Episode 37: Sue Donaldson on Simple Hospitality

home Oct 20, 2021
Ste Donaldson knows simple hospitality

Sue Donaldson is all about hospitality!  If the idea of hospitality is overwhelming, it doesn't have to be! Sue shares all about simple hospitality.

Listen to her podcast Make it Count: Living a Legacy Life

Read her books:

Come to My Table: God’s Hospitality and Yours

Hospitality, 101: Lessons from the Ultimate Host, a 12-Week Bible Study

Table Mentoring: A Simple Guide to Coming Alongside

Say Something Special: 252 Conversation Starters,The Ultimate Guide to Stimulating Table Talk 

Connect with Sue on Instagram, or her website. And be sure to sign up for her free mentoring worksheets

Sue's favorites gadget is her kitchenaid mixer, and her favorite hospitality hack is keeping frozen cookie dough ready to bake fresh cookies.

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This is a transcript of the This Mom Knows Podcast - Episode - 37

Jennifer Uren
Sue Donaldson and her husband, Mark, live in San Luis Obispo - I can never say that - California. Sue is a former high school English teacher and she spent some of those years in Brazil with Wycliffe Bible translators. Together, she and her husband have raised three daughters who keep them at the bank and on their knees, says love and gifting is connecting people to one another to God and His Word. She's a speaker, a blogger and a podcaster, who has a heart for hospitality. So welcome, Sue.

Sue Donaldson
Thank you so much, Jenn, for having me. It's gonna be a blast.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, I'm so glad to have you here. Well, that told us quite a bit about you. But why don't you just tell us a little bit more like, where you grew up? How you met your husband, maybe what a perfect weekend looks like.

Sue Donaldson
Okay. I grew up in Southern California, have Midwest roots. And how I met my husband is a totally different hour long podcast, so to make it short, he's from Iowa came out to Southern California. I met him in the driveway of my ex-boyfriend because I was saying goodbye to him and Mark was starting to rent in the same house. And so I think he fell for me right then but of course it took a while. So he proposed three months later, and I said no. And then three years later, I said yes. And he he was already living in San Luis Obispo. So I'm married into the town almost 34 years ago.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, that's so cool. I love that. Yes, that would be a fun, fun full story to hear.

Sue Donaldson
Another time.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. So So what do you guys enjoy doing in California you have a lot more weather options, a lot more options because of the weather. And we have what is the weekend look like for you?

Sue Donaldson
Well, we have this great trail that doesn't have hills. So at my age, I prefer that it has shade. We are by the ocean about seven minutes from the ocean so there's always a breeze. So we walk our dog down the Bob Jones trail often. Or we are Netflix bingeing Downton Abbey right now, because it my husband never made it through the first time. And we had tickets to go to the Downton Abbey castle. We love to travel. But it was canceled three times because of the shutdown. So we just went to Ohio instead. We'll go someday we'll go.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, yeah, yes,

Sue Donaldson
He loves history. And I love to eat so we go on cruises, too.

Jennifer Uren
That sounds so fun. I love it. So. Well, today we get to talk about your favorite topic hospitality.

Sue Donaldson
Yes.

Jennifer Uren
So I thought maybe we should start with a clarifying question. I think that hospitality and entertaining, at least in the context of having people into your home, are often just used interchangeably. But I suspect that there's a difference. So how would you define these two things? And what is the difference?

