The Lifegiving Home


It’s a warm word. An inviting word. A beautiful word.

More important, hospitality is a word that speaks to the heart of the our faith and calling.

8The bible shares that we are to “practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13)—to our brothers and sisters in Christ, to our friends and families, but especially to strangers and those in need (Leviticus 19:33, Hebrews 13:1-2). Showing love for others is not only an act of love and faith it is a loving response to the Lord’s example and to our very creation—the fact that God has made us for relationships and community! We are made and called to use the tools of our entire lives—including our homes, our hearts, and all our spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:9-10)—to welcome and serve others and to offer them the hospitable gifts of comfort and care.

Kathleen and me
I  believe that women especially hunger to live this way.

The yearning to share ourselves and our homes with others is part of our God-given nature and the call of the Holy Spirit on our lives.

It is beautiful other centered living.


But several factors tend to hold women back in today’s culture.


Many of us have never learned the skills of managing a household and welcoming others into it. We compare ourselves to others and worry that our homes and their cooking skills aren’t up to snuff. We’re so busy caring for our jobs and their families that we just can’t summon the time or energy to “entertain.” And the never-ending avalanche of cookbooks, how-to magazines, and “beautiful living” television shows often discourages while it inspires—whetting our desire to do better, but also convincing us that what we have to offer will never be good enough.

What many of us need is a miracle—the miracle of a changed perspective. And that’s what I offer to women who are hungry to lead more beautiful lives and to share those lives with others . . . but who may feel inadequate, unprepared, or just too busy to do so. FREEDOM from perfection and the joy of reaching out.


I am inviting you to rethink what it means to be hospitable:

• It’s not “entertaining” . . . but providing a comfortable setting for people to enjoy and learn from one another.
• Not showing off . . . but sharing life, embracing hospitality as a message you give other people about their value.
• Not kitchen theatrics . . . but kitchen-based ministry, using food as a catalyst for community.
• Not dinner parties and open houses . . . but mealtime communion and openhearted living.
• Not house beautiful . . . but rejoicing in the beauty of shared meals and fellowship in a welcoming setting.
• Not doing something unusual for “company,” but creating an everyday lifestyle that provides welcome to family, friends, strangers . . . and yourself.
• And it’s not just for those with gorgeous homes, professional cooking skills, support staff on call, or special spiritual gifts. It’s the way God intended all of us to live . . . and what God calls, He enables!


I have always had a heart for this kind of miraculous hospitality. I have taught it in my popular workshops for the past fifteen years. And I have been living it for decades . . . as a college student just out on my own . . . as a young wife inviting another family to share a tiny apartment . . . as the stay-at-home mom with four small children hosting dinner parties for the movers and shakers . . . and as a single mom with four teens and a full-time career as an author and speaker. Lifegiving Hospitality is a warm, encouraging and practical message that the loving, serving reality of the hospitable life really is for them.
The best news of all is that we don’t have to wait for the change of perspective to begin changing our lives. The skills of hospitality are learned by doing—literally “practicing” it. And my desire is to provides the tools to do just that—including easy basics, time-saving tricks, and a small arsenal of foolproof, irresistible recipes But my primary teaching thrust is not “here’s how,” but “you can do it . . . beautifully, and have fun doing it!”


My heart is to give encouragement for any woman interested in a hospitable lifestyle is to “start simply, but simply start,” then move step by step toward a life that is more beautiful, full, and welcoming.

Won’t you join me friend?


For More on Lifegiving Hopitality ck out my books: Lifegiving and The God Who Sees You:



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So what does a fresh take at hospitality look like?

It’s not just doing something unusual for “company”…but creating an everyday lifestyle that provides welcome to family, friends, strangers . . . and yourself.

It’s not just inviting people into your home…but using all the resources God has provided—your physical space, your possessions, your time and energy and talents, your unique family background and personality, even your failures and mistakes—to extend comfort and care to other people. It’s using your unique gifts to make them feel safe and comfortable and wanted.

Quite literally, it’s loving people with your whole life.

And that, I believe is what community is really all about.

Stop for just a minute and consider just how powerful that idea really is.

Loving people with your life.

Serving them in a way that is uniquely yours. Offering your very self as well as your home and table as a refuge to those who feel alien and alone—and don’t all of us feel that way at times?
Helping others feel accepted, loved, celebrated, and doted on just confirms to them that they truly do matter. You matter, I matter, our children matter, and even the least of these matter.

