Practical Hospitality

49 posts
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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Sunlight, Shadows, and a Supper Club

When I was younger, I was sure that loneliness was both inevitable and temporary. It was simply the price one paid for moving to a faraway city or taking a new job or joining a different church. Loneliness was a straightforward ailment easily cured in time. Now that I am older, I understand loneliness not as a sickness but a shadow. The sun shines brightly here in the land of...

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In the Habit of Hospitality

I am allergic to goals and averse to resolutions. I love to dream, but I prefer my dreams in rosy shades of vague. Details and action plans make me tired. Oh, January. Oh, month of optimism and ambition. I love you. But I do not trust you. * Or, perhaps, I do not trust myself. For though I am no setter of goals, I, too, long to turn over that...

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Practical Hospitality In The New Year

This morning in church during the sermon my pastor talked briefly about the news continuing to come out of Aleppo. He talked about the terrible videos and shocking goodbyes some of the people under attack were sharing via social media in their last hours. It broke my heart, and it made me feel helpless to do anything that could change the situation. ***  The other day I had a conversation with...

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A Recipe Box, a Letter and Food Served With Love

Recently, here at the table, Elizabeth wrote this lovely post on spontaneous hospitality.  How often hospitality isn't about a beautiful table and a fabulous menu. It is about our time. Giving of ourselves in ways we might not realize are "hospitable." My mother died in March and as co-executor of the estate, I've spent several weeks at her house...emptying, sorting, throwing out or giving away 90+ years of accumulation. And the...

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Simple Neighborly Acts

The first time I saw our street, it reminded me of a cross between Charleston's splashy Rainbow Row and The Truman Show--tall and long-but-narrow houses neatly arranged on postage-stamp lots, one after another after another. The house itself was a pie slice of the home we had lived in previously, but seasons change and it was the right thing at the right time. I wondered how we'd handle living so close to others....

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A Ministry Of Flowers and Discovering Me

Finding Ourselves in Unexpected Ministry After putting my girls to bed, after our youngest's birthday dinner was celebrated, after the living room was obliterated with gift wrap, I snuck away into the garden.  With summer inching away, the sun setting earlier making the after bedtime watering, weeding, deadheading more difficult.   As I stood there in my garden, I was reflecting on how I got here, in this spot, watering a flower...

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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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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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More From Less

Yesterday morning, before a three hour afternoon of summer planning with five people and our nine children and a two hour dinner with thirty people in my house, I made the coffee and helped unload the trailer at the church with more people. I then made a mad dash across the railroad tracks to pick up people for service and upon returning, I had a moment of brazen humanity in...

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