Connection and Friendship: Part two What are you hungry for

Recently my husband and I enjoyed supper with friends at their charming reno-in-progress, 200-year-old summer-house. The planked salmon served with veggies-extraordinaire – finished off with fresh fruit and whipped cream for dessert – was ‘deliciously’ satisfying!

However, the meaningful and heart-rich conversation we shared around their table was what truly invigorated our spirits; we went home satiated in friendship and connection.

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Our experience – in this case, choosing to linger and talk around the table rather than moving to another place in the house – underlined how meeting and eating at the table can be so deeply nourishing, even sacred: healthy for our hearts and our souls.

Not everyone is skilled in cooking; having people over for a meal is very stressful for some. Maybe this is you.

And depending on your personality, not knowing your guests very well before they come to your house can cause some apprehension.

So how can we make this work – for gathering others to meet and eat at our table?

Your guests may also feel a bit nervous- take small steps. Sometimes it helps to ask several people you think who would relate to each other, and you provide the setting for them to share and get to know each other. This can be for a group of women only, or for couples or any other group. True story: because my husband and I are more on the out-going side we’ve been asked to join in on a meal at my cousin’s house to help keep the conversation rolling. Really. That works. My husband and I have been married a long time and in this area of inviting people to our house we have learned to trust each other’s intuition, which has resulted in meeting some very interesting and wonderful people: as recently as two weeks ago when we offered hospitality to a motorcyclist my husband met at a car wash!

It’s impossible to measure but I’m sure these kinds of steps have added more blessing to our lives than for those we’ve been able to share with. Connection goes both ways.

Ask people about their stories – they generally have at least one they’re happy to share. 

Through my Mom’s capable example I watched and learned her ease with hospitality –  which included my help peeling potatoes, setting the table – and washing dishes! So for me the kitchen, preparing food – is mostly a happy and comfortable zone. 

But in the past that ‘ease’ has often put me into an entertaining mode rather than one of hospitality.  So I’m paying attention and learning to integrate my passion for cooking good food, with my desire to invite connection and friendship by:

  • not planning my menu and foods simply to impress the people I’ve invited, as that can often be intimidating or disconnecting.
  • providing an environment that is focused on comfortable rather than fancy or needing to be expensive or feeling excessive
  • being less complicated doesn’t mean less tasty. Clear and simple.
  • inviting guests to join in the food preparation to promote connection – you’re in!
  • being aware that everyone can’t eat everything. Asking ahead about allergies and food sensitivities (even foods people just don’t like) helps put everyone at ease.
  • discerning when it’s appropriate to include Pinterest ideas for fun and pizzazz!

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It can be amazing: I encourage you to open your heart and home, share around your table to meet a hunger for connection and friendship through providing:

  • food: God’s greatest gift to us for physically nourishing us, his creation
  • our ‘homely’ expression of breaking bread and drinking wine – being sensitive,  willing and caring to share your heart and compassion
  • opportunity for memories, relationships, conversations and intimacy that will become part of who we are and our history, to understand how-

 “The world is far more delicious than it need be.”    Tom Chester

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Thank you for connecting with me; I appreciate your online friendship and hope if connecting with others is a challenge for you, that you will have courage to Begin.

With love and gratitude,

Karen

P.S. As always, if you want to talk about rejuvenating your life with healthy food, getting more active, moving towards purposeful living at any age, I’m available here or send me an email at ketoews@gmail.com.

6 Comments on “Connection and Friendship: Part two What are you hungry for

  1. It reminds me of Shauna Niequest’s books – how she and her friends gather all the time around multi-course meals or pizza and wine. The important thing is the people. Or Erin Loechner (of Chasing Slow) and how she always orders decidedly imperfect pizza for her guests. Love this post and this line in particular: meeting and eating at the table can be so deeply nourishing, even sacred: healthy for our hearts and our souls.

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    • What a great idea – intentionally being less than imperfect. Takes away any pressure and the ‘pedestal’. Thank you for the reminder about Shauna Niequest – makes me want to gather a group of women where I live 🙂

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  2. I Love This! Seeking and waiting for the opportunities to grow deeper into community and broader our circle. Thank you for your presence here on the web!

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    • Thank you for your kind words – and for stopping by here. I feel you also appreciate there is to learn and to share – when the time is right.

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  3. Pingback: If you want to change, write a new story – Karen Toews

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