Wednesday, February 3, 2016

on hospitality and snow

i can't remember the last time we got this much snow.   i absolutely love it.  i'm not sure what it is about it.  i was standing out on my driveway early this morning, trying to chisel away at the frozen patches of ice and i felt like i couldn't take in the beauty of it all.  the bright blue sky, the crisp air, the way the snow glistens in the morning sun......our houses and cars and neighborhoods enveloped in a soft layer of white.  it's invigorating, i guess.  and also super cozy.  i haven't left our house since sunday.  kind of a dream come true for me. ;)

this monster snow storm came at just about the perfect time.  i was able to attend the 20th and final momheart conference this past weekend with friends.

we had so much fun.
 my soul is  filled and overflowing. 

conferences and retreats do this awful/wonderful thing to me.  they cause me to dig deep and think and process the big picture of my life.  and this snow has afforded me lots of pondering time.  new comfy couch and hot coffee included.

sally clarkson, along with her daughter, sarah, is releasing a new book this week called the lifegiving home.  the conference was all about our homes and making them places of nurture, discipleship and hospitality.  in a season of life when it takes ALL of the strength that i have to be hospitable to dave, avery, ashton and ian, i often feel like it's just too much for me to put on my hostess hat for anyone else.  and as much as i hate to admit this, i let the pressure of having the house tidy, some coffee on and a snack to share affect the way i interact with my kids.  (that should read...i'm not as nice as i want to be).  that being said, i love relationships.  i love honest conversations about real things.  my heart rejoices whenever i can connect through mutual frustrations, heartaches and joys.  you can feel it, can't you?  when you walk away from a conversation that fed your soul? i know i can...and it's kind of addicting.

God's so good, you guys.  i have felt such a sense of peace from Him as i've been processing through what hospitality looks like for me during this season.  you know what He said?  i'll tell you.

"mandy, whenever you invite someone into a conversation that leads to vulnerable places, where souls are fed and connection is tangible, you are being hospitable to their soul."

vulnerablity = hospitality.  and that can be in my home, sure.  but also in a coffee shop where no one has to sweep up crumbs and none of our kids are around.  i feel like i just got a high five and a pat on the back from Jesus.


Melissa said...

All the yeses!
(I didn't know yeses was a real word, but there's no red-dashed line beneath it, so it must be!)
Love you, Mandy Houle!
(There IS a red-dashed line under Houle though.)

Mandy said...

Oh friend, i love you, too!

MistyK said...

Your friends are all darling and this is such a fun, encouraging post! :)

Mandy said...

Thank you, Misty! Loved your perspective and insights on the panel!