It's no surprise we have moved away from the table. We have busy lives with lots of distractions, so we eat on the go or with our heads bowed to our phones or eyes glued to the tv. It's bothered me for awhile. I want the table back. For my own family and for yours. It's mostly what I've been thinking about since beginning my new food journey on the Paleo diet. Once I stopped eating emotionally and started treating my body in the way it was meant to be treated I allowed myself to slow down and enjoy food more. I felt better about myself and I began noticing textures and colors and really what food was meant for. I quit shoveling food into my mouth to numb the pain of life and started eating slowly only to be captivated by the tastes and smells and textures. I see now that food is not only meant to nourish and enjoy, but helps pave a way where we can gather at the table, be open, and invite each other to share life and and meaningful conversation. I want to stop and enjoy the moments we have around the table. We can't continue let those opportunities pass us by.
In her new book Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequist gives us an invitation to bring it all back. Bread and wine. The body and the blood. To give thanks for His sacrifice and to practice that by creating a space to listen, tell stories, show grace, and share life. To get to know the ones in front of us; no distractions. It's about being with those who can encourage you, those you can be an inspiration to, and those who just need someone to listen to them. It can happen around the table. And I don't think most of us are doing it. So let's slow down. Start with a simple meal and be with those you love. Feed them, listen to them, and enjoy the flavors and textures of the beautiful food God has provided. And grab Shauna's book, Bread and Wine. She is an amazing writer, someone I've never actually met but feel like I know. Reading her second book, Bittersweet, really made me feel like writing was something I could do. She is so honest. She shares not only the joyful parts of life but also the hard and the scary ones; and who we can become after enduring them. That's what I want to do.
In the introduction of Bread and Wine she reveals "This is a collection of essays about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. It's about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us, and about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two." And it truly is.
I came away from some chapters in tears, others laughing, and some so eager to set up a dinner party that moment or run to the pantry in hopes that I had all of the ingredients for the recipe I had just drooled over. The watermelon arugula salad is surprisingly delicious and, oh heavens, the dark chocolate sea salted toffee is amazing. I can't wait to dive into the pages of this book again and start cooking these lovely recipes while sharing life, love, and food.
And she ends so delicately with this, "It's about loving the people in your life by gathering them close into the private space of your home, about giving them soft places to land in hard seasons, about meeting their needs for food, for listening, for peace, for rest."
So thank you Shauna for allowing me to read an advanced copy so I could share about your lovely writing on here. You are an inspiration in so many ways. And thank you to my great friend Kat over at The Wifely Adventurer for introducing me to Shauna's writing two years ago. What a gift.
I invite you to grab her book on Amazon or her site then call some friends and tell them dinner is at six!