Love Them Well

12 posts
Where to Find the Bread: on generous hospitality

Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found the bread. ~D.T. Niles "I think that’s my friend’s husband over there." My own husband takes a drink of his sweet tea and follows the line of my vision ending on a black-haired gentleman having lunch a few tables over from ours. We both watch this young man for a moment waiting for me to be certain. "You sure do have...

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How to Be a Safe Place for Single People

I was going to write an essay for June about singleness. In my head its title was “What I would tell my single self,” a list of advice and anecdotes, thoughts on friendship, living a good life, staying present and doing the next thing. I asked a question on my Facebook page in preparation for writing this essay: “Single friends, what’s the most annoying/offensive thing married [people] say to you?” ...

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Loving Your Spouse Jesus’ Way

It was two weeks after the unofficial start of summer, and I couldn’t believe my family was dealing with sickness again. The sickness had already hit my 3-year-old the previous week—but like most things—it couldn’t keep her down for long. We spent the weekend inside and I relaxed as much as my girl and her 5-month-old brother would allow. So I managed to stave it off, for the most part. My...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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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...

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