The Art of Guesting – Part 2

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A young boy writing in chalk

Last week, I wrote to you about the beauty of guesting, of just showing up. Refuge sits in a community of the most gracious hosts, so it didn’t take me long after my husband and I moved here to learn from the many visits in our neighbors’ homes that being a guest is actually one of the most beautiful, counter-cultural, and honorable things we can do. 

Being a host—making spaces for others to show up and thrive—is both beautiful and essential, too. Last week I pointed out that this is the heart of Refuge:

To give and to receive. To show up as a guest and to lead as a host. To intentionally blur the lines between the two.

I also mentioned last week that I hope you’ve already begun painting a few mental pictures of your own best showing-up and hosting moments. Here are a few colorful images of the lovely blur between guest and host to inspire you: 

Five years ago, we experienced our first Iftar dinner at Refuge. Our friend Ray Haddad captured the night in a gorgeous 3-minute video you can find here. I think you will see that everyone present played both roles—we were all guests and hosts that night!

Priya Parker writes here that “guests have extraordinary power in shaping a gathering.” (Our Refuge Coffee Run is a great example of that fact, btw!)

Finally, I think you’ve sensed from my earlier emails that we have had the roughest quarter in our 7-year history, both financially and organizationally. (Thank you to those of you who have come to our aid!) I wrote this poem about “wasting time” to remind myself that sometimes simply showing up is essential for my own mental health and for the collective health of a community. I share it here as my little gift to you. We all need to experience “wasting time” moments if we are going to stay grounded and rested and whole.

Thankful for the many ways you show up for us, 


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