Sue Donaldson
Well, the biblical definition of hospitality is welcoming strangers. And that could also be for entertaining. But the main two differences that I see there's a difference of focus, and a difference of purpose between the two. The one reason people say I don't do hospitality is because they have the wrong idea of hospitality, because they put the picture of entertaining on top of it and that can stop you in your tracks - it can stop me in my tracks, and I was raised with hospitality. I'm not a Pinterest type person as far as or Martha Stewart as far as entertaining. But the main two things are focus and purpose. So for entertaining, the focus can often be the hostess, you know, so that's why we get uptight. You know, I just asked on my Facebook group yesterday, what, what is your mental block against hospitality and people were saying my home, my cooking, my time, my money. All these were focusing on themselves. So that's actually their thinking, entertaining, but see, we get so mixed up. So then the focus of hospitality is to is the guest. See, there's such a difference. So when you think of Jesus coming to your house, you're really gonna focus on him, right? But you're also gonna think, "Oh, dear, did I brush my teeth?" You know, so there's that there's, of course, there's some moderation there. But the main thing is, how can I and then the other thing is purpose? How can I serve you? That's the purpose of hospitality. How can I impress you? Possibly is the purpose of entertaining. So see how that you just take the pressure off yourself when you're doing it to serve. I remember right for Thanksgiving, a lot of people were coming. But also my brother was coming, who I'm very close with my brother was no big deal. Uncle Steve's coming in. The kids were thrilled, blah, blah. But I was thinking about this and in my quiet time that morning, I thought, Lord, how can I serve my brother and his wife, even though I've known him my whole life, and it turned out to be a real time of ministry with them and I, I went back to that prayer that even though they're family, God had a use for my hosting them over that particular Thanksgiving. You see the difference there?

Jennifer Uren
Yes, I love that. That's so helpful because I remember, I remember as a, you know, a younger mom, having somebody say, I love hospitality, I always make sure that there's a theme and a game and every guest goes home with something. And I was like, "wow, that feels like entertaining. But you're calling it hospitality." And so I kind of said, "well, that's not that's not viable right now." But I love I love that distinction, because it removes so many barriers.

Sue Donaldson
It does.

Jennifer Uren
So, so you mentioned that you kind of grew up with it. That was gonna be my next question was like, how did you learn this? Was it modeled? Was it nurtured? You're saying it was kind of modeled for you.

Sue Donaldson
Totally modeled, and, and that's usually the first thing... I write, I write and speak on this a lot. And the first time I did was, I don't know, 25 years ago, just to a bunch of college girls at our church. And we did it with a friend. And we listed 17 reasons why not to do hospitality. And then we put the letter "P" by most of them, which is stands for pride. And my mom was a not not a prideful person she's a pretty humble woman out of the Depression era. But she loved people. And I think people I mean, she liked to use nice China, sometimes whatever, you know, but that wasn't her emphasis, emphasis. She was a people collector, really. And I've sort of got that personality. But you don't have to have the personality. You just have to have a hospitality. I like to call hospitality mindset, where I wake up every morning saying, "Lord, who am I going to meet today that might need your invitation?" which may include inviting them into my home, either today or in? I have women coming over for a women's wine night tomorrow night, as well as the following Thursday. And I just send it out to a bunch of people like servers and restaurants. People are lonely, especially after the shutdown. But I did this long before the shutdown because they you know, they don't say to get together because we're so busy. You know that you're on mompreneur or wherever, however you spell that!

Jennifer Uren
Mompreneur! Yes, yeah,

Sue Donaldson
There we go. And we need each other. Yeah, we need to sit down and ask some pertinent questions. And let someone who doesn't know God know that they are noticed by him. And remember, Hagar, yeah, she felt noticed by God. I think that was hospitality. That was God's hospitality on her. And hopefully, she took that and said, I'm going to welcome other people to his hospitality, you know. So the fact that yours is called This Mom Knows, God knows, God knows which person that I'm going to see today, whether it's someone in the grocery store in line or at the post office, hand 'em my card and say, "Hey, what's your contact information? Would you like to get together for coffee?" I don't know who that was every person I meet. But the idea is to be ready.

Jennifer Uren
Mm hmm. Okay, so you had it? Yeah, you had it modeled for you. But what if, what if you grew up in a home where it wasn't modeled for you? How could you nurture this?

