Monday, March 25, 2013

serving joy

Holley asked us to write this last week about what brings us joy.
 Sunday night I stood at the sink, rinsing dishes to load into the dishwasher.  Brownies stood on the counter waiting to be served.  The coffeemaker hissed and spluttered, its delicious steam mingling above my head with steam from the warm water washing over my hands.  I luxuriated in the waves of laughter and conversation from the group of people gathered around our dining room table. 

In a serendipitous collision of events, my in-laws had called in the middle of the week to say they would like to drive down, accompany us to church and hang out on the same day we were hosting a family dinner for my Aunt’s birthday.  As my friend Michelle says, "The more the merrier!"  

Our large rectangular table was heaped with the goodness of Ree’s Bow Tie Alfredo Pasta with Chicken, caesar salad and sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, basil and feta on the side.  A feast.  And brownies still to come.  Mercy.

After serving brownies and coffee to my loved ones, I took my own plate and coffee and sat down, marveling at this mixing of personalities, families, and histories.  As families do, we laughed, told stories, ate brownies.

My style of hospitality will never be catalogued in any magazine.  You will most likely not find me giving tips to would-be hostesses. 

But having a group of folks crammed around my table eating, talking and laughing brings me a great deal of joy.
 Tomorrow is Thursday and we will host our college Bible study for a finals week meal.  It will be a simple affair, with hamburgers and hotdogs along with all the fixings.  I will cook and do dishes, refill glasses and serve up dessert. 

And at the close of day, when I lay my head down, my heart will be full of the unique joy that comes with extending hospitality.

The clock is relentlessly marching us into the day as we inch our way forward and it is then that she asks me, “Can we use the colorful teapot, Mama?  Can we have a tea party breakfast?”

The daffodils are blooming bright on the table, the sun is shining, and even though math will start late, I say, “Yes.”

We brew a pot of Earl Grey and serve toast and smoothies for breakfast.  She pours milk in the small pitcher, finds the tiny spoons, refills the sugar.

And though time marches steadily on, I am no longer paying it any mind.  I am listening to the happy chatter of little girls, planning birthday parties, telling stories from their charter school classes, sharing heart-dreams, giggling.  Between sips of Earl Grey, I notice a peace has spread over us.  We are smiling into each other’s eyes.  And joy is spilling over.
Linking up with m God-sized Dream Team sisters at Holley's blog.


  1. "We are smiling into each other’s eyes. And joy is spilling over." This is just how I feel reading your post.

    Thank you for "serving joy" and for the lovely words I got to sample at your table today.

    1. What kind words, Angel! Thank you so much taking the time to share them with me.

  2. I love it! And now I want to come eat at your table. ;)

    1. Thanks, friend! Let's do it!! Can't wait to see you IRL at the end of April!!

  3. You certainly do serve joy!! How beautiful! What a wonderful way to love on your family (and guests). : )