Posts tagged "authenticity at the table"

Parties, Porcelain, and Giving My Best

For years, I strived to host perfect holiday parties, as if they were an exam to pass. Hours before guests arrived, I dressed the table with my porcelain best, each item set precisely in its place. Thin lines of shimmering silver bordered its delicate rose pattern. Folded linen napkins bloomed on the plate. My china, a wedding gift from 1980, held not a single chip or scratch. I’d stand on...

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When Hospitality is a Safe Place for the Waiting

When I was four-years-old, my family moved to a large house on a dirt road in a small province in the Philippines.  The leaves of mango trees were glossy green, and coconut trees reached their branches for the clouds. On the hot days of the dry season, we felt the sweat trickle down our necks as we sat in front of electric fans. Wet season brought with it daily rain...

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In Which A Meal Is My Only Goal

Life has been a little weird for me. Maybe weird is a bad description? Maybe unstable is better. Maybe for the first time in my life I am truly grappling with those old words from Paul, “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 (HCSB). Is the visceral understanding of these...

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Two Kinds of Lonely

I've allowed a few years to slip by without a proper visit to Mr. Don, our beloved backyard neighbor. The kids have been busy growing as they do between the ages of three and six, and I'm plain worn out come December. At least that has been my excuse.     But not this year. This is the year of no excuses, so we create excuses to go visit our favorite neighbor...

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How to Find Hope in a World of Contrasts

Inhaling the aromas of fresh paint mingling with unadulterated wood and carpet, I step inside the still, empty house and wait for the new homeowners to flick lights on in every room. A canvas of quiet green in the entryway welcomes when wall scones illuminate the darkness. As five friends gather in the kitchen to bless the house, my mind becomes a filmstrip of memories freeze framing between fragments of...

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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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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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Fighting Boredom with Loveliness

Every year this time of year, I find myself in a rut. The days are gray and I’m weary of cold weather. The buzz of the holidays has quieted and the change of routine that comes with summer seems far off. It’s a season filled with writing and work, causing the days to blur. My table becomes a metaphor for my life. In the past few months, my crockpot has...

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The Ministry of Sugar

He’s woken up from the afternoon nap and walked down the stairs. I’m in the kitchen with a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The air in our kitchen is warm, the scent of melting dark brown sugar and cinnamon laces the air. He sits down at the red table and starts to eat. “May I have some more?” he asks.   And I can see the sparkle in...

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All It Takes, The Heart of Hospitality

The heart of the gospel is rooted in hospitality; and at the core, both the heart of the gospel and hospitality are simple. They both invite the weary, the messy, the brokenhearted, the questioning to come and find rest. They both welcome the stranger and offer refuge for our souls.  ~ Jen Schmidt, Craving Connections It's late in the afternoon when I finally find a quiet pocket of time to...

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