Sue Donaldson
That is so great. And that is the first thing I talk about when I speak on hospitality is if it was not modeled, what do you do about it. Well, I have a bunch of steps. I could tell you, and maybe we'll get to them. But I want to tell you story about my mother, who was this Hospitality Queen. When I first did the first time I did this workshop, my mom was visiting and my sister and I said, "Hey, you, too, are good at this. Just give me some research. Tell me about..." and I asked him a bunch of questions about hospitality. Well, my mother completely shocked me by saying, "Oh, well, when your dad and I were first married (they had two kids, two sons, my older brothers lived in New Jersey) and your dad invited the whole Deacon board, the whole Deacon board over for pie and coffee. And I could make pie. (You know, those old days when people made pie.) I can make pie, but I didn't know how to make coffee. And I had this coffee thing. (Probably it was a stovetop percolator) on the stove. And she goes it was new. I didn't know what to do. And I sliced all the pieces of pie on all the plates. And then I put a scoop of ice cream. (This is a no no, don't do this.) She put a scoop of ice cream on all the plates. And then I couldn't get the lid off this vacuum top coffee pot." She said for 30 minutes!

Jennifer Uren
Oh no!

Sue Donaldson
And by that you can imagine the ice cream, the pie everything she said a whole time of sweating and listening. I go "Mom!" and she said, "I was mortified." I go "Of course I'm mortified. I'm mortified listening to this!" I said, "why didn't you, why didn't you serve the pie and ice cream and say you know, the coffee is the real dessert?" You know, they would just laugh. And I said, and she said, "You know, I would do that now." But then she felt so insecure, she didn't know what to do. We've all been there. We've all been, you know, less secure in some area. And, and I said, "besides they were probably all engineers, they would have loved coming into your kitchen and trying to figure out this new gadget" - speaking of gadgets later on, and so this is the point. My mom would do it differently as she mature it. So really part of maturing, is not thinking about yourself, and being able to laugh at yourself. You know, because when we laugh, we know I don't take myself very seriously. And that makes everybody else be a lot more relaxed. I talk about imperfect hospitality and my culinary. I'm a purple chicken. That's a whole nother story. You know, you do these things. You're a little embarrassed, you sweat a little. And then well, you've made a friend basically. Yeah. And then the other thing is Phillip Yancey. He uses the Christian author uses this expression, breaking the chain of ungrace. So my mom herself did not receive hospitality in her home. But at but we received hospitality. But I had never known that my mom had this horrific experience, really the first probably five or 10 years of her marriage. Until she just did it anyway. And that's why it's called practicing hospitality, like anything practicing the piano. Well, my husband practices medicine it's a little more dangerous if he makes a mistake, but I think she could I could poison someone with imperfect hospitality. But the point is,

Jennifer Uren
but at least your husband's there to step in.

Sue Donaldson
So there we go. Or at least call the ambulance?

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Sue Donaldson
Yeah, he's pretty good. But the deal is, is that my mother, unbeknownst to me, through God's grace, broke a chain of ungrazed in her life, so that my four brothers and sisters, we all know how to do hospitality. We do it differently. We're very different personalities. But we can all make coffee, and some of us buy the pie. But the point is, is that my mom broke something in her past for the sake - really for herself 'cuz she loved it - but anyone listening today, can call upon the Lord, and make that grace happen in your family. And we need to do it for the sake of our children. One of my daughters is an extreme introvert, like her daddy, but she can run a room. You know, she might be uncomfortable doing it for the time being, but she knows how to do it. She was raised in it. So really get over ourselves, Mom, we need to do it for the sake of our children. But also we need to do it because we're lonely.

Jennifer Uren
Mm hmm. And so really what I hear you saying is we talk about what it is and how to do it. It really sounds like it is at the heart of it, it is all about relationship.

Sue Donaldson
Oh, totally. Yeah. And about God. I say it's all about God, because he was the ultimate Host. Yeah, because he invited you and I to his table. And I like to say that maybe someone coming tomorrow night, my house in the living room. After I get all the dog hair out of there. Um, may only meet Jesus on my couch. He may only meet Jesus. Coming to your table, Jenn. So I better invite them. Yeah. Not that I have the onus of salvation of someone else's salvation on me. Right. But maybe that's what God wants to start with that person.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Who am I to stand in the way of how God wants to work? Yeah,

Sue Donaldson
Exactly.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. So being relational, you know, God's relationship with them and our relationship with people. Sometimes relationships just flow and they come naturally. And sometimes they feel like a lot of hard work. And I think usually, it's because cuz of the stranger element, we're just getting to know someone - that can feel hard. So how can we make that feel more more natural and comfortable? Especially when it comes to conversation? And you've hinted at this, but do you have to be an extrovert to do this?

