My friend, Kashoan came over today for lunch. I love her. Have you met her? You will love her, too. You will want to read her blog, shop in her Etsy shop, sit across from her at your kitchen table and have her tell you stories. Trust me.
The other day, when Kashoan and I decided to have lunch together at my house, I was thrilled! I am an entertainer. Bring people into my house, to my kitchen table, or anywhere under my roof or in my yard, and I am a happy camper. Right now, I am wishing you were here in my house instead of in your house or at your office or driving down the road (you’re not driving down the road, are you?) reading these words on your screen.
I love the cooking, the clean house (more than the actual cleaning of the house), and setting the table. I love making the beds and putting extra towels in the bathroom. I love lighting candles and kicking up my feet on the coffee table together with my guests.
So, when I knew Kashoan was coming for lunch, my mind started cooking up a plan. For ten quick seconds, I saw myself at the grocery store, buying a bunch of fancy food for a fancy lunch and then, suddenly, I faced a dilemma, and it was all because of Jen Hatmaker and her book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. “Darn it!” I thought to myself. In a good way, of course.
Jen has me thinking — again — about how I consume stuff. So, I put a stop to my fancy grocery store dreams and focused in on what was already in my kitchen. There, by the kitchen sink, sat (stood?) a butternut squash. I don’t know why I’d purchased that squash. I am not a squash person. I don’t buy squash. But, last week at the grocery store, this one squash had practically called out my name from the bin in the produce aisle. I had circled around it two or three times before stopping to pick it up and add it to my shopping cart.
I searched my cabinets and came up with a menu of butternut squash soup, cornbread, and salad. And then I began to dream of shallow, white soup bowls and how pretty the soup would look in those bowls with a sprig of rosemary nestled in a dollop of sour cream right in the center of the soup in the shallow, white soup bowl. Only, I don’t have any shallow, white soup bowls. Where had I seen those? Target? Surely it was Target, I thought to myself as I got ready to head out the door and snag a couple of bowls for my lunch date. “Hold it!” my mind said to me. “That’s not very 7-ish of you.”
Now, I’m not trying to recreate the 7 experience. I’m simply trying to be more mindful of the way I consume. Moving to a smaller place and getting rid of a bunch of stuff didn’t cure me of my desire to get, have, buy, and store. If I don’t pay attention, I’ll find myself drowning in stuff I didn’t even want or know existed until I saw it on the shelf at the local big box store.
So, I used the plates and bowls I already have. I cooked the food that was in my house, and this lunch won’t win any awards for presentation — what with bowls that didn’t match the plates that didn’t match the placemats that didn’t match the napkins. But the soup was hot, the conversation was rich, and the stories Kashoan told me were priceless.
Honestly, sometimes my eagerness at having people in my house is really all about me. I’m not saying this because I’m proud of it, but the truth is that sometimes the lines get blurred between me wanting to show you hospitality as an act of love for you, and me wanting to impress you as an act of love of me. Sometimes, I want to amaze you so that you’ll tell me how wonderful I am. That is the messed up truth that makes me want to store this post forever as a draft and never hit publish on it at all.
Thank God for grace. That’s all I can say.
And right here, I’d like to share one of the profound truths from 7, the actual book, but I told Kashoan about my 7 adventure and she was so intrigued that I gave her the book to take home and read for herself. Have you read it, yet?