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One of the most recent themes in my "life education" has been hospitality. I want to be welcoming and continue to learn the art of designing safe spaces for others to experience rest. I remember sitting at a communal Airbnb in Savannah, GA and as I processed and prayed about this word, I decided to ask an expert: the owner of the Airbnb. Her response was actually not at all what I expected:

"Well, what do you like? You want to be hospitable? You have to create, do, and be what you actually like."

Even though this took me a minute to understand, it actually makes a lot of sense. I don't feel welcoming when I try to fit a mold or when I feel like I have to be something I'm not. In the same way, changing myself will never sustainably welcome other people. Maybe at first they'll see something familiar or relatable, but when those things are exempt from authenticity, it will never lead to relationship.

"What would it look like to trust in the Lord’s provision so much, that everything I have is given in a way that reflects that shows an understanding that I am already covered?" I know so many people that give so freely, without expectation of return. Whether it's students that randomly cook delicious meals for me, homes that constantly keep food or drinks on hand just in case someone stops by, people that have sat next to me at a cafe to strike up a conversation, or my mom who picks up trash on the street to help cover the neighborhood.

In a time like today, with COVID & uncertainty & altered plans, it is so important to learn how to flow and to be interrupted. It is so tempting to hoard & hide when my focus is making sure I'm taken care of. But, what if part of our purpose is to take care of others, without abandon or expectation. This is something I see exemplified through so many people. The cool thing is we can thrive in our likes, our gifts, & our talents in a way that draws others in and uplifts them.

In the same way, I want to learn how to confidently thrive in who I am so that I can empower, embolden, & strengthen other people. Hospitality is so refreshing. Taking care of each other can free us and teach us how to allow ourselves to be taken care of and to own who we are. We may never be able to design an Airbnb that every single passerby understands or even appreciates. But those that do enter, and stay awhile, may feel safe and may even come to find their own style and form.

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Move in our nation, bring healing in our land; give us unity & resilience to fight ‘til the end. Lord, humble your children help us look to your lead to stand with our sisters and our brothers and see

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