Sue Donaldson
Oh, absolutely not. Some of my most talkative friends are introverts, but you have to give them the space to chat. And, and they, they prefer to let someone else talk if it's a larger group. But if it's just one or two people, then they will share their heart more readily. And like the group coming tomorrow, and I may only have two or three, and I'm a little concerned because I like a group of 10. But then I thought, I believe this in the Lord's hands, because there might be more sharing deeper sharing. In fact, my husband has said to me in the past. It's really annoyed me actually. And I quoted him in my first book, because he's right. He says, "If you invite more people, it dissipates the fellowship." Where did he get that word? He always says is he still says that after 30 years, it dissipates the fellowship. I go, I don't care. I have to clean the house the same way for 30 people as I do for five. So let me do this. No, no, I have to defer it to him a lot believe me, except for the holidays. I can have as many people as I want. But the point is, is that if you were talking about an introvert, if you ask them a question to show that you are interested in their life, they will feel God's love and noticing on their life. And I, based on that I've written two books, conversation starters, because I like to start with a question. That's not very intimate. That's a surface question. San Luis Obispo is a unique town. It's a college town. And it's expensive to live here. And it's a way from a lot of industry. So it's always a curiosity to me is how come you move to San Luis Obispo? Is your Are you a professor at the college? Whatever it is. And so I will that's a sample question. So if I have a group of people or women around my table for coffee, and half go to church and half don't, and I can say, "So everybody said, say a little bit about their family. And then why did you move to San Luis? Or what's your favorite restaurant", you know, something very bland, that anybody it takes the sting off of having to think of something quick, if you give them an easy question. It's not our responsibility to stump our guests.

Jennifer Uren
Right

Sue Donaldson
It's - part of serving them is to make them feel comfortable, you know? And, and then the second question may be a little deeper. Last time I asked. We had dessert in the backyard because of the shutdown. And I asked all the women most did not know because we had 11, two nights in a row. And I asked them, "Who would you go? Where would you go on a road trip? And who would you take with you?" And that was so hilarious, because and they could be live or dead. So like the first gal was an introvert shows, Oh, great. Thanks for asking me first. But she was also a friend. But she said I think I would go up the coast through Washington and Taylor Swift would be by my side. And I thought great, you wouldn't have to turn on the radio. But then my second question was, "how have you been brave this last 12 months?" See how that's just so much more intimate. And everybody did that? Hmmm. And if they couldn't think of something, if I knew them, I said, "Oh, remember, you started homeschooling because you had to and that was such a challenge for you." And she goes, "That's right!"

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Sue Donaldson
And then someone else keyed into that. So the cool thing about that, even if I just have six people is that after the questions are and people are getting up to use the bathroom, or they're getting more coffee, they start connecting as friends. I can't be everybody's friend. But I do like to network people together connect them. Where I see them exchanging phone numbers is it's really such a joy.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Oh, I

Sue Donaldson
Does that help?

Jennifer Uren
Yes, yes. I love that. Especially the conversation starters. You said you have two books that have those?

Sue Donaldson
Well, once a printable, people prefer that because they only have to print off the pages they want. And then my brother bought my one of my brothers bought it. I said, Why are you buying this? He's such an extrovert. He makes me seem like an introvert. But it's because his wife is an introvert and they were having strangers for Thanksgiving a couple years ago. And he goes, "Oh, well, Karen wants me helping the kids in the kitchen like carve the turkey in so she's a little uncomfortable. So we bought your conversation starters, we..." he was texting me this Thanksgiving morning. It's not like I had a lot of time. And he goes, "I cut them in slats. Like I have little dots, you know. And then we we folded them, put them in a basket." So these strangers, these guests, were picking them up, answering them, and they could hear them because it was an open kitchen. And everybody's laughing and getting to know each other. And then that sets the tone for the conversation once everybody's seated around the table.

