On Receiving

IMG_8267One of the great things about living in Kenya is that you meet people from all over the world.  They understand what it is like to be in a new place and not know anyone.  The expat community is really great about making introductions or hosting you if you ever find yourself in the same city.  Right now, I am staying with five of the most lovely South African women– friends of a friend I met in Nairobi.

I came to Cape Town for an intense week of work, but I am staying a bit longer for the hiking, coffee shops, vineyards, and contemporary African art.  I knew that after the 13+ hour days of our leadership summit I would need a break, and I wanted to explore Cape Town more since I was already going to be here anyway.

I am learning more about the power of hospitality this week.  I have been caught off-gaurd by how wonderful it can be to be welcomed into someone’s home and life.  Personally, I continually work toward living a life marked by hospitality.  It is something that I both have a natural gifting for and something that I am always trying to grow in.  Much of this desire is rooted in my faith, seeing the welcoming heart of God, and wanting others to experience that in practical ways.

This week, instead of offering hospitality, I have been receiving it.  The women I am staying with are truly amazing.  They have opened their home and their hearts in really extravagant ways.  I have been both blessed and inspired in my short time with them.  It can be hard for me to receive from others at times because I feel like I am burdening them, but these women have welcomed me with such joy and enthusiasm that I am able to receive and not worry.  Seeing the way that they have welcomed me in has also given me ideas about how to grow in giving hospitality.  I am excited for future guests and being able to love and serve them better.

Being cared for so well by strangers has encouraged me to continue opening my home and life to others.  It has refreshed me and renewed my vision for my own home to be a place of peace and rest and acceptance for anyone who visits. I hope that the people that come over to my house for dinner each week feel even a little bit of the warmth and love that I have received in the past few days.

If you are someone that loves to invite people in, keep doing what you’re doing.  It really does touch people.  If you are someone that has a super hospitable friend, freely receive and be blessed by them.  A lot of people tell me that they can’t believe I have people over for dinner every Tuesday, but I am often too happy to fall asleep on Tuesday night.  It really does fill my heart and bring me joy to cook for everyone and to have people filling my home with laughter and stories.

Freely give.  Freely receive.



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