AUSTIN, Texas (K-LOVE News – Monika Kelly) – Many of us live in a neighborhood full of complete strangers.
Kristin Schell, an Austin mom, was frustrated. She was frustrated with not being present, with having a hectic life and with not knowing her neighbors.
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A summer as a foreign exchange student in France had exposed her to the wonder of long, boisterous nightly dinner parties filled laughter and love. Kristin says it was during that summer that God inspired her life-long love of hospitality.
When a delivery man left a heavy picnic table in her Texas front yard, Kristin says she had an “ah-ha” moment. What if she left the table right where it was, painted it turquoise and built community with her neighbors, one connection at a time?
Kristin says within several minutes of sitting outside on her new table, a neighbor who had lived down the street for 20 years stopped by just to say hi. The two had never crossed paths, even though Kristin and her husband had lived on the same street for the past decade!
Since then, the turquoise table has served as a beacon of hospitality—neighbors have gathered for impromptu supper parties, Operation Christmas Child packing parties, and quick cups of coffee.
Jesus reminds us to “love your neighbor” and Kristin has seen this play out in a variety of ways over the past 5 years. In one instance, she was able to care for her neighbor’s dog and notify her children that her mom had to be taken to the hospital. Kristin believes this is what God has called her to do.
Kristin has since written The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own FrontYard. What started out as a simple idea has turned global, with turquoise picnic tables all over the country and even internationally.
For more information about how you can love your own neighbors, visit Kristin’s website at http://www.kristinschell.com/the-turquoise-table/.