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The Ministry of Sugar

He’s woken up from the afternoon nap and walked down the stairs. I’m in the kitchen with a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The air in our kitchen is warm, the scent of melting dark brown sugar and cinnamon laces the air. He sits down at the red table and starts to eat....

To Love By Name

Some memories stay put like a heavy duty thumbtack. Maybe we don’t realize it then, but they become catalysts in our lives. I still remember standing in my boss’s cubicle nearly two decades ago. I was in corporate sales and reading in whatever spare moments of downtime I could grab. When my manager suggested I...

Wild Yeast

The Saturday after Thanksgiving found me seated at the dining room table, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible open before me. Little pieces of paper marked my place in about a half dozen pages. As I flipped back and forth between those pages, I scrawled numbers and math problems across a sheet of printer paper....

Setting the Table

My mother-in-law knows how to set a table. She’s a connector, a people person, a well of bubbling, intentional hospitality. She’s also a planner. Days in advance I can tell that company is coming, or a special dinner is in the cards, because her table will start to come together. A special set of dishes...

The Ministry of Sugar

He’s woken up from the afternoon nap and walked down the stairs. I’m in the kitchen with a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The air in our kitchen is warm, the scent of melting dark brown sugar and cinnamon laces the air. He sits down at the red table and starts to eat. “May I have some more?” he asks.   And I can see the sparkle in...

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A mother’s love, some chocolate, and why you shouldn’t wait to say “I love you”

I learned a lot from my mother, as I assume most people who are blessed with good moms do. And there is something to the phrase "a mother's love" though I can't explain it.  In August 2015, my younger sister and I had flown from opposite coasts to spend some time with Mom in Arkansas. Our scheduled visit ended up being spent at the hospital and things were not looking...

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All It Takes, The Heart of Hospitality

The heart of the gospel is rooted in hospitality; and at the core, both the heart of the gospel and hospitality are simple. They both invite the weary, the messy, the brokenhearted, the questioning to come and find rest. They both welcome the stranger and offer refuge for our souls.  ~ Jen Schmidt, Craving Connections It's late in the afternoon when I finally find a quiet pocket of time to...

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Love Listens

When I was a small child, my mother made certain I called my godmother to thank her for the gifts she gave me. Aunt Frances always gave me a piece of my silver pattern, her generous gifts a bit lost on me at the time. My stomach tightened up like a rubber band ball as I picked up the phone to call her each and every July, after the birthday...

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To Love By Name

Some memories stay put like a heavy duty thumbtack. Maybe we don’t realize it then, but they become catalysts in our lives. I still remember standing in my boss’s cubicle nearly two decades ago. I was in corporate sales and reading in whatever spare moments of downtime I could grab. When my manager suggested I read this specific book, it caught me off guard and caused a heavy dose of...

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Piercing Questions and Costly Grace

“Don’t forget your coat!” Jeremy ran up behind me and wrapped me in the fluffy down-filled coat. Colorado is quietly cold in the winter. The sun is no gauge for the actual temperature. I bundled up, grabbed the homemade Whole Foods salsa I picked up, though I promised homemade salsa, and we were off to a dinner with 4 other friends, some of which we hadn’t seen in nearly 6...

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Wild Yeast

The Saturday after Thanksgiving found me seated at the dining room table, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible open before me. Little pieces of paper marked my place in about a half dozen pages. As I flipped back and forth between those pages, I scrawled numbers and math problems across a sheet of printer paper. The week before, my best friend had visited from Iowa. She’s a theology professor with...

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Setting the Table

My mother-in-law knows how to set a table. She’s a connector, a people person, a well of bubbling, intentional hospitality. She’s also a planner. Days in advance I can tell that company is coming, or a special dinner is in the cards, because her table will start to come together. A special set of dishes will appear from a box in the attic. She’ll play with table cloths and runners,...

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Winter Party with Grain-free Chocolate Cupcakes

A winter party is one of my favorite ways to remind me to keep celebrating life. This was true as a fourth grader too. My golden blonde hair lay straight falling in my face. Sweeping it back to focus on weaving the purple & pink construction paper for my Valentine heart envelope to receive the next day’s Valentines.    My nine year old heart knew nothing of the 16 year...

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Around Our Small Table

The last two weeks of 2016 were full of family, snuggles, long days in pajamas and so many treats. So many treats.   I love the hibernation mode that we fall into as a family during the holidays. We play more. We stay up later. We sleep in later (thank you, Jesus).  We linger longer over dinner.  One night -- I'm not sure which, because don't they all blend together...

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