May 8, 2019

Maybe its because Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching or that a picture of my mom appeared in my Facebook memories page, or that we have been talking about mom memories as Pampered Chef consultants, or all of the above that has me thinking about my mom and the lessons she taught me in the kitchen.  Even though my mom passed away in 2001, the memories live with me. There are days I can even smell the memories coming out of my oven, even thought it is not on.

My mother was an amazing baker, but necessarily the best cook. However, one thing she taught me was to skim off the scum from the top when making chicken broth. She would tell me the scum would rise to the top and I needed to skim it off. What needs to be removed will let you know it does not belong here. So I would always skim it off. She told me mixing it back in would give a bitter taste to the soup because I was not listening to the soup telling me what needed to be removed. This process continues to teach me to listen to how God speaks to me about who and what needs to be removed from my life.

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July 29, 2017

I have been spending so much time thinking through my feelings about community. I know I like the idea of being part of a community, however, I grapple with the challenges of being a part of one. On the one hand, I appreciate the feeling of belong and being a part of something bigger then myself. On the other hand, I hate the feeling of never quite fitting in or living up to the communal expectations. It is feeling like you fit in when so often you feel like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole or vice versa.

I have spent most of my life feeling like I never quite fit in. The one place I feel as if I fit is in my relationship with you. It is in my relationship with you that I experience that unconditional love and acceptance. Perhaps that is because you never ask me to leave a part of me at the door. I have always known that you love for me is unconditional.

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January 30, 2016

So all this month I have been reflecting on hospitality, reading about it, writing, about it, starting conversations about it, and practicing it to the best of my ability. Others have told me I am very hospitable and that they feel the welcome and the love the minute they walk in our door. I am so grateful they feel that way. Zoe and I are so intentional about trying to create that space. We both know what it is like to not feel welcomed, to not be wanted, to be excluded, and to be told there is no room at the inn. As a result, we have been intentional about doing all we can to create an environment of love and welcoming.

Yet for whatever reason when I have sat down to journal about hospitality as it applies to my own life, what I remembered were those moments when people did something to make me feel welcomed and those times when I was not.

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Song of the Week

January 28, 2016

Sometimes we need to remember to open our hearts, minds, and souls to a deeper connection with our Higher Power, however we define that.

The universe has a sense of humor. Recently I had read that Albert Einstein, when asked to identify the most important question in life, said, “Is the universe a friendly place or not?” Shortly, after reading the question on which I was going to reflect, my computer began dinging, the equivalent of you’ve got mail. It is the beginning of the semester where I teach part time and as with every semester, students are stressed because something has not come in yet. This normally means that either their financial aid has not come in or the books they ordered online have not come in yet.

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One of my favorite places to go for nourishment and inspiration is the Spiritual Literacy library on YouTube. This week I was pulled in by a one-minute story about the hospitality of a person known as nothing more than the Desert Dweller. According to the story, this person has lived in the desert most, if not all, of his life. At the end of each day, the Desert Dweller leaves a lit lantern by the side of the road and a now worn out note in a plastic sheet protector letting people know how to find his cottage should they be in need. This story comes from a book by Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart.

For me this story is about the attitude we have about our willingness to open our hearts and homes to others. It is not about whether or not people accept our invitation. Rather, it is about our willingness to extend the invitation in the first place.

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January 11, 2016

It is interesting how hospitality and hostility sound so much alike but are practiced so differently. Other than the first three letters, these practices have nothing in common. Hospitality is about building bridges and welcoming all of humanity. Hostility is about building divides that separate us from one another. Hospitality thrives on peace and healing and hostility thrives on conflicts and confusion.  Practicing hospitality helps us to increase our tolerance of those whose lives are different from ours. Practicing hostility helps us to become more distrustful and suspicious of others.

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January 6, 2016

One of the things I so appreciate about our love and inspiration group is that I always leave with some sort of inspiration. This weekend we spoke about being mindful about what makes us feel welcomed. What is it that hosts do that makes us feel welcomed? What do we do to make our guests feel welcomed?

A while back I heard a story about a pastor who would stand outside her church and greet the migrant workers as they came in from the fields. She spoke to them in Spanish and they responded. And soon a bridge was forged. This rural community embraced the migrant farm workers and welcomed them. They offered them radical hospitality and in doing do they discovered that it is the recognition of our common humanity which binds us together

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This weeks question is inspired by this morning’s conversation at Love & Inspiration. So what makes you feel welcomed? What do others do that has made you feel welcomed, regardless of where you are?



January 1, 2016

So I have had to laugh at this whole notion of hospitality. I have been intentional about creating a space here at Inspiritual and in our home where all feel welcome. We have done this in part because we have all know what it felt like when we were not enough of something or too much of something to feel welcome and accepted by a movement, community, or other group. Years ago, I wrote a poem called I am enough where I spoke out about all the areas of my life I had allowed myself to feel marginalized and excluded by others words and behaviors.

I knew I was never excluded by the one who created me and has loved me my entire existence, however, there have been times when other humans have reminded me that I am on earth and not in heaven. Sometimes the rejection, the inhospitality has come in the most unexpected of places.

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