Category Archives: Hospitality

Celebrate Good Times – COME ON! (Lessons from “Elf” ;) )

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One week.  GIRLS!!!!  One week til Christmas!  One week!  To quote Buddy the Elf, “SANTA – OMG – I KNOW HIM!!!!”

I’m super giggly about that because Elf is such a silly, silly movie!  The one liners, the Christmas kitsch, the feel good singing at the end.  Oh my goodness, it gets you in the mood, girls!  I love it!

But do you know what I love the best (besides smiling, of course… 😉 )?

Wendie as buddy the elf

I love how Buddy the Elf can celebrate just about anything.  From the world’s “best” cup of coffee, to ABC gum (Already Been Chewed …in case you didn’t already know that acronym…you’re welcome).  Buddy has the gift of worship.

As we wrap up our Come Closer series of studying 12 spiritual disciplines, I love that we are ending on WORSHIP!!!  Worship is like watching a football game and when your team scores a touchdown; your body cannot help but throw your arms in the air!  It’s spontaneous clapping at the end of a symphony performance.  It’s the tears of awe streaming down your face when you are welcoming a new baby (or even puppy, as the case may be…) into your world. (I’m such a sucker for the puppies – it isn’t even a joke.  I LOVE them!)

Big Boy Pic from Taylir

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! Love my Fry Guy!

Worship is essentially our response –authentically and organically – to the goodness of God in the moment in which we experience it. How do we react at a gorgeous sunset?  The birth of a baby?  Even the surprise of answered prayer, the awareness of provision we hadn’t noticed before or expected.  It’s WORSHIP!!!

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Worship is our soul acknowledging His presence. It’s us reacting to His action and influence around us.

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And it’s often one of the hardest disciplines, too, because when your team is down and the game ends and you’re on the losing end, how can you seriously and honestly praise anyone?

I’ve been there, in my own way. If  you are there right now, email me. I’ll pray for you, with you, and into you. Stick with us into the new year, because I promise we will be talking about concrete ways to build God into what you are experiencing.

But today, I’m asking that we all just take a minute or two considering worship as a form of celebration.

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You guys know I love to put myself in Bible stories, especially ones where Jesus is the leading character. Which is pretty much every story  in the gospels, so yeah.  I have this tendency to play this  supporting, behind the scenes kind of  role in all my versions of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John right next to the main characters.

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But here’s pretty much one of my faves. It’s Jesus’s very first miracle. It’s the very first story about Jesus as, like, a big boy.  His ministry is just about to launch and somehow, someway, he and his mom and some other people have been invited to this wedding in the town of Cana.  And about half way through the party, they run out of wine.  OUT OF WINE.  AT A WEDDING.  WHAT?!  Poor planners or something.  But yet…

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But yet. In the midst of the party and the food and the celebration, Mary, our Mother Mary, this brave momma of the Son of God, goes over to Jesus (because, you know it’s a wedding and they’re not at the same table because it just isn’t the way it’s done…), and, in my version, she has  her hands on her hips and she has just a touch of an attitude, and she basically says, “Um. You need to do something about this.   I know you’re trying to humble and behind the scenes and stuff like that right now.  But these people are our friends, our people.  And they are out of wine.  AT A WEDDING. And that isn’t cool.  So.  Can you help us out?”

At first, like any young adult, he gives her an eye roll. Right? “Woman, what business is this of mine?”  (He actually says that. TO HIS MOMMA.  Look it up if you don’t believe me.) But then, like all mature-ish moms, she flippantly turns around, ups His eye roll, and confidently says to the servers, “Yeah.  He’s got this.  Do what he tells you to do and then fill ’em up.”

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I think they went home that night and had the giggles and stayed up high fiving and hugging. They knew some pretty intense and awful stuff was coming. But that night? I think they celebrated. His very first public miracle was for the FUN of it.  Celebration, girls.  It’s a big, darn big, deal.  And I LOVE it.  Like SUPER LOVE IT!!!!!!!

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Girls. We gotta celebrate when the opportunities present themselves.  And here’s the even cooler thing:  He’s present in all of it if we just take the time to look for Him.  And THAT is what we’ve been discovering all semester.  All these disciplines lead to this:  our seeking and acknowledging of Him and His miracles – big and small  – in our lives.  We may not have always gotten them right or practiced them at all.  But you know what?  He saw us.  He sees us.  And He knows our heart.  He knows we love Him, that we’re seeking Him, and that we honestly just want to come closer.  And He’s celebrating with us today as we come closer to celebrating HIM at Christmas!

SO.  I’m CRAZY glad you joined us on this journey.  I am proud of you for reading and trying and questioning and trying again when things were new, uncomfortable, and even hard. And I cannot wait to tell you what’s coming in the New Year.  But that’s a post for January, sweet friends.  (Insert silly grin, giggles, hand clapping, and summersaults – because cartwheels are just too hard for this body…!)

