Meet Kristin Schell from Austin, TX! Kristin is married to Tony Schell, and is a mom of four. As Kristin says, she’s a card carrying extravert who loves God and loves people. Several years ago Kristin had a desire to know her neighbors and use her spiritual gift of hospitality. The result: she painted her picnic table turquoise (her favorite color), put it in her front yard and the rest is history. Kristin’s desire to create “Front Yard People” by way of a Turquoise Table is now a global movement! You can find turquoise tables across the United States and in 13 countries around the world!
Read below to be inspired by Kristin's desire to use her spiritual gift, know her neighbors and the scientifically proven link between being in community with others and health, happiness and longevity. You can listen to the Power of We Podcast and Neissa's conversation with her on Spotify HERE or YouTube below.
How it Began: She Denied Her Spiritual Gift
Through her church, Kristin took a spiritual gifts test and learned her spiritual gift was hospitality. Kristin wasn't impressed nor satisfied . In her mind, hospitality meant cooking and throwing parties..both of which she enjoyed but wasn't what she wanted her spiritual gift to be. In fact, what she really wanted was something "smart", like wisdom or teacher. So, she took the test again, answered the questions differently and the results were haywire.
What Are Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are special abilities, talents, or attributes given to individuals by the Holy Spirit. These gifts are bestowed upon believers to empower them for various roles and tasks and to aid in the service of God and others. The concept of spiritual gifts is primarily based on the teachings found in the New Testament of the Bible, particularly in passages like Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, and Ephesians 4:11-13.
Take your Spiritual Gifts Tests at Gifts Test
She Trusted God and He Did Something Extraordinary
After learning more about the spiritual gift of hospitality, Kristin began to embrace it. One day she painted her picnic table turquoise, moved it to her front yard and invited some friends over for an hour. That hour turned into several hours of hospitality and neighborly joy! Kristin explained the purpose of her Turquoise Table and her desire for Front Yard People: ordinary people who long to create community right where they live. Not only did her friends love her idea, but they immediately purchased their own picnic tables, painted them turquoise and the idea spread like wildfire! Due to Kristin's obedience and her willingness to accept her spiritual gift and use it, God did something extraordinary. The Turquoise Table is now a movement throughout the United States and world-wide...in 13 countries! Excitingly, where there's a turquoise table, you will also find community and connection.
Since the Turquoise Table Movement first took off, through speaking events and her book, The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard, Kristin inspires and encourages others to become Front Yard People and be in community with others.
The Turquoise Table Book
Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:
Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table
Simple recipes to take outside and share with others
Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods
Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting
New ways to view hospitality
Harvard Study Proves the Health Benefits of Community
I know we are all aware that being in relationship and community with others has a monumental impact on and in our lives, but did you know it’s actually "positive relationships" that keep us happier, healthier, and help us live longer?!
According to a Harvard study called, The Harvard Study on Adult Development, this longest active study that started in 1938 and continues to this day found the following: it’s not career achievement, money, exercise, or even a healthy diet that has the greatest impact on longevity. The most consistent finding in the 85 years of study is: Positive relationships keep us happier, healthier, and help us live longer.
According to this study, our social life is a living system. They call this “social fitness” and when we exercise our social muscles regularly (as we do in iGnite and we really want you to join us) we improve our chances of living a healthier, happier and longer life.
Excitingly exercising our social muscles is just as important as exercising our actual muscles. Why? We are created for community and one of our greatest spiritual needs is to do life together and to be in community with others! How exciting is it that the health benefits of community are so undeniably vast?!