Open Heart and Homes

Since I finished classes in February, and really before that, I've been thinking about how God wants me to use this new degree and how I want to use it. It's still seems like it's going to be a process of growing and learning, developing be into something, but all the while using me for Him in the here and now. That's really what our life is, but it seems hard for my brain to adjust. I keep thinking, "What is this new career He wants me to do?"

One area that has really been on my heart lately is women's ministry and hospitality. I have been asked to serve on the women's ministry team at my church to help revitalize it and possibly help them expand into the area of service. At the same time, I was led to a book called Open Heart Open Home by Karen Mains.
In it she talks about the spiritual gift of hospitality, and how important it is in our families, churches, and communities. It is through hospitality that we reflect God's ideal for us as His followers, as shown in both the Old Testament and New Testament. It is through hospitality that community is created and lives are reconciled, both to others and to God. The hospitality of those we met in Israel and Jordan struck me, as they opened their homes and shared freely. She also differentiates between hospitality and entertaining, a difference that gets people stuck. Too often we don't open our homes (and lives) to others because we feel that everything needs to be perfect and fancy. It is not about entertaining and impressing. Hospitality is sharing what you have been given with others, welcoming them into your life.

And then this week, somewhere in the midst of thinking about all of this and how to share it with others, with women in my church perhaps, I read Ann Voskamp's blog about the SheSpeaks conference. She describes her own journey of people helping her step out past her fears, of sharing her writings with others. And some where in this blog post, tears are coming to my eyes. She is sharing a scholarship to this conference, which is for writers, speakers, and leaders in women's ministry. All we have to do is make a post like this one. I am amazed at my tears, and then even more amazed at the negative voices in my head, the FEAR of writing anything and making any post to share, to even TRY to win.

God works so gently in my life and has blessed me so much, even this year and this day. Yet sometimes what I need most is to be able to open my heart to HIM, to trust Him and to be willing to listen. Still.

She Speaks Conference

The She Speaks Conference is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God and that your heart is to serve Him and His daughters, as He leads.