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God is relationship itself and known in relationship. 

~Richard Rohr

I love when our home is full! The past few days we have had many visitors which has brought so much life and joy to our days. Sometimes these visits are planned, sometimes they are unexpected, but they are all beautiful and all of them, at some point, require us to stop.

We want our home to be a place where all are welcome. This sometimes means setting aside the “to do” list and just being present in the moment to experience all that these relationships have to offer. It has reminded me how too many times in the past I have made my tasks more important than the relationships around me.

Being here in a place where family and community are so important and where connecting with others is so valued, I am reminded of how precious life is and how valuable these memories will be. I’m learning to just sit, to soak up every moment, to appreciate every interaction without worry of what else needs to be done. The truth is, things always work out and when we take the time to enjoy what matters, we experience a fullness of life that cannot be found in checking tasks off our “to do” list.

Yesterday, a man we met when we were here on our last trip, came up for a visit. He sadly lost his wife two weeks ago. It was very sudden and he and his family are in shock. He talked of his wife and how he never thought they would lose her. She was fine in the morning and that evening was gone. In the midst of the pain he continued to say how thankful he is for the memories they have of her.

The memories he is holding on to are the times they shared together, the laughter, the tears, the shared experiences. Life is much more precious and short than we often realize. This week we have been reminded of the value in taking time to let others know how important they are. To stop to actually listen, to laugh together, to grieve together, to invite others in on the day to day moments of life, even if they are messy.

I have often struggled with hospitality as I feel like I need to have everything cleaned up, perfectly prepared and planned before I can invite people into our homes and lives. What if I stopped worrying about that and just allowed people into the real life, every day messiness?

Maybe in doing that, we will build stronger connections than any perfectly planned visit could ever accomplish.

The invitation we are wanting to embrace more in our lives is to simply come; come and be with us in the midst of the chaos, come chat while we hang up the laundry, come grab a bite to eat in our kitchen, come play, create, celebrate and be real in life with us. Here, there is a saying that is not just spoken, but it truly meant, “Mi casa es tu casa”.

We have those kinds of relationships here, the kind where when you tell people they are welcome any time, they actually come! Our home was a bit of a revolving door yesterday of people going in and out and we went to bed tired, but with full hearts. I’m so thankful for the people we have met here who are teaching us the value of doing life together.

This allows for connection on a much deeper level than we are often used to experiencing. We have family here now; family that continues to grow and expand. Each day new people are added to this ever-growing family and our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for these beautiful friends and for our loving God who through his love allows us to experience such deep human connection.

These are the moments that life-long memories are made of.

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