I do not like being busy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my jobs (all three of them) and the fullness of life. But I think there is a real threat of letting busyness take us away from community, relationships and serving others. This has been a recurring theme over the past month through sermons and conversations and, last weekend, the Allume conference.
Allume is an amazing conference for Christian women held about five blocks from my home in beautiful downtown Greenville. The entire three days was filled with inspiring stories and calls to action, encouraging us to make hospitality popular once again. No, I’m not talking about filling weekends with five course meals complete with themed foods, handcrafted favors and color schemes. Hospitality is less about entertaining and more about a lifestyle– living your life as Christ did, with the welcome mat always rolled out.
There were many amazing speakers at the conference, but these four thoughts have been rolling around my brain for the past week.
Just as quickly as God gives us our platforms he can take them away. –Leeanna Tankersly
I’m hoping I sourced this quote correctly, but no matter who said it, it really stuck with me. It’s so easy for bloggers, writers and anyone with a platform to fall into the prideful trap of believing that you can accomplish something by your own talents and skills. But we have to constantly remember that God doesn’t need us to accomplish his mission– but it’s an honor to be used by Him!
If you can’t be completely moved within 90 seconds of talking about something then get out of the way. Let someone else have your spot. –Tami Heim
When Tami said this in her session I wanted to shout “yes!” because I could not agree more. She was actually quoting Wes Stafford, former CEO of Compassion International. I can’t tell you how many times I have interviewed people in positions of authority and wondered why they are doing what they’re doing if they dislike their job so much. On the other hand I have been inspired by many people who do their jobs beautifully with passion and purpose.
An invitation promotes the worth of those gathered at the table. –Kristen Schell
Kristen has a cool ministry trying to get people to put turquoise tables in their front yards to promote community. While I don’t think I’ll be putting one in my tiny yard, I have been trying to be more intentional about creating opportunities where I can interact and serve my neighbors. Kristen inspired me to extend invitations to people in my neighborhood, opening my life and home up in a show of hospitality.
If we spend all our energy on the fight we’ll have nothing left to battle darkness. –Sophie Hudson
Sophie was one of my favorite Allume speakers. She’s funny and warm and real. One thing she talked about was how she does not love the competition that has developed among many bloggers and writers. She said that as Christians we should be about building each other up, leaving no room for petty arguments and pride. Since beginning my very public job on the radio I have been the target of a few insults and rants. I’ve seen my co-workers’ salvation dragged through the mud and I must admit– it’s hard to watch. People seem to forget we’re on the same team and as Sophie says, if we spend all our energy on fighting each other we’ll have nothing left to battle darkness.
It’s so easy to come up with an excuse for putting up too many walls, keeping some people at a distance, but I have a refreshed desire to showcase hospitality in my life. I hope that I am able to shower others with more love, and constantly give my life as an offering to the Lord.