I began this week with watching Lysa TerKeurst's videos about the writing life. One thing she said was that great writers are wrestlers with their own struggles. That is what this month has been about for me: trying to find a good balance with writing about what I struggle with and have had painful experiences with--friendship--while also encouraging all of us to keep going and keep making friends.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, don't we? As a person with a perfectionist personality, I am painfully aware of each of my flaws and weaknesses. I have not always been a good friend to my friends. Sometimes I'm the one who is selfish. Sometimes I forget to call or check in on an important day. So when I point out flaws in my friendships, I do so knowing full well that I'm not perfect--and I will disclose my errors in upcoming days, I promise.
One of the weaknesses I see in myself is this: Hospitality is rarely easy for me. It's not in my nature to open my home and invite people over on a whim, or even on a plan. I was raised by parents who didn't often entertain, so I didn't really have a model for hospitality. Over and over again throughout my ministry marriage, I've been stretched in this area. For me, the book Bread & Wine was an experience not only in cooking, another weakness I see in myself, but also in challenging me to open my home. That's why you saw it in this book pile the other day:
|Do you see Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist? Middle right pile.|
More than any other book I've ever read, this book challenged me to be authentic in opening my home to others. Community happens around the table--or open contained outdoor flame.
Yesterday we practiced hospitality: my husband and daughter and I opened our home (well, the backyard and fire pit) to another chapel family. Their two boys enjoy throwing sticks in the fire (remember that we have PLENTY of firewood now!) and watching marshmallows burn, so we had them over for hot dogs and hamburgers and s'mores around the fire. It was awesome. We lingered over melting marshmallows and conversation while the boys threw sticks in and played with an ancient football we found in my in-laws' boxes in the garage.
It was fun.
I highly recommend it.
You can go to the first day's post and find links to the rest of my #write31days #31daysoffriendship series by clicking here.