Jennifer Uren
That's a great idea.

Sue Donaldson
It's fun.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, yeah, we since we're on Thanksgiving, I'll tell you something that my kids have loved for us to do, because will often have non family for Thanksgiving. And we have a lot of international students by us. And so we'll have them come in. And so they'll cut out pieces of paper, and they have everyone fill it out. And then we roll it up. And then we put it in a croissant and roll the croissant and bake it like a fortune cookie, the paper doesn't burn.

Sue Donaldson
And then the paper is not like they don't care about germs or anything.

Jennifer Uren
The papers fine. You know, the germs bake away, right? So um, so then you pass out the rolls and everyone pulls theirs out and they read it and we have to guess who wrote what they were thinking,

Sue Donaldson
Oh, I've heard that. That fortune cookie thing is a terrrif - I'm gonna write that one down. Alright, you're in my facebook group. Why don't you? Why don't you write that up and share it and then I'll have everybody here.

Jennifer Uren
Sounds good.

Sue Donaldson
Because I think that's a great idea

Jennifer Uren
So anyways and I don't remember where we got that. But that's become a tradition. And that's always interesting to get to know people.

Sue Donaldson
So the point is to ask is to figure out who said it?

Jennifer Uren
Yes, yeah. And so it's a good way to it's kind of like a gentle icebreaker. You know?

Sue Donaldson
Yeah, sure it is. And it's funny and you can eat it.

Jennifer Uren
Right then eat the roll. So. So when your girls were growing up was your house, the hangout house? Did you extend the hospitality to their friends that way?

Sue Donaldson
Yeah, they were all in sports, especially soccer. And so the coaches always asked for volunteers for the soccer pasta parties, you know, the night before they play a game. And so my kids felt the freedom to invite everybody over (and their parents!) and it was good for them because they felt good to have their friends in their home. Even the quiet daughter, because she knew it would be okay. And I and I wouldn't embarrass her too much. And I always said the blessing, even though it wasn't a Christian soccer team. And, and then her friends told her later that they always felt comfortable here they came from broken homes. A lot of sadness and, and to keep track of that one doesn't like chocolate. One only eat strawberries, things like that. Yeah, it shows love really to your children first, that they feel comfortable because my best friend growing up, we weren't allowed to walk through her living room not even walk through it. Even she wasn't. Because of the way they felt about hospitality or entertaining in their front room was just for the adults. And I had a friend when I was first married, she had five daughters. And they had a ping pong table in their living room. I asked her one day go, Diane, why do you have this here? And she goes, Well, I have five beautiful daughters. And I want everybody coming here. So we set it up where it's comfortable for the boys to come too, I know where they are. Yeah. That's really smart. So we don't have a ping pong table. But we tried to make it so that it's comfortable. And that I'm you know, I'm not annoying to their friends.

Jennifer Uren
Right.

Sue Donaldson
Well, rather welcoming, so I wouldn't say you know, we had everything that everybody else had. But we just tried to even simple food, hamburgers and french fries and things like that.

Jennifer Uren
Mm hmm. That's great. And that's, that's a good point. It's that relationship with your kids first and then with their friends. And yeah, it's uh, it's something to aspire for. But I think it's something that we have to be very intentional about. Not just hope happens.

Sue Donaldson
Right. Right.

