Weekend Gratitude: Welcoming Touches

I am home sick today and missed 
our church’s 7th anniversary celebration.

Fortunately, church isn’t just 
the Sunday worship service.
It’s the people who believe in Jesus, 
seven days a week.

Last night it was 
Bart and Judy,
John and Lindsay,
Gordon and Olga,
Thad and me.

We do Dinner with Friends 
a couple of times a year
Just sign up, and they’ll place you in a group of eight
so you can get to know the others.

Bart and Judy, 2011
We already knew our hosts Bart and Judy quite well.
They have been there for us over and over.
They have been the heart and hands of Jesus 
to our family for almost two and a half years.
For that I am grateful.
I also love to visit their cozy and beautiful home,
filled with welcoming touches 
of hospitality and inspiration.
I’m sure you’ll notice the light and shadow,
in one form or another, all the way through.
Life is like that.
The serving table before the food arrived…

The Greatest of These is Love

A table illuminated with candles and sunlight

I can never resist watching a flame
create impromptu sculptures
of melting wax.
I am odd like that, I know.
Each of us brought food.
Our contribution: hot bread and green salad.

My vintage butter cutter,
inherited from my late mother-in-law,
and tucked in my food bag,
was just right for the slicing job.

We also had gourmet cheese and crackers,
heritage tomato salad,
a chicken with white wine sauce.

And for dessert…

I’ll post the recipe for Judy’s scrumptious
Mississippi pound cake soon,
but for now you can drool over it here
with strawberries and whipped cream.
I love the blue and white chin

(You can find the recipes here: 
Simply Southern Pound Cake and Divine Chicken)
The beauty continued outside 
on the back patio and beyond…

A big bush of pink azaleas around the trees
I’m not sure what this is,
but I had to wait for the wind to stop blowing
so I could get this picture!
Waterbird wading in Lake Bell

Clouds and sunset change by the moment,
and looking out the window,
I am drawn back out again.
A perfect end to the evening,
eight of us gathering around the fire pit by the lake
to answer random “getting to know you”
questions on little strips of paper.
That was the point, you know!
One last welcoming touch from Judy’s home.
I am inspired to think about how I can add more of
this kind of warmth and coziness
and hospitality to my own hectic home.

But I remember:
the home doesn’t have to be fancy,
and the food doesn’t have to be gourmet,
and the guests don’t have to be close friends already,
but the heart has to be open and welcoming.
That is where beauty and love live.
That is the essence of hospitality.


Virginia Knowles

Related posts…

P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

The embroidered pillow photo will be my submission to the Sweet Shot Tuesday photo project Tuesday  morning.  You can see my current photo collection here: Sweet Shot 2013.   

I will also link to the following blogs this week…


About virginiaknowles

I am a mother and grandmother of a huge family, and I still home school my youngest daughter. I write to stay sane. My WordPress blog is a combination of my Blogspot blogs, and may not be continually updated.
This entry was posted in Art~Beauty~Creativity, Clouds, Decorating, Fellowship of Friends, Flowers, Food Glorious Food, Homemaking, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Lake Baldwin Church, Photographs, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Vintage, Weekend Gratitude. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Weekend Gratitude: Welcoming Touches

  1. Ruth Povey says:

    I just loved this:

    the home doesn't have to be fancy,
    and the food doesn't have to be gourmet,
    and the guests don't have to be close friends already,
    but the heart has to be open and welcoming.
    That is where beauty and love live.
    That is the essence of hospitality

    My home isn't fancy and I don't consider myself a good hostess.. this post was a wonderful reminder of what's important – an open and welcoming heart. Thank you.

    (Visiting from Wisdom Wednesday)

  2. Mama S says:

    Those are lovly little touches 🙂

  3. Dianna says:

    Thank you for sharing this! It inspires me to add a little more beauty to my own home (and we're having a guest for dinner tonight!).

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