Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Greatest Author

I was on the subway the other day and saw this advertisement for some new book.  The reviews that were chosen to put on this advertisement claim that "authors just don't get any better" and that the writer is "one of the greatest storytellers of ours or any time [emphasis mine]".

Really?  Are they trying to tell me that The Lion is such a work of literary art that Mr. DeMille is surpassing Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, even Shakespeare for crying out loud. Am I supposed to believe that this book will become a timeless classic for many generations to enjoy?

It saddens me how literature in general becomes the McDonald's of food.  Now indeed there's time and place for McDonald's (when you're in the rush and need a quick meal) but a BigMac will never compare to a proper sit-down several course dinner at the View.  There is time and place for novels that can be enjoyed on the beach or on a plane.  But can they be compared to the timeless classics that force us to look deep within ourselves and search for answers, that move us to think and become better people, that encourage us to open up a dictionary once in a while and broaden our vocabulary?

If you are a parent - I beg you to instill in your children love for good books.  When they grow up they will read what they see you read.  Fill their bookshelves with quality time-proven authors, get them to discuss the content with you, ask them to place themselves in a hero's shoes.  Check out this list and see if you read any of those yourself (a few more lists can be found here and here).  It takes a while to develop appreciation for classic writers if you never had to force yourself to go beyond the Cliff's Notes versions of their books but I promise you that it'll be worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Imperfect Hospitality

"When hospitality becomes an art it loses its very soul." 

I read a lot... about everything... I read books, blogs, facebook feeds, signs on the streets, even cereal boxes.  Sometimes that stood in the way of my hospitality.  I am not the person who will think of little cute flags to decorate her cupcakes with, or get matching linens, or make homemade tags for the glasses.  I live in a one-bedroom apartment where I don't have a space to set up a nice buffet table (on top of that we don't even have many serving dishes so often our food ends up being served straight out of the pot).  I do not make the greatest hostess.  I often get stressed right before the guests get there as I realize my huge gap between what I wanted to happen and the reality of what will indeed happen.  That frustrated me often.  I was realizing that I am unlikely to ever be as good as some of those hospitality/decoration ideas/cooking bloggers and I was becoming more and more uncomfortable with having people over.

Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day.  Hubby & I were going to stay home, grill veggie burgers on George Foreman (our very random Independence Day tradition), and watch fireworks on TV.  Over the course of the weekend we've been talking to some people in the ministry we're involved in and some of our friends didn't know exactly what to do.  A simple invitation of "Well, we're staying home and grilling veggie burgers on George Foreman... you're welcome to join us if you'd like"  was enough to have 5 more people join us last night.

As always I was not perfect.  My dessert had an accident (praise God for a wonderful creative husband who figured out how to fix it instead of getting stressed)... and I was not ready by the time the first guests arrived. 

But despite all that we had a great time.  Conversations were started, food was eaten, a movie was watched, followed by my imperfect patriotic dessert... and all was well.  I am learning now that you don't have to be perfect to extend hospitality, to fill your home with friends and laughter.  I read this quote here the other day "Aiming for perfection will only frustrate. Aiming for grace and excellence is better."  And this is what I will strive to do.  I will strive to become a better hostess but I will not strive to be a perfect one.  I will enjoy my friends and not stress over little things (hey, even if the dinner is ruined - there's always take-out).  I will extend my hospitality and not hinder it for this is how friendships are formed and love of Christ is expressed.

You may not have everything you need to pull off a great "party"... but you don't need to invite people to a "party"... invite them to your "home" and share your life with them.  They will appreciate it even more.

I am linking up here today

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Blessings Are Easy To Count Today

My blessings are easy to count today.  As I sit in my bed this morning and type this post, I am excited about the new (to me) dessert recipe I get to try out today for the Independence Day celebration.  I know my fridge is stoked with yummy things that in a few hours will be transformed into a great food for a great get-together with some great people. I went to church yesterday without fear for my life and I had a great time.  I hung out with my friends in a group outside without fear of being arrested.  I am a blessed woman indeed.

Not everyone can say that today.  And if there was one thing I could pass on to all the wonderful people who live in the United States - "Don't Ever Take Your Freedom For Granted!!"  Be thankful for the opportunities and freedoms given to you that others may not be able to enjoy.

If you allow me to share one little video with you today - here's how Independence Day celebration went down in Belarus yesterday (the country currently celebrates their Independence Day on July 3rd).

And that is why I am ever so grateful for things so often taken for granted:
* being outside with my family and friends with no fear
* speaking my mind with no fear
* knowing that in the USA people are presumed innocent until proven guilty
* my church
* freedom of religion
* uncensored Internet access
* honest day's wages to buy things I need
* abundance of choices

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...