Happy Wednesday!

I hope you had a nice weekend. It was nice having the extra time.

We Thanksgave.

The girlie and I hit the outlet mall since that seems like a Stepford thing to do. I’m not really bricks and mortar shopper anymore but it was nice to get some bargains. I got a red coach bag for $66 and a Tory Burch necklace for $35. Bobbi Brown lipstick and Mac brushes were on sale too. How could I resist?

Have you been watching Jully Black on See Hear Love? I adore this woman.

Pink! is touring, finally. Her Truth About Love Concert remains one of my favourite ever and I’ve seen just about everyone live. Music restores my soul. I can’t wait!

So, life finally caught up to Harvey Weinstein. Just when I think there is no justice in this world, there are little bits of it. I used to finance some film companies a hundred years ago and was invited to fancy A-list parties where, in spite of a magna cum laude MBA, I’d still be mistaken as somebody’s paid escort.

For all of the women and men out there still seeking justice (and I consider myself among one of them – although my story involves the church and the legal profession rather than the entertainment industry) I always take comfort in a sign I have over my desk: you’re an overcomer.

You will overcome this because Christ overcame the world. That’s a promise.

The plaque is still on sale at Dayspring for $8 (US) if you are craving one for yourself. I need a daily reminder of this sort of thing.

I’ve been reading The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith through Feasting, One Meal at a Time, by Sally Clarkson, since Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy.

I was excited to read this book. I am a big believer in family meals and in spite of business travel and music and sports and a blended family, we sit down for some sort of family dinner almost every night. I was looking for some new recipes and encouragement to keep on keeping on, even when it’s hard.

This book was not at all what I expected.

At first, I did not like it. And I know I’m in the minority on this one. The reviews were very good and Ann Voskamp loves her.

I’d expected a cookbook, but instead it’s a family memoir about how food had helped the Clarkson family – and you will come to know that name well – solidify their faith. They seem like a lovely family: truly they do. They are loving and giving and all of the good things we associate with good people. But the book reminded me of the beginning of We Were the Mulvaneys before Joyce Carol Oates took everyone down a dark path. There is a fine line between being grateful for a blessed life, and coming across as smug. I have to admit, I felt very excluded from this particular table in the beginning as my life looks nothing like hers.

But I kept with it and I’m glad that I did.

As the book progresses, the author gets more honest. It feels less like one of those Christmas letters outlining everyone’s accomplishments and more like a real glimpse into her life. She has had struggles, and having meal times has helped maintain a sense of order and optimism throughout periods of crisis. Whereas the first part of the book seemed to imply that you could avoid crisis through good planning, the second part makes it clear that we will suffer but can still be joyful in spite of that. I’m a big believer in creating a beautiful home, particularly in times of crisis, and this book certainly reinforces that belief. As Clarkson wisely writes: “in times of exhaustion, grief, or trial, holding onto a sense of orderliness and loveliness is essential.” Amen to that.

I want to get her book The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming.

The recipes are decent and the book is strong on celebratory foods. I’ve marked up my kindle version of things I plan to make over the holiday season. Clarkson Snowballs/Russian Tea Cakes: I’m looking at you!

The most powerful part for me was the concept of teatime discipleship. I’ve always wanted to create a safe space in my home for sheltering the discouraged. Tea is such a perfect conduit for that and I have no doubt that the Clarkson household has proven to be a respite for many people in need. It’s a practice I plan to implement in my own house.

As we enter the season of hospitality, this is a good book to remind you of what entertaining is really all about.

Love to hear from you!

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