Making room for others to just be.

That, friends, is hospitality—and it’s not just for those with gorgeous homes, professional cooking skills, support staff on call, or special spiritual gifts. It’s not just for happy homemakers or organizational whizzes or extroverted personalities.

It’s the way God calls us the live. In community with care and celebration.

I want to challenge you, to show you why hospitality may need to be a bigger part of your life than it is right now.

I desire to encourage you, to convince you that you can do it—even if you can’t cook or you have a houseful of little kids or you live in Winnebago.
I want to inspire you to stretch yourself, to expand your thinking about what hospitality means and what it’s supposed to mean and how you can develop a ministry of hospitality that’s uniquely yours.

But most important, I want to urge you to start simply…but simply start.

This perspective helps us move past the paralysis of attempting something that seems too hard and for some, impossible. It removes the pressure to be perfect and frees us actually to enjoy the process of celebrating life. It helps us move beyond obligation or duty and recover the passion and excitement of making others feel they matter.

And it helps us remember that most good things are learned in the doing, that life is a journey, and that we can’t go anywhere until we begin putting one foot in front of the other.



Women today are more stressed out, burned out, and defeated than ever before.
The more they seek to better themselves, the farther they fall toward despair.
The key according to Tammy Maltby is to become less self-centered and more other-centered.
Tammy encourages the reader to be the one who gives life to others!
In Lifegiving, she provides sound biblical teaching on what it means to be a lifegiver with out wearing yourself out
and how this flows out of a rich inner relationship with God.


My friend Lynn Brown is one of most hospitable women I know. She entertains frequently, hosts Bible studies in her home, and is always inviting someone over for a snack. Her motto is “have a cookie, make a friend.” She and her husband often open their home to young women who need special nurturing. I’ve seen so many lives transformed through Lynn’s ministry of hospitality.


But it almost didn’t happen.

In fact, when I first met Lynn she was totally intimidated by the very idea of hospitality. Lynn knew I loved cooking, hosting dinners and having people over to our home. She couldn’t imagine herself doing anything remotely like that. The bottom line she didn’t like to cook, she didn’t know how to cook and she quite simply she saw no reason why she should. She was a wife mother and worked at a demanding job often requiring her to travel. So she just assumed she was disqualified from hospitality. It just wasn’t her.

But a turning point for Lynn happened when I was having a particularly bad day. My husband was out of town. My four little kids were underfoot. And I’d spent the entire morning trying to clean up from a major flood that happened in our home. I was a wreck—no makeup, dirty clothes, hair pulled back haphazardly. And I happened to run into Lynn in the alleyway between our houses.
In that moment, Lynn’s truly hospitable heart managed to reach past her insecurities to see my need. She took one look at me and said, “Why don’t you and the kids come over for tuna-fish sandwiches?”

We did. In the midst of eating simple tuna sandwiches, we laughed, told stories and had a wonderful time. By the time that lunch was over I felt strengthened to tackle my home disasters once again. What an encouragement she was to me. And something clicked too in Lynn’s mind that day, or so she told me later. She realized: “I can do this. I just need to do hospitality my own way…my own style. I am going to be intentional about this.”

That was just the beginning of Lynn’s uniquely beautiful ministry of hospitality almost 15 years ago. And you know what? Lynn still can’t cook. (She will even tell you that!) The cookies she shares are bought from the local Walmart. She’s found great sources of carry-out food for her dinners and Bible studies. And she feeds the young women she mentors the same way she feeds her family—with just “doctor it up dinners” and store bought salads and peach iced tea.

Lynn’s style of hospitality couldn’t be more different than mine. But she found her unique niche and it transformed her life and the life of all the people she ministers to. Because when it comes to practicing hospitality, yours doesn’t have to look anything like mine—or Lynn’s. In fact, your hospitality shouldn’t look like anyone else’s.

Hospitality really means loving others with your life That means your life—
• Your cracked dishes
• Your dramatic flair
• Your dinky apartment
• Your fabulous chili
• Your shyness and introversion
• Your soft spot for teenagers or senior citizens or singles or college students
• Your organizational challenges
• Your impossible schedule
• Your grubby kitchen floor
• Your Oriental rugs
• Your geriatric poodle and overly affectionate cats
• Your knack for decorating
• Your offbeat sense of humor
• Your tendency to run late
• Your perfectionist tendencies
• Your late paycheck
• Your unruly toddlers or sullen teens…or empty nest

Everything you are—your personality, your resources, your circumstances, your talents and spiritual gifts, even your particular failings and challenges—can be used by God to do his kingdom work of hospitality. Remember hospitality is a message you give others about their value. It is not about impressing someone but rather providing comfort and care. Practicing hospitality is learning, like my friend, to take advantage of your own particular style of serving and in doing so enrich someone else’s life as well as your own.

