Simple Fall Brunch

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Food is such a part of my story, that I love sharing it with others.

I remember the meal my husband cooked for me during my “year of vegetarian” when we met, dated, got engaged, and got married – he cooked the meal before he asked me to marry him.

There are food stories I have that bring a smile to my face and ones that bring me to tears – either because they bring sadness or deep hurt.

Weight has always been a part of my story as I have been heavy most of my life.  I wasn’t even the skinny ballerina during my one year of ballet in Kindergarten, and I probably had a plus size tutu for clogging in 4th grade.  I loved clogging.  And I still remember some of the steps.  And it still is a part of my story.  I remember specific life events and the weight I was when those events happened.  I’ve lost weight and gained weight so many times I’ve lost count.

But today, I got to share my love of food with new friends.  Being in the creative industry gives us a common ground, being mamas is another line of commonality, but today, we also got to enjoy loving food together.  And I enjoyed putting it all together.

One of my favorite things to do is be in the kitchen together with friends.  So, today, I still had to put this quiche together (go run by leeks and make this tonight for dinner).  And my friend jumped right in and helped.  We talked, photographed food, and made food together.  Food is one of the only things in life that every human has in common.  We all have food.

So, food is a wonderful joiner.  Hopefully.  Today, we joined over conversation about our motherhood journeys, food, creative business, weddings, travel, and community.

Having some friends over for brunch should not be hard.  And we through in a toddler too!  I just picked a few things to make – a quiche, fruit and cheese tray, and cookies.  I made the cookies yesterday.  The board is super easy with just some fresh fruit, cheese, and little danishes from the Publix bakery.

The quiche was made during the preparation this morning and my friend helped.  Don’t be afraid of help.  Allow friends (and family, including littles) to join you in the kitchen.  And y’all, even though I know how to make a crust, I always use Pillsbury rolled doughs.  So easy and yummy.

And the cookies, I just made them yesterday as I was home and the recipe said they would be better the next day.  Reading recipes is super important.  And I didn’t have dirty dishes from baking this morning.

And here’s a little hint: my floor hadn’t been swept, but for the most part my home was picked up.  Two things: having people over regularly keeps your home clean.  And if you pick up a little every day and have a husband and kids that help – it makes cleaning easier.  And you know what, your friends shouldn’t care if your home is super clean or not.  But, I think it is good stewardship of your home to keep it tidy.

The Fall – perfect time to bring people in, hear their stories, share yours, enjoy good food, and live life with other people.  And Hannah Anderson, who launched a new book yesterday, also wrote a piece today in CT about doing community with broken people (hint: we are all broken).  Go read it!


Lavish Hospitality 28

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As I start to wrap up this hospitality series, maybe not in the way you thought hospitality would be talked about:

I want to share a few more ideas on how we can be hospitable to ourselves.

Showing lavish grace to ourselves.

First, what I don’t mean.  I don’t mean we get to be always lazy – never doing the hard things.  I don’t mean we can keep on sinning and doing what we want because we don’t want to do the right thing.  I don’t mean that you can wallow in self-pity.

Here’s what I do mean:

  1.  Pour out truth to yourself.  CJ Mahaney, Jerry Bridges, so many authors talk about the importance of preaching the gospel to yourself.  I’ve had friends do it for me when I’ve desperately needed it.  I receive text messages and emails and voxer messages that are filled with truths that I need to remember – even when my heart is hurting and I’m stressed to the max.
  2. Remember you are not Super Woman.  Halloween brings with it so many opportunities to dress up, be someone different than who you are.  We can put on a cape and be superheroes – but we aren’t it.  We will never save our kids. We will never have it all together.  We will never be all to everyone.  We can’t be.  If we were…we would never realize our need for Jesus.
  3. Allow ourselves to rest.  I’m not talking about being lazy.  I told my mister the other day as we sat down on a cozy afternoon watching an NCIS episode on Netflix, that I would do that all day.  Before I was married, if I had a day empty of responsibilities – I would just sit and binge on a show.  In fact, when I first moved back to Raleigh in the spring before I was married, my roommate and I would often just multitask on the couch.  I watched 6 seasons of NCIS in 4 months.  It was awesome.  We both had writing jobs and could sit on the couch, work, and memorize all the Gibbs rules.  And maybe that’s ok sometimes, or just go sit out on the beach and listen to the waves crash. God made us for rest.  But, we will never find our complete rest in anyone apart from him.

