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The Goodness of God at the Table

I entered my happy place as I sat down in my favorite restaurant where great writing experiences happen. With laptop open, notebooks at the ready, pens displayed and earphones in place, I’m set to work. For some reason I find myself playing David Nevue’s music at a lower volume than usual. Once I get started...

It’s That Simple And That Difficult

For the last few weeks, I've been attending a book study at my church. It's a small book we're reading, but the physical size of the book is deceptive, as the content is difficult and multilayered, and not nearly as black and white as one might hope it to be. The book in part, deals with how we love and accept (or don't) those who may be very different from...

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There Are No Rules in the Kitchen

My dad raved about my mother’s cooking growing up. He came to the table hungry and she fed more than his stomach, she fed his soul with the southern fare of his youth. Chicken fried steak, gumbo with a homemade roux, and heaping bowls of red beans and rice. She baked dessert every few nights, so our home always held the lingering scent of chocolate chip cookies or brownies made...

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On Feeding Imperfectly: Hard-earned Hospitality And Motherhood

The Friday before Mother’s Day my second grader came home with a “Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Mom” note in his hand, one he couldn’t wait until Sunday to give me. This was one of those fill-in-the-blank, extra generic worksheets with cartoon illustrated smiling kids at the top, one of those pages of homework that will go into his bin of saved second-grade pictures and stories, one that...

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The Hospitality of Marriage: Loving Like It’s New

When I hang his shirts next to mine in the closet, there are surf brands, the same ones he wore when he had hair bleached white by the sun and waves. When his skin was tan and his mouth tasted like wintergreeen gum and saltwater. When I spread my beach towel with my arms wide and the tradewinds swooped down and lifted the corners from my fingertips like a magic...

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The Goodness of God at the Table

I entered my happy place as I sat down in my favorite restaurant where great writing experiences happen. With laptop open, notebooks at the ready, pens displayed and earphones in place, I’m set to work. For some reason I find myself playing David Nevue’s music at a lower volume than usual. Once I get started I can hear a conversation occurring just a couple tables away. “…the goodness of God,”...

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3 Reasons to Rest from Hospitality

A few years ago, shortly after I moved to South Carolina, I welcomed my extended family over for dinner during one of their annual summer visits to our resort community. As I was giving my Dad a tour of our beautiful new house, traipsing through the huge master bathroom and delighting in our spacious kitchen, I pointed out how worn the carpet was in most every room. I lamented about...

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2nd Annual Summer Reading Book Club {And A Giveaway}

Last Sunday I dragged a lawn chair outside onto the blacktop driveway with the intention of soaking up the afternoon warmth. Rubbing sunscreen between my palms, I smeared it across my nose and cheeks, cupping it beneath my chin and down my neck. I tipped my head back and squinted up at the blue sky through my smeary sunglasses.  On days like this, I feel sure life is a fountain. ~Christie Purifoy I...

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Six Tips For making Real Life Connections

Can I make a caveat right at the get go here? I am not a "Top Ten Tips" sort of person (well maybe Top Six Tips).  I prefer to ask questions, tell you a story; but, not really into Bullet Points toward Success.  That being said, I made this list for my church women's retreat and thought sharing it here (with some tweaks) would be useful for you. Making Connections...

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Learning to Listen

I wonder if you’ve ever had someone listen to you. Really listen. Can you picture her face? Take a minute. Remember the way she raised her eyebrows, how her smile broke slow to say, “Keep going, I’m with you.” Can you hear the well timed questions she asked that invited the rest of the story to roll out like water spilling over the dam of your inhibition? The way he...

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Inventive Hospitality

Several weeks ago, our Sunday School class held a Chili Cook-Off. I brought bowls of shredded cheese and sour cream to help calm anticipated spicy fires of the tongue. I also won second place with my vegetarian chili, substituting ginger ale for the beer. The recipe is in GraceTable’s free Fall-Winter Volume I cookbook for subscribers. Anyway, that night I spent some time getting to know another class member better....

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