This little kitchen of ours has been worked rather hard over the past several days.  Yesterday, I was talking with one of my dear friends about how we both function rather well in small kitchens. We stood, scooping up hundreds of little mac + cheese bites for an event we catered last night, and discussed how each of us, having large families, who we love to cook for, ironically have rather small kitchen spaces.  Yet, it isn’t really about the kitchen space to us. What it’s really about is the ability to use any space we’ve been given to pour our love out to others in a way we enjoy, through food.

Today, throughout hours of cleaning up to get our kitchen back in shape for our day to day rhythms, I have been pondering why we do what we do. What may seem like (to others) sheer craziness… frying more chicken, smoking more pork, baking more cookies, and toasting more nuts than you could even imagine, to us it’s because we love to serve those people we hold dear.  This idea of hospitality is something that, to me, is hard to put into words because it is truly something that seeps out of one’s heart and is shown through it’s very action.  Just typing that gives me chills and makes me want to cry at the same time because for me, it is the very core of who I am as a created creature of God.

Andy has suggested that I begin to write about my heart for hospitality, but I have struggled at knowing just how to do that, and where to start; and quite frankly how to not just talk about myself… which is really not what this blog is about.  But, to be honest, I get extremely excited about hospitality. This action is more than just having people over to your home for a meal.  For me, it comes from inside your soul; it’s a way of loving others so conscientiously that they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are loved, well thought of, and appreciated.

Over the past couple of years I have had opportunity upon opportunity to do just this. I have been able to cook for musicians and speakers and leaders; and with each person I am thoughtful about what would make them feel nourished inside and out. Spending time on someone is a piece of the puzzle, the mystery that is hospitality, that isn’t often recognized because it’s done in one’s head and heart, and often not seen. Much of hospitality is done behind the scenes, it may never be noticed or recognized. Part of being passionate about this means it is not about me in any way, but sincerely all about others.  It is not for any recognition (which is why I struggle even writing this post!), but completely about someone other than myself.

After days and weeks of planning this event we did last night, I find myself physically exhausted, and at the very same time extremely rejuvenated. I love being with people.  I actually find it a bit funny that I also like doing so much work “behind the scenes,” often with a small team of people. But when I am able to work with all of my heart for others, I find that it refreshes me in a very healthy way. I come home exhausted, and I literally have said (repeatedly) to my family and those I’ve worked with, I’ll never do this again! to find myself doing it over and over again. I am being stretched and strengthened and invigorated through all of this, and my soul is loving every second of it.

1 Comment

One Response to a piece of my heart.

  1. Dede Goddard says:

    Oh my gosh, Anna, this love of cooking for others is truly in your genes! My Nana, your great grandmother, put her heart and soul into her cooking and it came through in every meal she created! If you haven’t read the book, Like Water for Chocolate, check it out.It is about showing your love through cooking. It is truly what growing up in my family was all about! Your mom and I tried to convey this message in the little cookbook we put together of all our Nana’s recipes. So happy that you get it and are passing on this love to your children.
    oxox Tia

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