I didn’t grow up eating brussels sprouts. Despite their cuteness (hello, tiny little cabbage heads), I was afraid to eat them. I assumed they tasted nasty, (since that’s the way I most often had heard them described) and steered clear based on an apparent general consensus. But one day, my friend Kristin encouraged me to try her recipe for brussels, and then see if I still felt they were “nasty”. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you have likely scrolled past one or two photos of mine that reference either cooking or being in the kitchen, and if you have seen these, then you know that while Pooh’s thinking spot might be a log near a pot of honey, mine is most definitely, beside the stove, or at the kitchen sink. 

bacon cooking

It was the day I made brussels for the first time, that the seed for GraceTable took root. As I chatted with God beside the pan of browning brussels, He invited me to look onto a table that He had prepared. The strange thing was, God’s table bore little resemblance to my own. It’s not that I saw specific people there, but I understood at once what God was showing me. In those quick glimpses of His table, what I noticed most was my own discomfort–the singeing heat of conviction.

How many people had I refused to invite, and for what reasons had I rejected them? How had I decided who was worthy and who was not? How often have I made assumptions based on the influence and opinions of others? 

GraceTable is a response to an otherworldly invitation. This space serves as a daily reminder that God’s ways are not my ways. That’s because they are higher. That’s because I cannot perceive the mind of God.  

Sometimes, we have to open our mind and heart to something new, even if we are afraid–even if the loudest voices disagree with what we are doing.

brussels

God quite clearly asked me to set a table that didn’t look like my own comfortable table. He asked me to make space for others, to hold the door. And so with a muddle of fear and excitement, GraceTable launched one year ago this week. All of my excuses about not knowing what I was doing, all of my lamenting my lack of qualifications for the task held no weight with Him.

Build it, He said. And so it came to be. 

One year ago. 

Brussels sprouts are now my favorite vegetable. And GraceTable?–It’s my favorite space on the web. Not because of my work here, but because of the writers who share their stories, because of YOU, our readers who tell us your stories, and make space for us. 

brussels_GraceTable

I can’t believe what a year of hanging out here has done for my heart. I am daily in awe of what God is doing here, what a spread He continues to lay out for us, and the beautiful, generous souls who find a seat here–YOU–and how in between bites and sips, His grace runs steady. 

You showed up when the door to this messy kitchen opened, and you’ve been the daily blessing that encourages us to keep going. 

I can’t thank you enough your generosity. You have held your arms open and taken our stories in, and offered kindness and a gentle word, “keep going”. 

To celebrate this special year here at GraceTable, we are hosting a few giveaways during the month of November. You will want to stick around. (Hint, hint)

To kick this month-long party off, as a small token of our gratitude and love for the GraceTable community, our GraceTable hosts have pooled a few of their favorite recipes, and created a cookbook exclusively for subscribers. A gift for you.

GraceTable_cookbook_giveaway_Pinterest

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your love and friendship. YOU make this space beautiful, and it is an honor to serve here among you.

THANK YOU!!

Grab your FREE Cookbook

Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4
Quick and easy Brussels Sprouts
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Prep Time
40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bag of Brussels Sprouts
  2. 1/2 lb of bacon chopped and cooked
  3. Bacon grease reserved from cooking bacon
  4. Pepper
  5. 2/3 cup of Mayonnaise
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  7. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Mix mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice together, refrigerate.
  2. Heat cast iron skillet on medium-low heat.
  3. Slice brussels sprouts in half
  4. Chop up 1/2 lb. of bacon and cook thoroughly in skillet.
  5. Remove bacon from skillet, place in serving bowl.
  6. Add brussels to hot bacon grease, split-side down. BE CAREFUL, the grease will spatter.
  7. Cook brussels 10-15 minute, or until grown and tender.
  8. Add cooked brussels to serving dish with the cooked bacon, add a sprinkling of pepper.
  9. Serve with garlic-mayonnaise dip.
Grace Table http://gracetable.org/

 

celebrate!_GraceTable

Kris / Posts / Blog
Kris is a writer and artist living in the middle of Ohio. She loves Jesus, people, and words. She is most often found in her tiny kitchen, where she plays with her food. Having recently mastered the art of preparing perfectly crisp dino-nuggets--she is her children's hero.
  • Leah Adams
    http://www.leahadams.org

    I adore Brussels Sprouts…in fact, I just roasted a batch to take for my lunch today! I also love Grace Table and have been so blessed by being here. I am grateful for the opportunity to have shared some words here, as well. This is a beautiful space. May the hospitality continue!

    November 2nd, 2015 7:06
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Leah, it is a joy and gift to have you here so frequently at this table. You bless me with your encouragement and kindness!

