And greens will sizzle with onion on a stove top.
And potatoes will soften to a mash, rolls will rise high and yeast-like, and salad will be torn and tossed under dressing.
The last few years have shown this caved-in introvert the magic that happens when people sit around a table together in breaking bread.
And certain books* and blogs* have mentored me on why this practice is perfect for pouring into souls and peeking into histories and lives.
Opening doors opens hearts.
Plopping people right in the middle of your base central - allows them to commune with you in a special way that's hard to mimic in a restaurant booth.
We meet folks in that fashion, too. Often, actually. And special connections are certainly made there also.
But pulling out a chair for people - and handing them one of your scratched up plates - and letting them see your muffled homeschool corner ...there's something intimate and real about that.
This rent house here is small.
And I don't have walls adorned with artwork like I'd like.
And all the other homes I enter around these parts are so fabulously outfitted, that I do still sometimes cringe when I think about inviting people in.
I get a bit embarrassed if I'm being honest.
But if the warmth and truth and ministry in my home is vibrant and alive...it will outshine all that other stuff.
There's a healthy unraveling that occurs when we gather and ask the Holy Spirit to be present.
That's why here the next couple of weeks - a group of girls and I are meeting in my house to dive deep into printed word and scripture.
That's why I have a list sitting next to my computer with the names of people I want to invite to my table this year.
That's why chicken will boil in my kitchen today.
As you walk into my house....I have a newly purchased wooden sign hanging to the left of my living room.
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Your food and home-fashion don't have to be either.
Throw some flowers on your table, light some half-gone candles, mix or call in something somewhat delicious, and pull out your chair for some folks.
Hearts will unfold if you do.
Yours, and theirs.
*No Ordinary Home by Carol Brazo
*The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliot
*What is Family by Edith Schaeffer
*The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
*The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson