Hospitality Interview Part 2 – Erin Drago

Did you all enjoy Carole’s interview last Sunday? I hope you did and are looking forward to today’s!

Today, we have Erin Drago here with us to answer my questions about hospitality. Funny story – I met Erin on my and Jesse’s wedding day! She was our photographer’s second shooter. We told her of the new Starbucks coming to town right around the corner from her house, and she was so happy! Then a month or so later, we saw her and her family at church one Sunday. Now we are all members of the same church and see each other on a regular basis. It’s been a joy to spend more time with Erin and her family over the last year and a half. They are a joy! I love Erin’s genuine exuberance and enthusiasm! She truly infuses that same spirit into her home.

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  1. What comes to mind when you think of hospitality?
    • My thoughts on hospitality can be summed up with this quote by Carolyn Mahaney, “Lord, help me to build the kind of home where all who enter find it ‘impossible to keep from thinking of God.'”
  2. How do you arrange or decorate your home to help others feel welcome in your home?
    • When we bought our house, the main thing we considered in terms of layout, was “would it be conducive to practicing hospitality?”  Our desire really was to create a space where people could gather comfortably, whether that be for a community group, a meal, or a play date.  Since we value hospitality, I made sure we had several sitting areas, and lots of chairs that can be moved from room to room.  I was also pretty determined to have all hardwood flooring in our house.  I can be a little OCD about cleanliness, and I have learned that having hardwood floors rather than carpet, helps me not to stress about people wearing shoes, tracking in dirt, etc.  Something else we have done is to fill our home with things that are disposable…we want to be good stewards of the things in our home, like our furniture, rugs, etc., but at the same time, we don’t have anything out that would cause us to struggle if it were to get messed up or destroyed.  The reality of opening your home to others is that inevitably accidents will happen.  If you have decorated in a way that is not super formal or fragile, you are more likely to not sweat it when one of your kid’s friends wipes oreos all over your couch! 🙂  The reality of hospitality is that it is reality and that can be messy. 

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  3. What causes you to feel welcome in someone else’s home?
    • I feel welcome in someone else’s home when they sit and relax with me.  I also feel welcome when they offer delicious food!  Food & fellowship…the 2 “fs”…they’re my FAVORITE!!!!! 🙂

  4. What causes you to feel unwelcome in someone else’s home?
    • If someone is up and cleaning the entire time I’m there, then I may be tempted to feel like an inconvenience.  I’m a clean-as-you-go gal, so when we have guests, I have to fight the urge to do that.  I try and remember what makes me feel comfortable in someone’s home, and then strive to be that type of hostess. 

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  5. If you could only do one thing before a guest arrived at your house, what would you do?
    • If I could only do one thing before guests arrive, it would be to Clorox wipe the toilets…I’m kind of crazy about clean toilets.  That’s followed very closely by vacuuming…I LOVE a vacuumed floor…it’s my love language.
  6. What’s your favorite meal to prepare and serve guests? Why?

      • For first-time guests, I usually make sloppy joes.  We just began attending a new church last fall, so I have made a lot of sloppy joes this year!  Sorry everyone! 🙂  It’s such a quick and easy meal that you can make in advance, and it also serves a lot of people. 
        I also always make stickies for dessert.  That’s a family recipe that isn’t really weird, so most people like them and I always keep the ingredients on hand…except for the last 2 times we have had them…oops!!! Whether I end up making sloppy joes or not, one thing is always consistent – I make something that can be made in advance, so I am not cooking right up until our guests arrive.  I like to be available to hang out right when folks walk in the door!!!!!! 🙂  One more thing I try to do regarding food is to have plenty of it.  I really want people to feel welcome and comfortable and eat like they would at home.  I don’t want anyone to leave hungry! 🙂 

        white kitchen with subway tile, open shelving, and a window seat

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  7. If you are going to stay at a friend’s house for the weekend, what do you count on them to provide?
    • Towels, linens, maybe a meal or two, and FUN! 🙂
  8. As the host, what makes you feel appreciated by your guests?
    • I feel appreciated by my guests when they eat a lot!!!  I love for people to EAT!!!!!!  I also feel appreciated when people want to come back!!!!!  That warms my heart!!!!! 🙂 

living room window with plants and black, white, and gold accents

Ultimately, hospitality is not about food or clean toilets.  I think those are ways we can practically serve our guests, and they are definitely important, but I would never turn someone away if my house was dirty or my pantry was empty.  I want our home to be a place where people can come and share their stories, converse about our savior, and glorify Him through community.  Food and decorations don’t have to be involved for that to happen.  I love that I get to manage our home so that it is hopefully inviting to others, but most importantly, I want my home to be a place that is used by God in the lives of our friends and family.  I want to serve Him by serving them. 

kids sitting at kitchen island

** All photos in this post were supplied by Erin Drago **


This is day 9.

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