Brave Hospitality

21 posts
Fear, Anxiety, And The Uncomfortable Places

We passed rows of rundown stores and shops as we drove down the well-worn highway.  We made our way into a neighborhood, ripe with older, unmatched homes. They were a far cry from the cookie-cutter homes with identical manicured lawns that I’d often seen in the more bustling parts of town. Still, I loved how each house had its own charm. We finally turned onto a steep, short driveway and...

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Being a Sanctuary

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”  – Matthew 10:40 I took a class on Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary in June.  Seated in the heart of Chelsea, I got to spend two weeks in a part of Manhattan I rarely frequent. Each morning I’d ride the subway downtown with my head and heart set for an adventure in this quickly...

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Sunlight, Shadows, and a Supper Club

When I was younger, I was sure that loneliness was both inevitable and temporary. It was simply the price one paid for moving to a faraway city or taking a new job or joining a different church. Loneliness was a straightforward ailment easily cured in time. Now that I am older, I understand loneliness not as a sickness but a shadow. The sun shines brightly here in the land of...

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Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

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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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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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Comfort Food For Those Who Mourn

Today is gray and chilly, and raindrops are sliding down the window slowly, like tears. It is the last hour before dinner, and I am scrambling to write this post for Grace Table. My husband is traveling for work this week, and I left the sitter with the kids and a big pot of slowly thawing soup. I had most of the day to work, a rare thing, but I...

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Open Your Doors Anyway

We're stepping over boxes around here. We've been in the new house, our new home, just a week today. Sitting here in the kitchen feels a little strange, like it's not really my house, as if I'm only visiting. I feel like a guest here--except that I'm not a guest, I am the host.  One of the things we knew when we moved in, was that we wanted to practice...

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Love on the Inside

This morning before the sun woke up and before my first cup of coffee, my running buddy and I were pounding the pavement around the YMCA. Actually, she was pounding the pavement and I was more like trying not to die from shin splints. She's training for a triathlon and I'm training for being skinny and while we run, she talks. I just breathe and cry on the inside. "What...

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Rest – The Bravest Form of Hospitality

I messed up last week. I was sitting in my Research Methods class trying to understand terminology that makes my head hurt. I had been at school since eight thirty that morning and it was pushing 7:00 p.m. I was fighting my second bout of an irritating cough, the first having felled me on Christmas Day.  I. So. Don't. Have. Time. for more sickness. I felt ragged, like someone had wrung...

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