Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hospitality {tips, tricks and recipes}

Our first term we had house guests 40% of those two years.  We've learned some things over those 291 {and counting} nights:

  • People just want a clean bed and hot water... and will still feel at home if the living room is a mess. Focus on the essentials.
  • People want to help. When they offer to do the dishes, let them!
  • People appreciate when you notice or remember.  Keep a hospitality file on people you host frequently (who likes coffee, who wants diet coke,etc).  It will mean a lot when you have their favorites on hand when they return!
  • People don't want a heavy meal after they have traveled- but a plate of hummus and carrots will hit the spot.  Cookies don't hurt either. 
  • People don't want you to fuss over breakfast- but they will want to eat :)  I like to have a pan of baked oatmeal in the fridge and the coffee maker set up and ready to go in the morning- first person up turns on the coffee!

Easy Hummus
  • 1 can (or 2 cups cooked) chickpeas (mostly drained, but leave a little liquid)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt (if the chickpeas aren't salty)
  • glug of olive oil

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor. Serve with carrot sticks or pita chips.

Baked Oatmeal
  • 2/3 c. butter (melted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/4 c. milk
  • 6 c. oats
Melt butter. Set aside.
Beat eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, spices,. Mix well.
Whisk in butter and milk.
Then add oats. Stir well. Pour into 13x9 pan. {at this point you can refrigerate overnight, and bake it in the morning}. Or bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until slightly browned at edges and firm to touch.

What do you serve to guests? Do you have tips on hosting guests?? Leave a comment!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Beauty of His Invitation

Come away, My beloved, to a retreat on the beach. away from the stresses of daily life. away from all the little people who need you. away from the Kampala traffic. away from online distractions. Come away. It isn't always possible to come away for 3 days by the sea, but Sabbath rest is always possible. {more on Sabbath rest and intimacy soon}

Come together. You were made for community. Allow your fellow travelers to lighten your load. Admit your need. Ask for help. It's often the quickest way to build trust and community.  "Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." -Psalm 34:3

Come unto Me. Not to serve Him, but to enjoy Him. The invitation is to intimacy, which can include working side by side, but doesn't always.  Enjoy Him. Maybe you need to plan a Play-date"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good..." -Psalm 34:8  

Come often.  Daily quiet time is not enough. He longs for us to walk with Him, to glance in His direction throughout the day. Perhaps He is inviting you to pause three times a day, like Daniel.  "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." -Psalm 34:1

This past week I attended a "once in a career" opportunity for global women- a Thrive Retreat!  It was hosted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania- on the beach of the Indian Ocean.  Thrive Retreat is hosted on most continents every year for global women from North America to come and be renewed and restored at a very small cost.  It was such a blessing!

And now I have the opportunity to live out what He was working into me on retreat- Josh will be away for 10 days (October 25-November 3)! And so I will be leaning into Him intimately, and leaning on others for help- it's definitely not my comfort zone- but I know it will be beautiful.

Linking up today at the Grove!  The prompt this week is: beauty.

What is God's invitation to you this week?  Or do you have any tips for surviving your husband's business trips? I'd be grateful to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Raising Up Daniels

I'm joining Titus Women for their Autumn Harvest Challenge.  We are focusing on prayer like Daniel- pausing to pray 3 times a day, and reading selected Psalms and Scriptures daily.  

Today in Psalm 10 we read about the wicked and evil men who prey on the weak and helpless.  There are so many corrupt leaders and politicians around the world!  They are doing as they please and prospering while the people they were chosen to serve suffer in poverty.  But God sees! How my heart aches for all the small people in the world oppressed by wicked leaders.

And, praise the Lord, in Daniel 6 we read that God can put His man (or woman) in high places of authority and accomplish His purposes even when corrupt leaders try to thwart Him.  We are here in Uganda working with university students that we are praying will be Daniels {and Esthers} in the coming generation!  We are discipling and training the 1% of men and women in Africa who get a university degree and will, by default, become the next leaders of their communities, families, and perhaps, countries!  

Even as I pray against corrupt leaders around the globe, and beg the Lord to ARISE, I am seeing Him answer as we hear about alumni from our ministry in places of authority!  May the men and women from the University Discipleship Movement be like Daniel: excellent and faithful in all things, who will not bow to idols and who will do what is right even when it's not popular or convenient.  

Praise the living God  who endures forever, whose kingdom will not be destroyed and whose dominion will never end!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rivendell: The Last Homely House

Rivendell: by Kelly Hallahan
It is often necessary when you are drowning in the details to step back, take a deep breath and get some perspective. Why am I here? What is the purpose of this work? Why are there so many dirty dishes?

I had some friends over last night to watch a movie, and as she was leaving one person asked about this painting. Another women shed tears of grief as she processed the fact that she had suddenly left all her friends, and was starting all over again in Kampala. And still another had come in to town from the village and commented how nice it was just to feel at home here. And I was reminded why I do what I do.  I am a people-gatherer.  I have a heart for hospitality.  I want people to feel connected.

This is a painting of Rivendell from Tolkien's The Hobbit. And it is an illustration of my vision for this home.

"And so at last they came to the Last Homely House, and found its doors flung wide... Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway. They stayed long in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave...

...His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.  Evil things did not come into that valley...

...All of them, the ponies as well, grew refreshed and strong in a few days there. Their clothes were mended as well as their bruises, their tempers, and their hopes. Their bags were filled with food and provisions light to carry but strong to bring them over the mountain passes. Their plans were improved with the best advice. So the time came to midsummer eve, and they were to go on again with the early sun on midsummer morning..." -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit.

University Ladies All-Nighter at our house our first term.

This is what I long for this house to be. I want bodies and souls nourished here. This is why I have dishes stacked in my sink- because I had a dozen women here last night. This is why I am studying Swahili- so that my East African friends can feel welcome here.

{If you are ever in Kampala and need a place to rest, I hope you'll stop by.}

Why do you do what you do? Would love to hear your vision in the comments!
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