Quote from Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

Lavish Hospitality 25

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Would you like to hear a heart desire of mine?  Really?

I’ve wanted a place (a home, which we have) to have a meal with people each week.  Preferably the same people because I love deep community, but a place to sit down over food and good conversation, good drink and lovely people – a place for people to be real, for kids to play in the yard, for time to slowly pass because you are enjoying the company so much.

A place to share happiness and hurts, celebrations and pain.  A place where you can come dressed up or in cut-offs and flipflops.  And for this to be longterm.

I didn’t have this growing up – even though we lived in the same house and went to the same church most of my growing up years.  We sorta had it with the small church I grew up in with 5th Sunday dinners, but that was at a church and only happened a few times a year. Though there was some seriously good food.

But, I want it around our table.  And if I had my way, I would pick about 10 couples to all move to my neighborhood and do this with me every week.

Quote from Sally Clarkson’s The Life Giving Table.  Originally in Orthodoxy


Lavish Hospitality 14

One of the deals with motherhood is that you tend to get interrupted.  Whether you need to change a diaper in the middle of a church service, breast feed in the middle of the night, calm an anxious heart in the wee hours of the morning, get out of bed before your alarm clock goes off because a preschooler wants some juice.  It might be to miss out on something you want to attend because you have a teenager who needs to get somewhere.

Interruptions come.  That’s just a fact of life.  The life of a mother, that is.

And I’ve learned that it usually doesn’t make me smile when I get interrupted.  I like to do what I’m doing and that’s that.  Whether its making dinner, working on a blog, or running errands, I want to do them how I want to do them.

I need God our gracious Father to show up in my heart and mouth and face when my little boys interrupt me.  I need to be ready to color with them, read with them, talk with them about the same topic I’ve already talked about for 4 hours that day, sing one of their songs for the 30th time, and watch the same kids movie with them that they know by heart.

Thanks to Sandra for writing this blog post where I pulled this quote.

Lavish 12

posted in: 31days, food, lavish hospitality | 1

On a post about food, and it is my son’s birthday, and I’m not cooking anything.  Nope.  We are going out for donuts, then going to a fun lunch, picking up his Publix birthday cake, then going to a friends for small group.  I’m getting off easy.

But, sitting around a table is more than just food.  Yes, I love to cook.  One of the ways I learned to cook was from my mom being disabled and unable to much of my growing up.  So, she would tell me what to do and I would cook it. Or I learned it from watching my Granny and Papa or learning how to scale fish and cook a mean french fry at the Suwannee River with weeks away with my Papa.

But, I learned to love to cook for others when I got to know a family in college.  I got to be a part of their celebratory meals and their every day meals.  Knowing recipes that family members loved.  Knowing what would please the ones they loved.  Sitting down at a table in their home and talking for house over good food and good wine.  Or just good old sweet tea.

The meal is more than just food.  It is life for the soul of many.

Quote from The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.

Lavish Hospitality 9

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When people come to our house to spend the night, whether visiting for several days, or just overnight, I like to know what they like and have it for them.

I like to make foods they will eat or a special coffee they will enjoy.  I like to have little gifts ready for them in the room they are staying in.  I want them to feel welcome and loved.  And often times, for most people, gifts make them feel welcome.

This part of hospitality doesn’t have to be extravagant, believe me, hello Dollar Spot at Target!!  The best thing is to be thoughtful.  Preparing your home to be hospitable is an easy task, just be mindful of it.

I know a couple that has a gift room.  They buy things on sale, Black Friday sales, TJMaxx, for just this reason.  To be able to give gifts, or to be able to be hospitable throughout the year through gift-giving.

With Christmas right around the corner, you may have more opportunities to practice this.  Don’t be overwhelmed and don’t stress the budget.  It can be as simple as having your kids draw a picture welcoming them.  Or picking flowers from the yard.  Just something that says welcome.

Quote from Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Charles Spurgeon) in a collaboration book by Nancy Guthrie.

