46. Live from the Maplehurst Black Barn!


This is the story of a real life dream come true.

When we began this podcast almost one year ago, we never imagined bringing you an episode like this one. But slowly, week by week, as we planted the small seeds of the Out of the Ordinary podcast a dream began to grow: could we invite a few of our listeners to join us at Maplehurst? Could we record one of our storytelling conversations in the context of a community? 

In some ways, it was a very ordinary dream. To gather around real tables rather than virtual ones. To have a conversation face to face. 

But it also seemed impossible. Christie and her husband had started building a gathering place--a black barn--at Maplehurst, but it was far from finished. And even if we could finish it, even if we had the space, would anyone come? Would anyone say “yes” to the invitation?

But with a new book coming out and an excuse to put ourselves on a schedule and open the doors in time to celebrate, The Middle Matters, we had just the motivation we needed. We knew we could host 50 friends and listeners and readers and so we sent out the invitation

And friends, you said “yes.” You said yes faster than we could have imagined and all 50 tickets disappeared on the first day. (for which we are so grateful and which was a confirmation to us, to keep saying yes to more live gatherings).

And the joyful sound of your “yes” is this episode. It’s a little louder than our typical style. It has a little more energy. But this is the sound of our gratitude and our awe.

And the sound of 50 people listening in to our live conversation.

The barn felt like holy ground and a holy gathering that practically crackled in the place. We think it’s a fitting crescendo for this first year of the Out of the Ordinary podcast.


This Week On Out of the Ordinary

Episode 46: This is the Story of Tired Travelers and How To Make Them Feel at Home in Your Ordinary Life

Gathered with all our friends and listeners who had travelled from as far away as Denmark and Canada and Indiana and as close as Pennsylvania and Maryland to come and celebrate the launch of Lisa-Jo's new book, The Middle Matters, and be part of our first ever live #outoftheordinarypodcast event, we told stories of ordinary hospitality.

And how there's nothing ordinary about it at all. 

Often, as human beings we are constantly asking God for more. The problem is we don’t understand the more He is trying to give us. We’re so busy grabbing at the wrong kind of more. The kind that will make us sick to the stomach and the soul. If only we could see how generous He already is. How He is always trying to pour more into our lives. If only we had the eyes to see and the hands to hold out and trust to receive what He has planned for us. We keep re-learning this lesson. And then in the middle of stories like this we find ourselves with a cup spilling over and all we can do is whisper thank you, thank you, thank you.

For people who welcome the weary -- they are, “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

So, This conversation is a little longer, a little more personal, and it ends with a fun audience Q&A, and while this certainly isn’t “The End” of our podcast story, it does mark a pause. Because after this first amazing year and our first live event, we need to catch our breath. We need to exhale and look up from our work and lean into listening to our Father God a little more intimately again as we ask Him what conversations might encourage you all in our second year together.

So, We’ll be taking the next few weeks to rest and receive the ordinary gifts of summer. But we’ll be back this fall with more stories, more conversations, and, yes, more invitations.

Listener invitation: We'd love if you told us how the Podcast has impacted you this year. It's so meaningful to hear from our listeners. As we discovered when we gathered with you in person. If you weren't there, won't you take a moment and tag us on Instagram to let us know what the Podcast has meant to you in its first year. Here's to preparing for our second year together!


Listener Resources:

Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong.

Illustrated Faith art supplies by DaySpring.com

Photos: @kellimcampbell

Art wall: @amy.m.hinman

Barn Decor: @kellybeckleyshank

Flowers: @meghanplants

Chief administrative guru: @elrenaevans 

Co-hosted by: @christiepurifoy @lisajobaker @drpurifoy @maplehurstblackbarn

When we're in our 90's we'll still lie in bed and remember this day. 

The day we opened the doors of the Maplehurst Black Barn and invited 50 podcast listeners to join us. And they came. 

Here's a taste of our time together. May there be many more!