Yesterday while putting away dishes I was struck with the smallness of my kitchen. When Ben and I got married, our first apartment was relatively average among newlywed apartment kitchen standards; but, without a dishwasher.
Our next home would be a duplex, which had the kitchen as the home base for the washer and dryer. Everything from small dining nook to washing clothes to no dishwasher again with very minimal counter tops served us for about five years in a kitchen.
Then, we moved to our current home, which is a condo. I don't know if it's an 80s thing, but it would seem the designer of 80s small space kitchens thought, "hey, how could we throw logic & order out the window by making a large cabinet with a door the size of shoebox?" The pantry space is poorly designed with deep, far out of reach cabinets where the lonely corningware is housed. The redeeming part of my kitchen is the dishwasher, making the counter free from the build up of dishes.
My dining room is on the other side, which shares space with a small sitting area, girls constant art projects, my rather large table (I have dreams of owning a home where it sits more comfortably), and pantry & china cabinet.
I tell you all this for the sheer fact of how my house makes "entertainment" and faux hospitality laughable. I have often bought into that lie feeling less than, or my offerings are judged and people feel uncomfortable in my home.
But, my guess is some of you feel the same way. There are the excuses:
My kitchen is too small to cook.
My table isn't large enough.
Where will we seat everyone?
I'm in my 30s, my 40s, a person of my age shouldn't be renting anymore.
My cooking isn't that good.
You can probably fill in a couple more. We can follow people on Instagram (I might be that person to you), or like them on Facebook and think, "well sure you host dinner parties, but look at your home. I could do the same if I had your home."
Honestly though, I know my friends don't need those people and their home. They need me and all my imperfections, non-Williams-Sonoma kitchen. What my neighbor wants is an open door making room for them at my table to peppermint tea and toasted hazelnuts.
I recall my dear friend Talia saying, "Kamille! I am always SO impressed by what you can make in such a small space!"
Isn't that the truth. It's in the small things we can give the biggest offerings. We scrounge up last night's leftovers, pulling in some other inventive scraps from the pantry to make our own Stone Soup to share. I see this in the biblical account of the poor widow who offered all she had in the form of two small copper coins, a fraction of a penny. Jesus said this about her,
I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on.
So may we offer all we have in it's small form. Be it our kitchen, our resources, our time. Let us not believe the lie that more is better, or bigger is essential. Let us be people who share our tables as beacons of hope in a dark world; because, really that's all it's about.
Whether our next house has a walk-in pantry with a convection oven and an island in the middle, I pray that it's all centered around sharing our table.
What lies have you believed you must attain in order to invite others to the table?
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