Fresh Look at Hospitality

It’s Not About the Pie: A Fresh Look at Hospitality

Dr. Craig von BuseckBy Dr. Craig von Buseck8 Minutes

CVB: This book has such a beautiful, artistic design. It would be a great coffee table book or gift book. How did you come up with the idea?

Nicki Corinne White: I had this in my mind for a long time. I grew up on a farm in western Washington and my adoptive father died when I was young. We didn’t have an income and we were without water. We had a lot of issues and I always kind of hoped someone would check on us. So even though this book has recipes and other stuff in it, it really deals more with welcoming people into our homes. We should see the needs and we should reach out to our neighbor.

I give a lot of examples of people ministering to other people and ways we can help others. The idea with the recipes and decor ideas and things like that are just to make you feel like your home could be more welcoming. But I also encourage people to think about what you would do if someone came to you at 10 o’clock at night and they needed help? How are you to react? Maybe your house is messy. Would you not welcome them in? I think God wants us to be willing.

It doesn’t matter if we have the perfect home, hence the title, “It’s Not About the Pie.” But, of course, you can have pie!

CVB: Hopefully pie will be in there, somewhere – preferably with french vanilla ice cream!

Nicki: Exactly! But things don’t have to be perfect. Yet we should all be welcoming. Romans 12:13 tells us, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” So we’re all supposed to do this. It’s not like a spiritual gift that is just for some. We are all instructed to do that.

My first book, ‘Not Really a Princess,’ was a memoir that gave a background to why I want to be involved with compassionate ministries. I feel burdened for widows and single parents and that kind of thing because of my background. There are some examples in the book of things like that.

I think that we feel inadequate sometimes, like things aren’t perfect. We have a small group in our home and someone came early, so I was kind of racing around, finishing up a couple things. My friend said, “Well, you know, I have a friend who wrote a book called, “It’s Not About the Pie” – kind of like, “You know, you don’t have to stress it.” I think people just want to feel welcome, so it is a reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

CVB: Who did the photographs? They are beautiful.

Nicki: I have three friends that go to our church and so it’s kind of a mixture of different people. It’s amazing photography and I think that along with the message, that is why it’s doing so well. I think that’s a draw – that it’s a pretty book. The layout was really complicated actually. A lot of back and forth.

CVB: Tell me some of the stories or lessons that really stand out to you.

Nicki: I think it’s not always convenient when God lays someone on your heart or maybe you need to take a meal to someone. It’s not necessarily because they just had surgery, but even they’re just tired. I mean there’s things that we could each do every week that can help someone. We just need to be mindful of these things.

I mention in the book the in-gathering in the book of Acts and how people were taking meals together daily and so the Lord was adding to their numbers daily. If we aren’t connected with people, if we’re just closed in our homes, then we can’t meet their needs.

CVB: In Acts it speaks of the people being upset because their widows weren’t being taken care of by the church. And that is the problem, isn’t it – not knowing the need exists.

Nicki: Right. When my adoptive dad died when I was 13 and he was in his fifties, he didn’t have a will or anything, so we had no income. So my mom was a young widow with two teenagers. When things broke she didn’t want to go to anybody to complain about it. I think if we plugged in enough to people, we would know when something’s broken. We would know when their car is not working. We would know if they don’t have any water in their home. Whereas if we’re just into ourselves, we can’t do that.

CVB: And where’s the salt and where’s the light?

Nicki: Exactly. So we just have to be aware of our neighbors and our friends and people within the body.

CVB: I’ve heard that said, “Don’t tell me you love me, show me.”

Nicki: Right. It has to be practical along with the spiritual. Be real.

CVB: Awesome. So how about the recipes? Where did those come from?

Nicki: They all have little stories telling where they came from. Some of them are mine – things I’ve gleaned. They’re not all difficult or complicated. Some are just really easy things. Then there’s a few from other people also. There are fun little stories before each recipe. For some people that’s their favorite part of the book. We started with 15 recipes and then it just grew and grew. There are now more than 40 recipes.

CVB: When someone reads through this and they close the book, what do you hope that they walk away with?

Nicki: God just wants us to be willing. It doesn’t all have to be perfect, but we can’t turn people away. That’s not showing God to anyone. We need to not be intimidated, but go out of our comfort zone and try something.

People can start with something really simple like just having one friend over for tea. Then they can invite maybe six friends over. Maybe they could go down the street to visit an older neighbor that doesn’t talk to anybody and make friends with them. Just start by little steps. Start where you are and grow from there. Everyone has someone they know that has a need.

Order your copy of It’s Not About the Pie: A Fresh Look at Hospitality by Nikki Corinne Smith