Lavish Hospitality 6

posted in: 31days, Books, lavish hospitality | 0

One aspect of mothering is that it is life-giving.  And as women, I think we are naturally life-givers.  Maybe not all of us have biological children, but we are all made in the image of God, and being image bearers as females, I think we are life-givers.

You can be life-givers as a wife, mom, foster mom, adoptive mom, friend, neighbor, church member, business woman, daughter, granddaughter, caregiver, single, married, widowed, divorced.

Hospitality is life-giving as well.  We can be life-giving in our homes, our cars, our work, our church, our communities.  This may look like bringing a small gift to a neighbor who has just moved in or one who is going through a rough time (a gift card or something fresh from the oven or grocery store).  This may look like welcoming your kids’ friends over to your house every Friday night – or any night of the week – just so they have a loving place to hang out.  This may look like talking to the older women sitting around you in church, the ones you don’t know, the ones who look lonely.

Whatever hospitality looks like for you – bring life to someone else.

Book quote from Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

Lavish Hospitality: One

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“She recalls wanting to be a part of those experiences,

even is she didn’t yet have a palate for the bitter bean.  

She understood at that moment that in cultures around the world,

life takes place over mugs and french presses.”

Kinfolk Table: Elizabeth Haddad

Hospitality is easy when we are around people we love and who love us and with those with whom we have much in common.  It is harder when we are around strangers, people who are not in harmony with our lives, or those we just don’t know.  Maybe the people we need to pour out grace to are the ones who are least like us.

I’m not a coffee drinker.  Slowly, I’m becoming one, but its like iced coffee with cream and caramel or a sugary frapp from the corner coffee shop.  Maybe if we learn to like things out of our normal sphere (like coffee, or foods we normally wouldn’t eat), we would sharpen our ability to show hospitality.

With my husband: I learn to appreciate classical music.  He learns to appreciate Zac Brown Band and Alabama.  With my boys: I learn all about fire trucks and dinosaurs.

How can you learn to show lavish hospitality by learning to love things you don’t already love?


Write31: Lavish Hospitality (Day 1)

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Day 1

Day 2 

Day 3

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Day 30

Every October comes around and there is group of women who set out to write a blog a day for the entire month.  Every year I try to do it, and every year I fail.

This year, I’m trying something new.  I’m working on a book (Lavish Hospitality) and want to use this space, this month, to work out the 31 short chapters of the book.

This is not going to be a book about food and blankets and setting up guest rooms.  Yes, partly, there will be some recipes and stuff like this.  But, hospitality is more than just setting a pretty table.

I want to “prepare a space for lavish grace”.  Here the the sub-headings:

To my heart.

To my husband.

To my children.

To my neighbors.

In my home.

In my church.

Grace was poured out lavishly on us.  We need to be ready to pour it out lavishly on others.

Hospitality has a southern ring to is.  You may think of cozy reading corners, mums in the Fall, tea and coffee, flowers and guest rooms.  It can be those things.  But, just because you have coffee set out doesn’t mean you have a welcoming home for others.

So, in the next 30 days I’m going to be sharing 30 quotes and thoughts on them.  These quotes will help me formulate thoughts on this topic, and I hope they will encourage you to practice lavish hospitality in your world.

Using Your Home For Ministry

posted in: Books | 0

As a mom of preschoolers, even ones who like to get out and roam the city every day, we also like to use our home as a place of ministry. But, it can be hard to figure out schedules ways to do ministry.

Hospitality is one way we can be like God to the world and to our family.  The Simplest Way to Change the World is a helpful little book that starts with the theology of God being hospitable to us and then gives helpful ways to be hospitable.

My favorite part of the book was their chapter on how hospitality is a part of God’s nature. How he gave extravagantly to those who were his enemies.  How he would go to great lengths.

When we are trying to start practicing hospitality, let’s not turn to Southern Living or Instagram to know how to be hospitable, but look to the Word at how God is hospitable to us.  Then we can pray that we can live out our relationship with God to our neighbors, families, and friends.  That doesn’t mean we have to tell everyone the full Gospel outline every time they walk in the door.  But, it does mean we can learn how to use our homes to glorify God, teach our children how to be hospitable, and welcome those unlike us into our home.

The authors share great recommendations on how to do this as well, but you can simply use these as ideas – and start your own ministry in your home to your people.

Thanks Moody for this book and all thoughts are my own.