Jennifer Uren
So, yeah,

Sue Donaldson
You do have to think about that. And like I had, my eldest daughter lives in San Francisco, and one time for a Memorial Day weekend. She texted me, I was at work. And she said, Mom, can I invite some friends down for Memorial Day weekend? And I said, sure how many she said 12. I go - Well, that sounded like a lot, because it's three nights sleeping in our house. Yeah. And I said her cuz I was a little annoyed. And I said, I don't have 12 sets of guest towels. Can you have them bring their own towels? And she said, No, I don't feel comfortable asking them that at that course. Then I thought to myself, I have written at that point, I'd written two books on hospitality, I need to get over it. I can go to Costco, I'll take out a loan, I'll buy towels, hotels are expensive. And, and so I calm down a little bit. Then she made a spreadsheet because she's one of those girls. And then it ended up being 20 kids who came and these kids were like 28 to 32 in med school, working for an executive for Banana Republic, Google, Amazon. And she works with Zillow, and most of them not believers. And I was complaining to one of my neighbors about it. And she said, Oh, well, she was recently divorced. She goes, "I'll take four." She took four different ones two nights, because the spreadsheet was like, Mom, this guy can come Friday night, but he has to go work on Saturday night. So more people are coming Saturday night. So I made three crock pot lasagnas the last night they were there. I could have used four. Because these kids are not used to home cooked food because they go out or they do hellofresh or Blue Apron. And it was such I was exhausted. Let me tell you that. But it was such an honor to host them. And to let them be in a Christian environment. I mean, I wasn't sure who was sleeping in the tent in the side yard. I was not my job to check. But to know I could do that for the sake of my daughter. Yeah. And for the sake of the gospel. I was glad we were out of town the following Memorial Day weekend, however.

Jennifer Uren
Was that on purpose?

Sue Donaldson
No, but when I remembered it at that, oh, glad we're not here

Jennifer Uren
That's funny. Well, has there been a season in your life where where hospitality was harder to do? And I mean, maybe it was your time in Brazil where you had to adapt? how you did it, but can you tell us about either of those things?

Sue Donaldson
Um, I That how hard it was for working women when I went back to work when my kids were old enough for me to go back to work. And then I thought, well, you're on your feet all day or whatever you're doing, and you come home and you'd have to get your own family dinner, so then I could see "Ah, you know, I have to be careful when I'm exhorting women to also do that." So there's different ways to do it. Like, I've asked my husband, when is the best night for you, as an introvert as a doctor, he's with people all day doesn't really want to talk to me, even when he gets home. He said, "Saturday night." So I that's a boundary. I do to love my husband first. I'm mostly keeping that it's Saturday night. I have, I have quite a lot of single women over because that's he acts kind of like a surrogate, you know, he helps fix their cars, looks at their owies. And he's, it's good to have a man in someone's life when they've been divorced. So he's very comfortable with me inviting, but if I invite a couple, I need to check that out with him. So the biggest adjustment for me was to marry someone so different from my parents, because my mom had company every Sunday. Every Sunday. And Mark's family had company one time that he remembers. Both quiet people not going to church, much. Great people. They just, they would entertain by taking someone to their country club, which my parents did not want that was basically. And so that was a big adjustment to me, I had to say, how often can we have company or should we. And so after 33 years, we kind of have our you know, we know what to do. And I know he needs to step up at times. And he really is a great host. But he'd rather go get the extra chairs out of the garage, and then just go upstairs, but I have to keep him downstairs sometimes. But he's just a great servant. But he just does it differently than I would. So that - in Brazil, no resilience are the most hospitable people in the world. I just didn't speak their language. So I felt badly. I couldn't learn Portuguese enough, in two years, so I only had Portuguese Brazilians over who knew English. And then but I needed friends. So I invited people over five Friday nights in a row. That was my roommates idea. And I made Apple crisp five Friday nights in a row. And she made the guest list of all the different people each time so that I could make friends.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, I love that. Well, you you touched on this. But you know, a lot of the moms listening are really busy. They're juggling their kids, they're juggling their businesses. And so this idea of hospitality can feel very overwhelming. So what, what can it look like? And what is one simple thing that she can do to be intentional about this even in the midst of a busy schedule?

