The Guest Room – Where it all started + the calling you & I have in common!

A couple years ago, Jordan and I started new jobs, moved to a new city, and started fresh in almost every way. We had led very busy, full lives up to that point and that year was a time of forced rest and intention as individuals and in our marriage like we’d never had. It was such a sweet time for God to refresh us and I think I’ll always look back on it as one of my favorite seasons. 

During that year, we had very little going on and decided we wanted to pick up a hobby together. As much as we love TV, we wanted to do something together that would grow us, be productive and fun; something that would allow for more quality time than just zoning out together. (But let me just say that, personally, I think Netflix completely counts as a hobby… and I’m well versed in it!… but it’s always healthy to broaden your horizons. 😉 )

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DIY and furniture flipping was always something I enjoyed and I had a knack for giving new life to old things, but we weren’t experts! We just started somewhere. I don’t even remember what came first: the idea or the thing, but we came across a gorgeous wooden hutch for $10 at Goodwill and I HAD to have it! Fast forward a few weeks and that beautiful hutch was renovated and sitting as the focal point of our booth in a local home decor shop. 

It was short lived, but running that teeny tiny side business taught us a lot of valuable lessons. I gained a sense of purpose and a creative outlet that I needed then, and was reminded that I had the potential to learn and accomplish new things! Turning something old and ugly into something beautiful and functional reminded me that there’s often more to situations, seasons, and circumstances than what we might initially expect. Jordan and I also grew closer as a couple while we combined visions, tag-teamed the hard work, and celebrated the success of a finished and sold product. Learning together is one of the best tips I can give for growing and strengthening a relationship. Get outside the box and enjoy trying something new together!! Even if it’s a one and done – I highly recommend tackling a project with your significant other!

That’s when the idea of “The Guest Room” started for us.

Where it started was our little, garage free, two bedroom apartment. It was less than ideal, but the majority of our projects were done right there on a tarp in our guest room. We didn’t have a bed for the room or many visitors that year, so we fully dedicated it to our home shop. Every cent we made from that side hustle was thanks to the weekends spent in that third floor room with the windows open to air out the paint fumes, laughing together and googling what we didn’t know. We dreamed big dreams in that room including what we wanted to be when we grew up. It’s already changed a little since then – I’m sure it will continue to change and grow as we do – but we have high hopes for what The Guest Room might mean someday. Today it symbolizes our love for hospitality, our dream of creating a place (literally and figuratively) where people can feel encouraged and rested and home, but ultimately it serves as a reminder to dream God-sized dreams. When I decided to obey God and start writing on this blog a few months ago, naming it “The Guest Room” was the easiest part! 

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Sometimes I look back on the years I felt God prompting me to write and I regret the amount of time I spent putting it off because I let perfectionism and fear get in the way of accepting that everything has a beginning point. I wish I would’ve listened then and not missed out on what God might’ve had for me in that invitation. In the words of Pastor Steven Furtick, “All God has ever asked of you is to answer, ‘Here I am’.” This is a lesson I’m learning slowly, but surely. The phrase, “Let go and let God” is a little cliche, but there is freedom in the realization that God never asked us to be responsible for the outcome, or even to know the outcome. He just asks us to answer, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) 

God doesn’t require us to have the perfect set up or to wait to begin until all our ducks are in a row and we have all the right qualifications. He just asks us to obey; to start! He asks us to give Him our best and trust Him to do the rest. It was true with our little sales endeavor, it’s true with this blog, and it’s true of the dreams He’s placed in your heart!

One thing is for sure, you have been called to invite others into the welcoming presence of Jesus by the way you live your life.

I don’t know what that dream is, but I do know that God has given you passions on purpose and that He created you thoughtfully, with strengths and gifts this world needs. It’s all over His word! I don’t want to miss out on that because I’m distracted and held back by uncertainty. Christine Caine wrote, “What is the point of our light if it is not penetrating the darkness?” The bible says we are the salt and light of the earth. (Matthew 5) So regardless of the specific hopes and dreams in your heart, one thing is for sure, you have been called to invite others into the welcoming presence of Jesus by the way you live your life. If we’re unsure of everything else, one thing we know: God has given us the privilege and responsibility to host His people in a heavenly guest room here on earth. That’s what I want people to experience when they encounter me. Hospitality, encouragement, rest, and a sense of THE Home they long for – the love of Jesus! If I accomplish the biggest dreams on my vision board and take the world by storm with my spiritual gifts, “but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2) 

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You might be the only Jesus someone encounters today. Are you going to be a hotel room that’s too full and busy to accommodate? Or are you going to be the welcoming guest room they’ve been searching for?

 

 

Quote by Steven Furtick was taken from the February 10th episode of the Elevation with Steven Furtick Podcast titled, “I’m confused about my calling.” 

Quote by Christine Caine was taken from her book “Unexpected – Leave fear behind, move forward in faith, embrace the adventure.” 

Both on my list of current favorite things!!

If you found this encouraging & want to share it on Facebook, Pin it for later, or sent it to a friend, all you have to do is click the button below!☟Every share means a ton to me! So thank YOU! 🙂

3 thoughts on “The Guest Room – Where it all started + the calling you & I have in common!

  1. Lauren, you are such a great writer! I love this. And I love how you explained that hospitality is more than just people coming over but our interactions with them- making them feel at home with the love of Jesus. I so often pray for people in my life far away to meet Christians and have to remember that I need to be the Christian someone is praying would meet their loved one.

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