      Thank you for your generosity and love!

      Yay or Brussels. They are truly my new favorite.

      November 2nd, 2015 7:35
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  • Robin Dance
    http://robindance.me

    What an EXCITING day!! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Before I even laid eyes on Grace Table, I was drawn to the concept; it has only exceeded expectation. So thankful for your obedience in pursuing this God-inspiration, and for allowing me to be a part (and especially for your patience as my INSANE work schedule kept me away for months).

    Kris, this space is a special one and you’re stewarding her beautifully. Thankful to be a part of this community as a reader and sometimes-writer.

    Oh–brussels sprouts–they remind me of my father :). When I was little, I loved cabbage; he’d always try to get me to eat brussels sprouts by insisting they were “like little cabbages.” But the way they were prepared in our home (not fresh), they always tasted bitter. If only we had thought to add bacon…… 😉 🙂

    Love to you and happy anniversary to Grace Table–the first of many!

    November 2nd, 2015 7:15
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  • Kris Camealy
    http://kriscamealy.com

    Robin, this space is better for your presence. Thank YOU for coming to this table month after month, and giving a bit of yourself to it.

    LOVE you, friend. You are a gift!

    November 2nd, 2015 7:36
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  • Michele-Lyn Ault
    http://www.thepointedlife.com

    Congratulations, Kris!! You have done an amazing job with all things Grace Table. You are gifted and faithful, and God has done great things with what you’ve offered Him. I know that it will only continueto bloom, and it is a beautiful thing to watch! Love you!!

    November 2nd, 2015 7:47
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Michele-Lyn,

      Thank you for your encouraging words. It’s been quite a year, and God continues to stretch me and teach me so much. I am grateful for you, and love watching Him work through you and the places He has called you to.

      Xo Love you.

      November 2nd, 2015 16:05
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  • Meredith Bernard
    http://meredithbernard.com

    Happy, Happy Birthday GraceTable!!! Kris, this place is a constant inspiration and soul-filling blessing. Thank you for what you have done and are continuing to do with your offering. I know God has big plans to further His kingdom through this beautiful table you have set and continue to use to serve. Much love. <3

    November 2nd, 2015 7:53
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Thanks for always cheering us on, Meredith. It’s your kindness and encouragement that helps me see the gift of all of this, when the days get long and the hours race too fast to keep up. It’s a GREAT gift to have you here at this table.

      ((thank you, friend))

      November 2nd, 2015 16:06
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  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Ah, brussels sprouts. I even love them cold from the fridge and pop them in my mouth like candy. But I must tell you it wasn’t always this way. God has a way of transforming what we don’t like into something we do, and something which often blesses others . . . . just like with your learning to love the idea of building this blog. He makes palatable what doesn’t seem pleasant; He makes possible what doesn’t seem plausible. Kris, I think when that happens, He gets all the glory. Don’t you just love when the Lord puts a word in your head, and a convicting one at that? Because when we are convicted, it’s the first step to change–the first step to seeing Him glorified through our obedience. I recall once listening to a sermon where the pastor talked about God’s house being in disrepair, and as I sat there smugly, wondering what on earth this had to do with me, God asked me to check the condition of the house of my heart. I suddenly realized it needed a lot of renovation. And this is really strange: Over a year ago now….maybe nearly two, I awoke and suddenly, all I “heard” in my head was “table.” Just. Table. It was so unbidden, and literally my very first waking thought, so I knew it could only be from God. But I wasn’t sure what it meant. I know now I am to write journal-class curricula on the topic, but what I didn’t know then, is how rich this word is in Scripture. It has innumerable nuances, and hospitality is only one. And so curiously, after I heard that message in my mind, I’ve read this blog, Niequist’s Bread and Wine, and the book by Chester, A Meal with Jesus. These will all be wonderful resources as I prepare. So God is doing something with this concept of table, and I just want to take a moment to thank you so much for setting yours. Your Grace Table has become a place of nourishment for me for the past year, and a place where new friends gather for fellowship and feasting. It’s a joy to take a seat here, and I just want to thank you so much for being an ambassador for the real Host!
    Love
    Lynn

    November 2nd, 2015 8:03
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Lynn, this message is a tremendous gift. It is humbling to hear how God uses this small space to inspire and encourage others, because of course, that is ALL His doing. We are all just trying to take one small step of obedience, one day at a time, and sometimes we don’t know what we are doing, or where we will end up. Thank you for always encouraging, friend. YOU bless me mightily. Thank you for coming to this table, and setting your own.
      XO

      November 2nd, 2015 16:09
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  • Sarah

    My mouth is watering at 8 a.m. because of brussel sprouts…haha…who would think it possible?