In the meantime, here’s a little glimpse into where we are headed, which is even deeper into the disciplines we’ve been talking about this semester.  You aren’t going to want to miss this, girls.  It’s better than good…it’s GREAT!

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I wish you and yours a very Merry and WONDERFUL Christmas and holiday break.  We’ll be back here the first week of January to let you know what we are up to in 2018. 😉

Thank you, as always, for your trust, prayers, support, and love.  I send all of that AND MORE back you way.

Peace, love, joy, and GRATITUDE!

Wendie

PS – Check out what I got from some gals for Christmas… aren’t they the most clever sisters ever?!

Typewriter from Camille and Amy

 

 

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The Best Way to End Things

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The ending of something wonderful is never easy, is it?  I mean, when something sweet has run its course, how do you bring closure to it without feeling a wee bit depressed?

Well, you throw a party, of course!

Last week, we wrapped up our Summer 2016 series, easy, with a super fun, progressive Pop-Up style party!  We send out email invites a few days in advance and announced our secret locations!

We started the night at Camey’s house for drinks, appetizers, and lots of catching up and giggles!  (And Camey’s dog, Dodger, stole all our hearts!)

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An hour or so later, we meandered through a candlelit path to Alicia’s, to find a spot to sit, relax, eat our picnic dinners, visit the popcorn and candy bar, and watch a silly movie from the 1980’s – “Sixteen Candles”!

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We spent out night enjoying each other’s company, eating delish food, and just plain ole’ took it easy!  My thanks go out to everyone who came and especially to our entire pop-up party team for your generous support of the night!  We had a BALL!

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And of all the wonderful things about Alicia, I have to say I was super impressed with her ability to pack my car so expertly at the end of the night!  😉

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I hope you had as much fun walking through this easy summer as we did!  Stay tuned for our announcement next week – RIGHT HERE – for our big unveiling of our Fall 2016 series, “Wonder-FULL”!!!!  It’s going to be GREAT!!!

 

Peace, love and joy!

Wendie

 

 

Share Your Stuff (it’s easy)!

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Welcome to Week 1 of easy 2016, our Summer 2016 Spirituality Series!  You can click here to find out about everything we’re doing and how to follow along with us for the next eight weeks.  This week, we’re tackling the issue of hospitality and learning to make it just a little easier to share… 😉

It’s probably the first “life skill” lesson we are taught as children: “Share your stuff.”   Learning how to share is hard work for our littles, tho!  All those bright and fabulously textured toys that fit perfectly into chubby little fists are almost impossible to give up, even if just for a few minutes!  However, with repeated reminders and opportunities to try the skill, the reward of seeing someone else happy because of a little generosity in sharing wins out over stubborn attempts to control possessions.

As we get older, sharing becomes a bit more intangible and extends beyond simple possessions. We start to learn how to graciously share space, experiences, emotions, time, and people with others.  As adults, we commonly refer to this kind of sharing as hospitality.  And to get good at it, we need to practice it, too!

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Isn’t that the BEST advice: “Stay on good terms with one another, HELD TOGETHER BY LOVE”?!

How do we do that?  Hospitality.  In other words, be at the ready to extend a hand, a meal, a bed, a seat, a hug, a moment, an encouraging word…an ear. Scooch over just a smidge a make room for someone who could use a little less hard and a little more easyShare what you’ve got in the moment.

Hospitality isn’t about hosting a great party (although that IS a fabulous gift if you happen to have it!). It’s about embodying the welcoming and healing attitude of Christ when we sense the need. It isn’t about consulting Pinterest for recipes and décor ideas, making sure the house is clean, and preparing for days ahead of time before extending an invitation (even though these are good things!!!). It’s about being present and mindful in everyday moments in order to easily meet the need of another when it presents itself.

If we spend too much time preparing and waiting around for the big moments in life that we think will make the “difference”, we miss the countless opportunities God places in our everyday world to simply just get at it.  There are a million different ways to use love and kindness to change the trajectory of someone’s day and, in turn, bless your own.

Today, try living with the mindset of true, easy hospitality.  Make room on your bench for someone to sit a spell with you.  Lend a book.  Pour a drink.  Share a toy.  Hold a hand.  Whatever feels right in the moment is what you should do.  And, on those days when it’s YOU who needs a seat on the bench, trust that the angels you have helped along the way will, in turn, love on you.  That, sweet friends, is hospitality…Jesus style.

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For more on true hospitality, read Simply Tuesday, by Emily Freeman! Looking for an easy meal for tonight?!  Click here for this week’s recipe (front of recipe, back of recipe)!  Want a fun tune to get your day going?  Click here for one of our faves, “Hold Me” by Jamie Grace; you’ll be tappin’ your toes in no time!

See you right back here next week for some thoughts on using our words… for good!

Peace, love, and JOY!

Wendie