Tammy Maltby is a speaker, author and media personality.  Her passion for beautiful living and relationship-centered hospitality shines in her most recent book, The Christmas Kitchen: A Gathering Place for Making Memories. She is also the author of Confessions of a Good Christian Girl, Lifegiving, and A Discovery Journal to a Beautiful Life and Confessions of a Good Christian Guy and her most recent book The God Who Sees You. Tammy is the mother of four grown children, two of whom are adopted internationally and a happy grandmother to four grandsons. She lives in Colorado with her husband.
Visti her on her facebook page at Start Simply but Simply Start   A Real-Woman Guide to Home, Food and a Welcoming Life


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A little thing comforts us because a little thing afflicts us. Pascal.

Be the “little thing” in someone’s life today.


Small is under rated these days. We think bigger, faster and cheaper will bring ultimate satisfaction in our lives.

What a trap for our personal lives, families and our communities.

I am convinced one of life’s greatest blessings is the ability to find joy and pleasure in our often mundane daily efforts.

It is often the small simple offerings that are woven into our daily lives that make the tapestry magnificent. Opportunities are all around you. That is why starting simply but simply starting is the ticket to lasting fulfillment.

A good friend recently recommend the best selling book The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference: Authors Thaler and Koval. This excellent book is a clear example of how we need the miracle of a perspective change. It isn’t just the grand and lofty deeds that bring the grandest changes. It is often the small deeds and simple works that grow into the largest lifegiving impact.

Sometimes the great miracle in our lives is just seeing something we always knew to be true but by seeing it differently it changes everything about the way we live.

Start simply but simply start. Begin today by…

Telling your children what they do right. Affirm the good…grow the good.

Share with your spouse once again exactly why you married him. Affirm the good… grow the good.

In fact while your at it let your parents, coworkers, in laws, teachers, pastors, grocery store clerk, neighbors, siblings, and friends hear a word of lifegiving encouragement from you. Affirm the good…grow the good.

No we can’t do everything but we can do something.

We can…

Start to see.

Start to listen.

Start to value.

Yes start to see all the difference one small lifegiving act can lead to.

A perspective change truly is the greatest miracle of all.





The Heart of the Home
I am happy to say the holiday season is soon upon us! I would love to suggest my Christmas Kitchen Cookbook to your family and friends! I am offering special discounts for the purchase of 10 or more copies…and I am happy to personally sign them.
Contact me at or message me on my facebook page:

The Christmas Kitchen book cover 1

Even in today's busy times, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Author Tammy Maltby believes the true meaning of Christmas is realized when families gather to share activities that make Christmas "the most wonderful time of the year." More than any other holiday, Christmas is when family and friends gather for a cup of hot chocolate, fresh-baked cookies, and lots of laughter.

Look inside this holiday treasure for:

– Easy-to-do holiday recipes

– Hints for new traditions

– Personal gift ideas

– Kid-friendly activities

– Simple decorating tips

The Christmas Kitchen is more than a recipe book, it's a book designed to help you enjoy the holiday season, not be burdened by it. Take a few minutes each day to browse these pages for the help you've been looking for.

Merry Christmas and may your kitchen be filled, first, with the sweet aroma of love, and then with the spices of the season.

From  The Christmas Kitchen with Tammy Maltby

Chilled Cranberry Soup

I’ve served this fruity soup to kick off Christmas dinner for many years now. It’s cool, refreshing, and festive. Best of all, it can be made days ahead and served directly from the refrigerator.

4 cups fresh cranberries

3 cups water

1½ cups sugar

4 inches stick cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. allspice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel

1 Tbsp. finely shredded orange peel

2 large cans mandarin oranges—1 for soup and 1 for garnish

Mint leaves (optional)

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes or until about half of the cranberries are popped. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel, orange peel, and 1 can mandarin oranges, drained. Cool. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. Top each serving with mandarin oranges in flower/star shape with a mint leaf in the center. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.



How to Spiff Up Your Home for Company in Nothing Flat

September 26, 2011

Here’s the drill for the quickie spiff-up!

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