Homecoming and Hospitality

This week I'm catching up with my husband and son who've just returned from two and a half weeks in Asia. They're jet-lagged and travel weary, so my goal is to do all I can to ease them back into their daily routines, get them on Oregon time again, and listen intently to all their stories.

At some point I'll have to show my husband the list of calls he needs to return and appliances that need his fixing (because everything breaks when he's gone, of course), and talk to my son about the school he's missed; but in the meantime I'm praying for a gracious re-entry for them.

It always feels like I've held my breath, the times I've sent my loved ones off in a jet plane. We're all looking forward to the exhale of togetherness and thankful for the family the Lord has surrounded us with here in our little valley. I'm so glad to have them home and at the same time, a little heavy, knowing they've likely brought the weight of the world home with them. The world has also not stopped spinning its heartache and turmoil here, in their absence, but God's grasp is firmly on us. We have so many reminders of His goodness and our weakness.

It's good to do life together.

Today I'm honored to have an essay up at Kindred Mom, a new collaborative site dedicated to helping moms flourish in motherhood. It's about hospitality, which applies well to welcoming my family back home.

Learning to be hospitable means learning to recognize the needs of others, and no one needs your perfect hostessing abilities to make them feel at ease. Matching dishes and exotic foods have their time and place, but what we all need most is a little nourishment, a little work, a little rest, and good conversation through it all.

My kids have not grown into perfect social beings, always looking out for the needs of others and knowing the right time to talk and the right time to listen; but they continue to be exposed to people who think, look, live, and worship differently than them. My hope is that, rather than fluffing the pillows and perfecting the meal and changing themselves to make others comfortable, they are living hospitable lives that welcome people to have deep conversations about true things.

Click here to read the rest of the essay.