Quiet Hospitality

16 posts
Slow Chewing And Small Sips: The Beauty Of Small Gifts

I have missed more than one rich moment to view life through a wild kaleidoscope lens, to experience beauty, wonder and awe, to play hostess to the fragrant details of the world. To slow chew, sip, and savor goodness. I have been my own worst enemy. I’ve stuffed the invitation, the one which says “come be dazzled” and “come live lavishly”. The gentle pastel watercolor invitation tossed onto a stack...

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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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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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Simple Hospitality

I walk through the freezer section of the grocery aisles and consider what foods might be an option for my family over the next few days. I don’t have the fire within me to make something fresh, and if I’m honest, it feels like that flame has flickered low for awhile now. I prefer things from scratch and my heart longs to give my very best in everything while doing...

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On the Practice of Ruminating to Save Your Sanity

Back home in London, after traveling through five states for a book tour in the US, I stand in the kitchen and gaze through the window, watching pedestrians wrap arms around waists. Attempting to harness warmth that a brisk wind violates, their boots and wool coats reveal any hope of a lingering autumn. Staring at strangers out the window as wine sauce reduces on the stove is required mental work...

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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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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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When Honesty is Our Invitation

I answer the door in sweatpants and a raggedy old t-shirt. I have three-day unshowered hair scooped up and pulled into a haphazard bun, greasy strands escaping the restraints of my elastic rubber band. I don’t have to swipe lipgloss on or part my lips in a smile. I don’t have to make small talk, I just unhinge the lock and swing the door open without hiding behind it. I...

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Offering

 I didn't used to like poetry. I wrote abominable verse as a teenager (what literary teenage girl doesn't?), but poetry was something we studied in school, something teachers asked you hard questions about, questions like, "What is the symbolism of the bird in this poem?", questions you didn't dare to answer because you might be wrong. How were you supposed to know what the bird symbolized? You were only 15....

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