Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rivendell: The Last Homely House

Rivendell: by Kelly Hallahan
It is often necessary when you are drowning in the details to step back, take a deep breath and get some perspective. Why am I here? What is the purpose of this work? Why are there so many dirty dishes?

I had some friends over last night to watch a movie, and as she was leaving one person asked about this painting. Another women shed tears of grief as she processed the fact that she had suddenly left all her friends, and was starting all over again in Kampala. And still another had come in to town from the village and commented how nice it was just to feel at home here. And I was reminded why I do what I do.  I am a people-gatherer.  I have a heart for hospitality.  I want people to feel connected.

This is a painting of Rivendell from Tolkien's The Hobbit. And it is an illustration of my vision for this home.

"And so at last they came to the Last Homely House, and found its doors flung wide... Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway. They stayed long in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave...

...His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.  Evil things did not come into that valley...

...All of them, the ponies as well, grew refreshed and strong in a few days there. Their clothes were mended as well as their bruises, their tempers, and their hopes. Their bags were filled with food and provisions light to carry but strong to bring them over the mountain passes. Their plans were improved with the best advice. So the time came to midsummer eve, and they were to go on again with the early sun on midsummer morning..." -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit.

University Ladies All-Nighter at our house our first term.

This is what I long for this house to be. I want bodies and souls nourished here. This is why I have dishes stacked in my sink- because I had a dozen women here last night. This is why I am studying Swahili- so that my East African friends can feel welcome here.

{If you are ever in Kampala and need a place to rest, I hope you'll stop by.}

Why do you do what you do? Would love to hear your vision in the comments!


  1. Kelly, I love that you know you're a people gatherer! I love being in the homes of people like you :)! I'm a people encourager (and truth be told, prefer not to have those but the closest of friends in my space. Sigh). But I LOVE to go out to people! And be with people and cheer them on :)

  2. Oh and thanks for linking with Velvet Ashes!

  3. With what God is laying on my heart lately about the same subject, I definitely appreciated reading this. Thank you for expressing your heart :)


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