watching, reading, and writing stories

Be Our Guest

I’ve seen Beauty and the Beast twice now, so the songs are getting stuck in my head. Sorry but this post is not about the movie. It was well done and I enjoyed it, but I want to talk about something else today.

It’s funny how the simple things in life can so easily be overlooked and underappreciated until you don’t have them anymore. My family is in the middle of a kitchen remodel so we do not have access to a stove, oven, dishwasher, or large sink. Our meals have consisted of take out, shakes, microwave meals, leftovers and whatever else we can scrounge up.

Then yesterday, we were invited to the home of one of our church friends for a meal. I didn’t realize how much I had missed a good home cooked meal until I sat down at their kitchen table. It reminded me of all those times I came home from college for the weekend and finally had my Mom’s home cooked dinners instead of cafeteria food. Everything just tasted better. There was breaded fish, sliced potatoes, green beans, a huge fresh salad, roasted chicken, and fruits, veggies and even a blueberry crumble cake for dessert. Everything just looked, smelled and tasted so good. With the absence of our own home cooked meals at our house, this one felt even more special and it made me realize something.

God emphasizes hospitality for a reason. Our culture has made this gift or courtesy less important than it should be. Welcoming someone into your home, feeding them and spending time to get to know them better shows such value and care. I really felt blessed after our meal together and it’s making me excited to get to do the same thing for others once our kitchen is done.

So here’s your challenge for the day, think of someone that you can share a meal with. If you can’t actually host, then go out to lunch or dinner. But if you can open up your home, do it. You might be surprised with how meaningful it can be. But one word of caution because I’ve found myself feeling this way before: Don’t stress too much about how the house looks or if everything is perfect. It’s okay to clean up for guests but keep your focus on them, not on the impression you’re making.

Well that’s my short post for the day, hope y’all have a great week!


Lessons from Haiti: Coming Home

Well this is the last post about Haiti, or at least the last one planned. I learned so much from the trip that I might end up doing some other little posts about it, however, not for awhile. So here we go!

Day 9: Coming Home

girlsSo Saturday morning we got up super early to catch our plane home. We had some difficulties. One of our team members started feeling really sick, and we thought we might need to call a doctor. But we prayed and God provided strength so that we were able to make it onto the airplane and to Florida.

We decided to get a hotel room for a few hours and just chill till our flight to Texas. It was nice to sit back and eat pizza, play card games, and have a nap. But I did feel a bit of culture shock as we sat in the lobby with the TV on. I suddenly realized I hadn’t watched any shows or commercials for a whole week and I hadn’t missed it at all. It was kind of nice to get away. But now we were back in the States and things were getting back to “normal.” I had to laugh when everyone got on their cell phones once we landed. After being gone for a week, messages had to be answered, Facebook statuses updated, and pictures posted. We had reentered the world of technology.

Despite this bombardment of 21st century, I still had several long plane rides to sit back and digest what I had learned on the trip. I actually enjoyed a really long conversation with one of the girls about what we had learned or heard from God. I also got to journal a lot about all that had happened and what I had seen God do. I think this time to digest what had happened prepared me for coming home, for writing these blog posts, and for sharing what actually happened on this trip and how it had changed me.

As I read through my journal entry for Saturday, I noticed one lesson that I haven’t yet blogged about. I think it came as a result of someone’s testimony. (by the way we did some more of those during our layovers in the airport). Here’s the lesson: Just Love! I was blown away with the testimony of one person who had felt God’s love whenever he was in Christian community and he experienced a deep longing for that love. He was an atheist who could argue about every point of theology and cut to pieces people’s reasoning, but he couldn’t deny love. I guess a lot of times I think people need to understand the gospel, or need to be convinced of it’s truth. But what they really need is to experience God’s love. I guess that’s why Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Matthew 13:34-35

So there you go, my last lesson from Haiti was to simply show love. Or maybe it was that if you’re going to learn anything, you need to stop and take time to reflect and digest what has happened. Otherwise everything is just a blur. Either way, I learned something valuable.

Well I hope you enjoyed this blog series as much as I have. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.

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