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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 1 bag of Brussels Sprouts
- 1/2 lb of bacon chopped and cooked
- Bacon grease reserved from cooking bacon
- 2/3 cup of Mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Mix mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice together, refrigerate.
- Heat cast iron skillet on medium-low heat.
- Slice brussels sprouts in half
- Chop up 1/2 lb. of bacon and cook thoroughly in skillet.
- Remove bacon from skillet, place in serving bowl.
- Add brussels to hot bacon grease, split-side down. BE CAREFUL, the grease will spatter.
- Cook brussels 10-15 minute, or until grown and tender.
- Add cooked brussels to serving dish with the cooked bacon, add a sprinkling of pepper.
- Serve with garlic-mayonnaise dip.