and love for the Lord and His Word. I am trusting that God will provide more opportunities to gather with women around Scripture, and I hope they’re all as much fun as this Saturday has been.

      Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm welcome today.

  42. Michele,
    I’ve seen your comments on Bev Rihtarchik’s blog. What a treat to stumble across your blog today and learn that you’re a wonderful storyteller and writer! A new friend to follow :). This story makes me wish I was a part of it! Just like the group of ladies driving up to your house, sharing zucchini bread and prayers and encouragement, and being sent off with hugs and jars of homemade apple butter… Wow! What an inviting picture. Thank you for this wonderful post!

    Blessings,
    Jana Schmitt

    • Jana! So glad to meet another friend of Bev’s. I so appreciate her heart.
      You would have felt right at home with the dear ladies around my dining room table. I’m learning that there’s always room for more! Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself!

  43. Man, I *love* this take on hospitality. That we can extend it by reaching out and traveling TO someone, to be open to them and bring the love and friendship to where THEY are, not just inviting them to where we are. Mind = blown.

    I think I’ve always felt it deep down, but this is SUCH a beautiful illustration of it. Thanks for putting a name to it for my heart <3

    PS I'm always excited to meet a fellow tea-drinker!!!!

    • I think we get hospitality confused with entertaining — and I think that we can be hospitable anywhere and anytime that God plunks us down beside another person. And when there’s tea involved? Well . . . perfect.