The Table Is A Place Of Hospitality - Farmhouse Dining Room Tour

The Table Is A Place Of Hospitality - Farmhouse Dining Room Tour

I just finished reading the book The Turquoise Table this week. This short and sweet book was an inspiring manifesto on hospitality. 

The author haphazardly placed a picnic table in her front yard, then realized its potential. She painted it turquoise and began to spend intentional time at the table. She chatted with neighbors and invited friends to join her. She began to notice the rhythms of her neighborhood and actually became acquainted with her neighbors. 

She created a space of welcoming. The table was a place of hospitality.

When I closed the book, I was feeling so inspired. Obviously, I needed a turquoise table. 

Then reality set in. I live on a road where the speed limit is 55. Our most active neighbor is a rock quarry with hundreds of busy truckers driving past every weekday. While these men might appreciate a cup of coffee, I doubt they’re in the position to just stop and have a chat.

A turquoise table will not work here.

But then I began to reflect on my family’s practices of hospitality. Just one weekend this summer, Chance and I hosted three different events – cookout, birthday party, and a meeting. Within just three days, almost 75 people had entered our home. They all left well-fed and feeling celebrated. 

Our table isn’t turquoise, but our hearts are the same. Our table is a place of hospitality. 

When we inherited the family farmhouse two years ago, one piece of furniture also remained – the old farm dining table. 

Grandma's dining table

Hospitality is not new with my generation. My great-great- and great-grandparents always had farmhands and house help living within this home. Those hired people were considered extensions of the family. Everyone in the house always broke bread together. Meals were shared and hearts were poured out around the table.

dining table

More recently, my grandparents specifically chose to extend hospitality to international students studying at the University of Illinois. Many Thanksgivings and Christmases included friends from faraway lands eager to learn more of American traditions. Numerous of these guests from the table remained good friends – one couple even is considered extended family. 

hosting foreign students

 

When this farm was an operational dairy farm, there was a traveling milk tester. His route happened to find him at my family’s table and in their guest bedroom so frequently that he eventually earned a room in the house specifically for his overnight stays. 

Men in their eighties and nineties still recall stories to me about my grandmother’s famous pickles and her delicious lunches. She daily fed all the boys who worked for my grandfather. I cannot imagine the food bill. 

hospitality

And then there is Chance and me. It’s our goal to invite every couple from our church to break bread at our table. We’re well on our way to this goal. 

dining room remodel

We’ve invited family, financial ministry supporters, the man who does our plaster repair, our fence repairman, and random families from our community to join us for Korean beef, pork chops, wood-fired pizzas, and PF Chang lettuce wraps.

Updated dining room

Considering our food allergies here, breaking bread isn’t done in the traditional way, but church takes place around our table. 

Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a random Tuesday, Our table is a place of hospitality. 

dining room

Sidenote, how much do you love these napkins? They’re from Imagine Goods. And you know I love to share giveback products with you. These are made in Cambodia where the artisans are given fair trade wages for their hard work and craftsmanship. And because the people of Imagine Goods are stinking awesome, they’re giving my readers 15% off through the end of November with this code: empower15

Imagine Goods linen napkin

You’re going to want to follow me on Instagram ASAP because I’m going to be sharing more products from Imagine Goods next week (and even giving one away!). I love partnering with companies that are doing such good and making hospitality just a little more pretty.

Sincerely, Overwhelmed by Paperwork

Sincerely, Overwhelmed by Paperwork