BOISE, IDAHO – Fall 2019 – Have you noticed? The season for gathering together, cooking and celebrating is upon us. With the changing temperatures, the cranberries and turkey crowding store aisles, and the sounds of Christmas music, it’s unmistakable.
Some people are already in the swing of planning, anticipating gathering with loved ones to express thanks to God for his blessings, followed by the joys of gathering and gift giving to celebrate the coming of the greatest Gift of all.
But for others, the holidays are stress-inducing because hosting others in their home taps into fears and inadequacies. And for still others, the holidays are dreaded as they bring reminders of being alone, or of being unable to afford feasting and celebrating.
Author Nicki Corinne White reminds us that “hospitality is a heart thing,” and encourages us in all seasons to extend God’s love to others through the practical service of hospitality. In her new book, It’s Not About the Pie: A Fresh Look at Hospitality, White’s warmth and creativity are expressed in her encouraging text combined with the lush photography of food and décor she art directed.
“No matter who we are or what kind of space we live in, we can all share what we have with others because hospitality is a heart thing,” she writes. “Because it’s not about having a fancy home or a perfect meal, but about making someone feel loved, cared for, and like they can drop in anytime.”
White grew up in less than ideal circumstances but had people who loved her and introduced her to Christ. After Bible college and marriage, she used her gifts of creativity and sensitivity to others’ needs to minister to those around her, at the same time raising four kids. Over the years, she also reached out to serve others in other ways and shares many stories of how we touch one another’s lives, sometimes without even knowing how profoundly.
The Bible teacher and women’s ministry speaker encourages everyone to be hospitable, sharing stories of her own imperfections and times when she was the recipient of love and sacrifice from those around her.
Hospitality, she reminds us, is combined with compassion to reach out to others in need, as well. She encourages us to really look around us and see practical needs we can meet, such as shoveling snow or providing child care to a family stressed by a crisis, or providing meals and warm clothing to the homeless in your community.
“Heart costs nothing. Always let everything you do be done with love, and I promise that people will notice and will want to return,” she says.
Part narrative and encouragement, part inspiration with ideas for decorating and making our homes welcoming places, yet another aspect of the book is the practical help in the shape of recipes. Or as White puts it, “all that love in your heart is going to want some recipes…”
Although “it’s not about the pie” White agrees with most cultures when she says, “I believe that a big part of hospitality consists of food: eating food, making food, sharing food.”
In introducing the section of favorite recipes that work well for sharing with other people, she insists, “I am not an elaborate cook, most things I make are very easy.” But now an experienced cook and grandmother, she shares recipes intended to encourage especially younger women who may be hesitant to reach out.
“It is my encouragement to use your home to reach out to those around you, one step at a time. It doesn’t have to be a holiday party; maybe invite someone over for coffee or tea for starters, and then take it from there.”
She is transparent and open about her own experiences.
She tells the story of her upbringing in the state of Washington, and her excitement as a newlywed to welcome others and entertain in their 350-square foot home with a leaking roof.
“Sometimes we may feel prompted to invite someone over but maybe fear stops you. Cross out the word ‘fear’ and write in ‘Devil.’ Do you really think the Devil wants you to minister, relieve stress, feed, entertain, pray with, inspire? You are his biggest headache when you share God’s love. Ignore the fear! Do what you feel God is directing you to do.”
White, who is also the director of a compassion ministry called Colossians 3:12 Ministries, is a speaker for women’s ministry events and leads Bible studies at her home church.
For more information or to find out more about asking White to speak for a women’s ministry event, visit her website https://nickicorinne.com.
More information about Colossians 3:12 Ministries is available at https://col312ministries.com.
White is also the author of her personal memoir, Not Really a Princess.
It’s Not About the Pie: A Fresh Look at Hospitality [ISBN: 978-1-949572-04-9 $24.99, hardback, and ISBN: 978-1-949572-03-2, softcover, $17.99] was published by Carpenter’s Son Publishing. It is available from selected book stores and online retailers.
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For review copies of the book or to interview Nicki White, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR, at 513/319-3231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.