Monday, January 31, 2011

Hospitality: Part 1

It was only a few months ago that I was helping to plan a food related event. We were starting to get into the nitty gritty details of our menu when one of the ladies said,

"Well, let's just serve some food and be done with it. They will be happy just to have a meal."

And it was all I could do not to rebuke gently correct share my personal opinion. The philosophy that I've adopted when it comes to hospitality involves so much more than just food. It's about creating an atmosphere of love and care for those that enter my home. Yes, food usually plays a starring role, but it's not the only role and many supporting actors make for a well-rounded cast.

This idea behind entertaining had taken several years to evolve. As a new wife, I probably did really focus on the meal and forget the "other things" that would make for loving environment. I have observed how others have hosted me, I have read books and blogs, and I have really come to enjoy creating a special experience for those visiting in my home.

"Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:13

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Choice

Friday marked 20 months since we said goodbye to Olivia, our third daughter, our fourth and last child, thusfar. That might seem like a long time to most, but there are moments when it feels like it all happened not that long ago. Time is a good cure, but it does not heal all wounds. After much reflection on the subject, I've come to believe this one simple truth: healing is a choice.

Some physical wounds are shallow and nearly inconsequential, take a paper cut for example. It might hurt for a few seconds, but then you scarcely notice it even happened. Other wounds require more attention, but probably can be handled on your own, like a scraped knee. You wash it up, apply a little antiseptic and a bandage, and you're out riding your bike again in no time. Some injuries require professional help, like broken arms and deep lacerations needing stitches. And other situations, say a severe car accident, might need surgery, a hospital stay, and months of rehab.

I think emotional wounds are somewhat similar. Some are shallow and quickly forgotten. Others might require a little more attention. And still deeper wounds....need work and maybe even professional help.

I've often wondered why some people that I've encountered still seem truly bruised, battered, and broken, even years after their loss. Their personal pain appears raw and fresh. While others, although forever changed by their loss, seem to be working towards healing and reclaiming their joy. I remember feeling angry that after all I had endured, I had to actually work towards mending my heart and spirit. WHAT?! It just doesn't seem fair. But fair or not, I believe it is what is required.

One month after Olivia had died, I remember reading something that convicted me into making a distinct choice: I would focus on Christ instead of on my suffering. And it is a choice I have had to make again and again.  

A choice to heal. 

A choice to live. 

A choice to find joy.

Praying for the choices you face,

Friday, January 07, 2011

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

surfing the net

completing a BIG custom etsy order

eating too much

resting too little

wrapping presents

cleaning up after aforementioned presents

assembling (and re-assembling) a large wooden train table

refinishing a buffet (!!)

painting the hallway

candy-making extravaganza with one of my Besties


Christmas day at a waterpark resort up north

breaking in our new Wii

driving around town to obtain accessories for said Wii

loving on my children

stealing precious moments with the Husband

cooking a gourmet meal with another Bestie for New Year's Eve

enjoying an appetizer feast on New Year's Day

a visit to the cemetery