Love Them Well

45 posts
Art For The Heart

I can't keep up with the piles and stacks of her art that find their way to my night stand when I'm in the shower, or the ones she sets on the kitchen counter top in the middle of the mad-rush to get dinner on the table. She's always creating something, and always quick to give her art away.  We tell her repeatedly that she has a bent for it--that...

7 5
Storied Dishes

After we got engaged I couldn't wait to finally get to choose an everyday china pattern and register for gifts. (How in the world was that almost 30 years ago?) I didn't need to choose fine china; I had inherited my mother's Malden by Oxford, simple, rimmed in gold, and stunning. I'm one of those who believes kitchen art begins with pretty dishes. A spectacularly set table doesn't necessarily have to...

13 0
On Grace And Growing Up

The #skatergirl started wearing my earrings this year. She's 14 now. Flipping furiously from sweet girl to blossoming woman, I'll admit I've had a hard time keeping up. Some of the changes that accompanied this transition were quiet and subtle, like trees in winter - patient. Others rolled in like a violent storm no one saw coming - a dangerous surprise with repercussions I couldn't predict. Both slow and wild...

14 4
Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

13 1
On Mothering, The Holy Spirit and Making Space

I slip earbuds into my ears to find that she has chosen my music to be the backdrop to which she finds her words. She's in her first ever creative writing class and to everyone's amazement, words ease out of her like a knife passing through soft butter. My daughter is a writer and she's a dang good one. She's so good, in fact, that she recently used her gift...

11 5
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...

57 10
Gracious Care

Sweet Girl, my thirteen-year-old daughter, lay in bed sick for a few days around the 4th of July last summer. What we thought was a stomach bug turned out to be significantly more serious. By the time we got her to the hospital the thing I feared would happen happened. Her appendix ruptured. My heart beat wildly looking into her frail face. Prior to surgery she looked so clammy and...

5 2
Hearts Connect Around the Table

She’s on my mind and we’ve barely met, even so I want to sit across the table and get to know her better. I want to find out where she’s been, what she’s like and what her heart’s desires are. I want to share mine with her, because in this way we connect. We share stories and find common ground where hearts resound. “You too?!” we proclaim and it’s like...

4 0
Fancy China And Tiny Guests

At seven years old, hospitality was a small glass of sprite with three ice cubes and two oatmeal scotchies on a china plate. Nose barely reaching the pink-tiled counter top, I smiled up at my proper English Grandmother and waited. Steam billowing from her matching tea cup, together we covered the seven steps from the kitchen to the dining room. I nibbled my cookie and tried to remember to keep...

9 4
Fall Vegetable Tart

Flying in the face of well-intentioned advice to be fully present and in the moment, I confess that I spent all summer thinking up meals for our fall dinners. This was made even worse a couple months ago, when I was cleaning out a junk drawer and stumbled upon a meal plan from last fall, boasting of chilis and pot pies and baked pasta. I have never experienced such severe...

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