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Expectant Hope

I've waited all spring for them. However, my aunt told me about migration charts and how I prepared too late for their arrival. "Late April, early May," she said. My heart sank. There's just something about hummingbirds that remind me about joy. Maybe it's the way they bring with them the warmth of summer after...

The Sacred Work of Hospitality

Ryan walked into our bedroom and found me laying on our bed, staring at the ceiling. The melancholy in the room was palpable. I was lamenting. "I think we've made a huge mistake," I moaned, "I don't think remodeling our kitchen is pleasing to God." My husband - blindsided by the sudden change in my...

Hospitality and the Secret Power of Weakness

When we told his older brothers that our baby had been born with Down syndrome, we explained that Ace would be more flexible than any one else in our family. Flexibility is the flip side of low muscle tone, you see. His ability to fall into the splits or fold himself in half in order to skooch under a table is remarkable. Ace is fifteen months old and is the...

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Practicing Spontaneous Hospitality

My plan was to run into and out of Goodwill. I was searching for mid-century barware. The thought of finding it as a gift for my husband had my hunter-gatherer adrenaline rushing. As I stepped out of my car, a woman approached me from behind. After I recovered from being startled, I realized she wanted to note that she and I were driving the same model, year and color Subaru....

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When Honesty is Our Invitation

I answer the door in sweatpants and a raggedy old t-shirt. I have three-day unshowered hair scooped up and pulled into a haphazard bun, greasy strands escaping the restraints of my elastic rubber band. I don’t have to swipe lipgloss on or part my lips in a smile. I don’t have to make small talk, I just unhinge the lock and swing the door open without hiding behind it. I...

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Learning To Live With Limitations

It was a tall wooden house, two levels high, painted yellow with white trim around the windows. It stood on the corner of two streets with a huge backyard that stretched out behind it, an apple tree with branches that stretched up and flopped over on the sides from the weight of the fruit. We called it The Yellow House, and it was our home in Stockholm, Sweden for two...

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On Leaves, Springs and Being Stretched

I’ve always been fascinated by tables with leaves. The idea that tables were made to be stretched wider on occasion, to receive guests outside of the ordinary people who normally fill the chairs around them. The idea that our tables are supposed to, were MADE to grow, speaks a quiet challenge to my heart. My grandmother’s dining table was famous in our family for the way it was constructed to...

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Expectant Hope

I've waited all spring for them. However, my aunt told me about migration charts and how I prepared too late for their arrival. "Late April, early May," she said. My heart sank. There's just something about hummingbirds that remind me about joy. Maybe it's the way they bring with them the warmth of summer after the bitter cold of winter. Perhaps it's how, despite the incessant fluttering of their wings,...

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We Need Each Other

As an introvert and deep thinker, I have a tendency to want to shut out the world around me. Too often I prefer to be free of distractions and the needs of others, and I have a tendency to want to live this way. Solitude and the freedom to work alone rejuvenate me. So much so, that I could opt for a solitary world at times. Yet, there lies within...

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The Sacred Work of Hospitality

Ryan walked into our bedroom and found me laying on our bed, staring at the ceiling. The melancholy in the room was palpable. I was lamenting. "I think we've made a huge mistake," I moaned, "I don't think remodeling our kitchen is pleasing to God." My husband - blindsided by the sudden change in my attitude about our current project - cautiously replied, "What are you talking about?" I rambled,...

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What Hospitality Looks Like in a Castle

As a writer, I abhor a cliché, and I am no fan of idioms and proverbs. I prefer my words fresh and perhaps a little startling. I like words that wake us up and rattle our usual ways of thinking and seeing. We say if these walls could talk, but what if the creaky floorboards have more important things to declare? We say a man’s home is his castle, but...

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A Unique Version Of Community

Growing up as a pastor’s kid in Southern California provided me with a unique version of community that I took for granted because it was all I ever knew. Church people were family and family were church people. Everyone mushed together for holidays and Sunday dinners and very often there were new faces around our dinner table. I learned that going the extra mile for someone in need was just the way...

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