Go out on a limb

Many years ago, I attended a restaurant networking event. I enjoyed meeting a woman from Jamba Juice, and while I've not spoken to her again, I've had her business card posted ever since. It features a hand-drawn limb and apple and the words, "Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is."

I've kept it all these years as a reminder that I need to go for it. I need to put myself out there. I need to do something that's not exactly comfortable.

Six weeks ago, a call went out in church, requesting families host international students in their home for a weekend. I felt a tug on my heart yet instantly dismissed it; our house isn't big enough, we're too busy, my husband would never agree. A week later, the need was announced again. This time, my daughter was with me. She instantly turned to me and asked, "Can we do that?" I told her she'd have to ask her dad. Completely unexpectedly to me, my husband agreed. Next thing I knew, I was sending an email to the coordinator signing us up to host two girls.

In the intervening weeks, I was both excited and nervous. Heck, as I walked up the path to attend the host parent meeting ten minutes before picking up the girls, I was excited and nervous. Presumably, they were too, though they'll stay in 150 different homes during their ten months in the U.S. Of course, it all worked out. We were able to find ways to communicate in spite of their somewhat limited English (and our complete lack of knowledge of Tagalog or Nepali). We found common ground (chicken, oranges, pizza, Matchbox cars, baby dolls, and Frozen). We laughed. We played. We had plenty of awkward moments. And even more great ones.

It was one of the best weekends the Myers family has ever had. We had our ups and downs, but we delighted in the opportunity to provide hospitality to our new friends, even knowing we will never see them again. I was sure we were too busy to invest the time, but when I think back to the way we would have spent our weekend without the girls here - doing a little more laundry, spending more time on screens, crossing a few items off the to-do list - I think we made the right choice.

It was definitely a risk to take on this challenge. It was worth it.

Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

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