    A year of fabulous stories to encourage us to keep on doing the good work the good Lord planned for us so long ago. Congratulations, my friend! xoxo

    November 2nd, 2015 8:06
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      I am going to have to make some Brussels tonight! I love them!

      Thank you Sarah, for being here. You are a continual gift in my life. I am deeply grateful for you, your friendship, and your servant heart. YOU are a gift!

      November 2nd, 2015 16:13
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  • Katie M. Reid
    http://katiemreid.com

    Cheers, confetti and congratulations Kris and Hosts. Celebrating with you! Thank you for listening well and setting a beautiful table so that others can feast and the Guest of Honor is honored. 🌻 🍍 🍷

    November 2nd, 2015 8:12
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Thanks for being here with us, Katie. So glad to have you here for our celebration and beyond. 🙂

      November 2nd, 2015 16:20
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  • Elizabeth Marshall
    http://Elizabeth

    What a happy day!! I feel all weepy over the birth and birthday of this project born of passion and a faithful and faithfilled ear bent toward God’s whispers. Love all thing Grace Table. What kind and gracious readers we have. Forever grateful for my invitation to read along and write alongside this community.

    November 2nd, 2015 8:19
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Love to you, Elizabeth. You live hospitality in such a beautiful way. I am grateful to learn from you.
      XO

      November 2nd, 2015 16:19
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  • Sandra Heska King
    http://sandraheskaking.com

    I love Brussels sprouts–plain, buttered, roasted, caramelized–as long as they still crunch. I’ve even been known to dip them raw into chocolate syrup.

    You’ve torn down walls and built a beautiful space here. I’m glad you had your listening ears on, and I’m tickled that I get to write here sometimes. Happy birthday, GraceTable.

    November 2nd, 2015 9:15
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    • Lynn D. Morrissey

      I love it….chocolate-covered Brussels sprouts…kind of like that candy I spoke about!

      November 2nd, 2015 14:15
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      I have never tried them dipped in chocolate! Wow!

      Thank YOU Sandy for being here, for offering your own stories, and loving me well. YOU bless me greatly–thank you for saying “yes” to this table.

      XO

      November 2nd, 2015 16:19
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  • Kristin Schell
    http://www.kristinschell.com

    Most people celebrate birthdays with cake. But, the guests at GraceTable aren’t most people. Nothing ordinary here. AMEN for Brussels Sprouts! And, singing praises of great gratitude as we celebrate GraceTable and YOU, dear Kris. For your obedience and leadership and love of the Lord and His table. Happy Birthday! We need t-shirts that say Brussels Sprouts are the New Cake.

    November 2nd, 2015 9:57
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Ha ha! yes, I didn’t even think about the fact that we are celebrating with greens rather than cake. Nothing ordinary here is right. This is an extraordinary community, bathed in grace and generosity. I can’t believe I get to sit here with you all. What an outrageous gift God has given me in you. Thank you for opening my eyes not just to Brussels sprouts, but to the love of my neighbors. You teach me how to grow a servant heart.

      LOVE you. XO

      November 2nd, 2015 16:18
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  • Bri McKoy
    http://oursavorylife.com

    Kris, it has been a gift to watch you lead and serve and pray over this vision – this community. I have learned so much for your grace, your writing, your heart. Here is to so many more years at a table with you! Love you, friend! xoxo

    November 2nd, 2015 10:08
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Love you, Bri. I am continually grateful for YOUR presence at this table. You are a bold, delightful friend, full of grace. You teach me much. XXOO

      November 2nd, 2015 16:15
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  • Joy B. Rudolph
    http://joybrudolph.com

    Somehow I’m missing how to get the cookbook if we’re already subscribed?

    November 2nd, 2015 11:38
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    24
    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com

      Joy, a 2nd email went out this morning to subscribers. Let me know if you never got the other email?

      I am sorry for the confusion!

      November 2nd, 2015 16:14
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      • Sandra Heska King
        http://sandraheskaking.com

        I discovered I never subscribed. LOL! Oops.

        November 2nd, 2015 21:15
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  • Alysa @ Kitchen Fellowship
    http://kitchenfellowship.com/about

    What a generous gift — the cover looks amazing and I can only imagine how tasty the recipes found inside will be! Congratulations on one year, Kris. The stories here have been quite meaningful.

    November 11th, 2015 7:27
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  • SimplyDarlene
    SimplyDarlene
    http://www.simplydarlene.com

    I’m glad you followed His nudge, Kris..

    As I’ve gotten to know you in different spaces across these wild interwebs, I see that you’ve set this table by example of your gracious, honest, humble heart. It’s evidenced by the writers and readers.

    May God bless you as you continue to shine His light.

    November 13th, 2015 9:52
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