Posts tagged "hospitality"

When Not Hosting Is the Most Generous Thing

My husband is a master in the kitchen. He loves the organized chaos that comes with timing dishes just right and swirling up a delicious feast by sheer determination to make the clock and the ingredients and the appliances work together. He likes the thrill of it, to be sure, but he also enjoys serving others. He has this natural ability to whip up a delicious meal and serve all...

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The Generous Table with a Southern Staple

The frozen bananas on a stick were the straw that broke my pre-pubescent back. After sharing several Thanksgiving meals over the years with family friends, I’d resigned myself to celebrating with dehydrated potatoes whipped up from a box and various side dishes poured from a can. But fruit masquerading as a dessert? This was too far for a kid whose mom made every dessert, right down to the piecrust, from...

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Finding Our Place

It was just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and we didn’t have a table. Well, technically we did have table. An old one we had bought through Craig’s List that fit the small space in our old house perfectly. It was distressed cream and snuggly seated six. But we’d moved into a blessing: a spacious house that boasted a huge dining room. We were hosting our first Thanksgiving and were...

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How to Be a Safe Place for Single People

I was going to write an essay for June about singleness. In my head its title was “What I would tell my single self,” a list of advice and anecdotes, thoughts on friendship, living a good life, staying present and doing the next thing. I asked a question on my Facebook page in preparation for writing this essay: “Single friends, what’s the most annoying/offensive thing married [people] say to you?” ...

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Loving Your Spouse Jesus’ Way

It was two weeks after the unofficial start of summer, and I couldn’t believe my family was dealing with sickness again. The sickness had already hit my 3-year-old the previous week—but like most things—it couldn’t keep her down for long. We spent the weekend inside and I relaxed as much as my girl and her 5-month-old brother would allow. So I managed to stave it off, for the most part. My...

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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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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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Practicing Spontaneous Hospitality

My plan was to run into and out of Goodwill. I was searching for mid-century barware. The thought of finding it as a gift for my husband had my hunter-gatherer adrenaline rushing. As I stepped out of my car, a woman approached me from behind. After I recovered from being startled, I realized she wanted to note that she and I were driving the same model, year and color Subaru....

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