Sue Donaldson
Yes. And I was totally busy and a little broke when I didn't get married 'til I was 35. And I was a high school teacher. So we didn't make a lot of money. I didn't make a lot of money. I had to grade papers every night. So no time. Even though, I didn't have children. My students, I had 100 students that were my children. And so but I was lonely when I first moved to that church. And I finally figured out that I had to do the inviting if I was going to make friends. So I invited about six women that I admired from church. I think they were all married. And they came for a Saturday brunch. So if you can figure out maybe one Saturday, a month or every two months, you can even switch it around with different friends whose turn it is to host because eggs are cheap compared to steak. You can do things in advance. You can buy things, and it's what you eat is not the focus, it's the people who are there. And people like to chip in I remember I had a chocolate open house and invited 100 people at Christmas and 50 came in then the next Christmas came and I said oh let's get ready for it. My husband said no his work was too stressful. Would you do something for women only So okay, so that started Saturday morning power breakfast for shopping for the whole neighborhood. The women who started bringing the food too, so it wasn't because I had babies. Now that time I had 50 people Bethany was in a cradle. They kept knocking into her. They thought it was like Baby Jesus but it was just Bethany who was a month old. But um, yeah, that's exhausting. And so you have to when people offer to help you say yes, even if it's a stick of butter, it saves you a stick of butter. And saves you a trip to the store. And for an introvert. I've heard them tell me this. I like being able to come into someone's home a stranger's home somewhere. I don't know that Well, with that being my hands. It's just kind of like a block. It's it's or it's actually an invitation is ushering them into Hey I brought this, and that's her contribution. So you're actually showing them love when you let them bring something. Yeah. So I can't even remember what your question was now, Jenn.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, just like what's one simple step? I think you said it. Find of Saturday morning and just have a couple moms, other moms over for breakfast.

Sue Donaldson
Yeah. And you can do this. I had three girlfriends. We did it because we weren't working. But our kids were small. So that way all our kids were together. And of course, the house was a disaster after it was your turn, you know, but we met together for 14 years. And I always like to say, ladies, if you start doing this next week, in 14 years, you can say, I've met with these friends for 14 years and we've prayed for our each other's kids for 14 years. And, and when one had to go back to work, she was moaning and groaning I'll never get to meet with you. And I go, but it was part time work. So I don't I went right to I used to have a calendar on the refrigerator. You know, those days?

Jennifer Uren
Yep.

Sue Donaldson
And I went, it was my turn. So I went right to my frigerator. I said, "No Grace, when are you not working next month?" and the next month, so we put it on the calendar, which wasn't and we worked around her schedule for her sake, but for ours, because we love grace. So...

Jennifer Uren
Mm hmm. That's great. I I pray with two other women named Jennifer, the Jennifer's the three of us pray once a month. They live in different parts of the country. And so we do it over the phone, but it's that same thing. It's that intentional. And I think we're going on, we're going on 12 years. So yeah, it's it's a neat thing to be able to do those connections like that over time. What's your favorite easy recipe to share when you do something? Oh, shucks, I knew the answer that question.

Well, you, you can think of one and I'll link it up.

Sue Donaldson
It's chocolate cake.

Jennifer Uren
Okay

Sue Donaldson
Because most people like chocolate and homemade so much better. It's so easy. It's on the back of the Hershey's cocoa cam. And for years, I held on to that can thinking I would lose it until my practical girlfriend said so you could write it down. Because sometimes the cocoa can recipe changes, Hershey's and is so good. And I like homemade frosting as well. So that's great. But I want to give you one more tip. Do you mind if I share one more tip?

Jennifer Uren
Please do!

Sue Donaldson
Do it with a friend if you're nervous about it. There's no shame in feeling nervous about something new. Where we all feel that way. But it doesn't mean we're not supposed to do it. So if you do it with a friend, someone else who says, "Yeah, I heard Sue speak I read a book on hospitality our Rosaria Butterfield book, the gospel comes with a hausky. But I don't like black beans." You know, she keeps black beans in a crock pot. "But I want to do something." And so you get the friend. And you I like to I call them What do I call them, backup friends backup posts, so that I have that host sitting at my table, we each invite someone else. So then you have four people, maybe five kids by that time or 12. But the idea is that that backup hosts, your friend will keep that conversation going while you're finishing up or the kids have just thrown you know, the whole Rice Krispies box has gone all over the floor.

Jennifer Uren
Right?

Sue Donaldson
It happens, but you have this friend. You're laughing and talking and asking questions. So I've specifically asked certain friends to my coffees, or I have other people because I know they can keep up. And they're genuinely interested in people, you need to get someone who really loves other people. But you do it with the friends, that tip is really been helpful to people.

Jennifer Uren
That's great. That's great. And like you said, Just do it. Because the more you do something, the confidence will follow later. But you got to do it first, to, uh, to experience it.

Sue Donaldson
Yeah. And I always say on, say the Philippians verse, I can was using doorbell rings, we have a long way to the doorbell. You just keep keep repeating. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me I can do all..." walk very slowly signals prayer. And then you just start and you do it. And if it's a total failure it doesn't matter, because you're doing it for the Lord. And mostly people just like to be invited. So don't worry about your house.

Jennifer Uren
That's great. Well, our time is coming to an end. But one question I love to ask everyone is what is your favorite time saving gadget and maybe yours is even hospitality related?

Sue Donaldson
I would say my KitchenAid mixer because it mixes things up really fast. But in regards to hospitality, I would say my freezer because when I make things especially cookie dough - this is another tip. When I make cookie dough I make it one and a half times. And then I freeze the batter in rolls of wax paper or saran wrap and I put rolls of cookie dough in the freezer. In fact one time a friend was coming in. I forgot And she came to the door and I go, oh my gosh, Karen, I forgot you're coming. Come on in. And then while the tea water was boiling, I took them out of the freezer, sliced them up, put them in the oven, and she was like, Sue had homemade cookies. I go, Yeah, but I totally forgot you were coming. But the fact is that I in my freezer, I have these rolls of dough in Ziploc bags.

Jennifer Uren
That's brilliant. I'm afraid those wouldn't last in my house, because I would just go eat the frozen dough.

Sue Donaldson
And that's called self control. But yeah, I've done that. And I also take baked goods when I go to like to get my hair done or to like I took my daughter to get a pedicure yesterday I take baked goods. For one thing, I don't need them. And they don't bake. They're too busy working or their culture. They don't bake a lot. And they love it.

Jennifer Uren
That's a great idea. I love that. Well. Sue, how can people connect with you? Where can they find you?

Sue Donaldson
Well, my website is welcomeheart.com based on God's welcome heart. In the shop or a bunch of resources, there's a course. Right now it's been offered for 50% off. I can let you know that code, maybe in the show notes because I don't know about her just for this one gal whose podcast I'm on this week. And conversation starters. And then my podcast is "Make it Count, Living the Legacy Life" and you can find that anywhere you listen to podcasts, or I have an app make it count like to see.

Jennifer Uren
Wonderful. And I know you've got a couple opt-ins that you'd like to offer. Do you want to tell us about those?

Sue Donaldson
Oh, sure. One is a prayer for Hospitality heart. So it's kind of like when we have to pray to be willing to be made willing, you start there with prayer. And then a great recipe I got out of a mystery. I love mysteries that have recipes, you know, like who like killer pancakes or something like that. This is a recipe for chicken satay, which is sort of a barbecue thing. And then, so you get those, the recipe and the prayer. And then also I speak a lot on mentoring. And I have a book on mentoring. So I sell 10 worksheets to help you know how to mentor with you know how to get started with a mentoring relationship, but they're free to your audience today.

Jennifer Uren
Excellent. Thank you and getting started with a mentoring relationship that would be as the one doing the mentoring or is the one who wants to be mentored?

Sue Donaldson
It's mostly for the one doing but the book covers both aspects. Because if you see someone and say, hey, I want you to mentor me and they look at you kind of like a deer in headlights, you say and I have this worksheet and we can say this is what we'll do like the what to do, the first time you meet, how to do a Bible study, your personal goals, all those things are there to help people.

Jennifer Uren
Excellent. Well, Sue, thank you so much. I will put links to all of this in the show notes. But thank you so much for joining us today.

Sue Donaldson
Thank you. I hope it's a real blessing and thank you for having me.

 

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