0 In Feast/ Friendship/ Recipes

Gather at the Table and Leave Insecurity at the Door

Welcome back to the recap from my summer cooking classes! To refresh: This past summer, I gathered some girlfriends and set up a little cooking spa for us in my home. We learned to cook some things, gathered around my table to share food and stories, and had a grand ole time being together. See the previous post for all the nitty gritty.

Although I’m sure you are totally here for the tutorial on French sauces and roasting temps… I promised we would discuss lessons on friendship. For the .05% of you interested in the geeky culinary details, let’s start a secret society… mmmkay.  

All kidding aside chickadees, well mostly, there are some vital lessons on friendship and fear that we can gain from this little summer cooking idea of mine. Friendship is critical to our surviving and thriving in this world. It is also messy and challenging. But it was God’s design after all. Stop in here to read about God’s purpose for friendship in my post written from the most magical place on earth.

Back to this summer. I’m sharing a few lessons here that I’ve learned over the years in the arena of friendship. Make no mistake, I have not figured it all out nor have I arrived at any sort of pinnacle in this realm. However, I am offering up hard earned practices that have been so fruit bearing in my own life.

This was dessert night where we ate our weight in cream and sugar and torched all the things.

Lesson One

Take risks. Step out and step into the unfamiliar. First, you must know that I have some incredibly fantastic females in my sphere. Not only did they show up enthusiastically for this little idea of mine, BUT they willingly and graciously joined around the table both with familiar friends AND women they had never met. Let us learn from their example.

Second, I wish you could have seen how connections were made and friendships deepened. Everyone was so over themselves. Enough to enjoy learning something new and meeting someone different. 

Julia Child has a quote about cooking that I believe has great application to friendship.

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.

Julia Child

Ladies, there is a legion of fears and inhibitions keeping us from taking risks in growing friendship. So. Many. Times. The best way to slay those fears is to walk right into them. When I have asked the Holy Spirit to give me eyes to look beyond myself and see others, God does a mighty thing. He brings peace, purpose and joy that I may not have known, hiding under my angst. Let’s take a lesson from the females who gathered around my table this summer… get over ourselves and be willing to be vulnerable.

Which leads me to this idea of sharing…

Sweet and Spicy night! Two of these darlings were in my circa 2013 pic from the OG cooking class. See if you can spot them here.

Lesson Two

Give Yourself. Take what you have and multiply it. Sharing of ourselves with our fellow females and sisterhood brings greater purpose to our lives. It also builds up our community of those walking alongside us. 

What are you passionate about? Good at? Have access to? Able to steward from your own experiences? Offering our time… our talents… our treasure increases their impact. And cultivates deeper satisfaction in our own souls.

Story time…

Early in our marriage, while my husband and I were just started adults, trying to figure out this new chapter of navigating career and responsibility and all, we were invited to a small dinner party at the home of his supervisor. We were the kids. The youngsters. The newbies. Naturally, my fear of doing something unsophisticated or obnoxious and ruining my husband’s career, was in full throttle. As we arrived, our host (that would be the bosses wife in case you missed it), was popping dinner rolls into the oven as she welcomed me into her kitchen. I immediately forgot about how terrified and unsure I was. I was completely enthralled. To start with, our host was gracious and genuine and AT EASE. What? How is she doing this? Then I began asking ALL the questions (And whoop… there it is! Welcome to the party obnoxious newbie moments). I wanted to know all of her ways. Where she found her whimsical chalkboard menu that was set up in the kitchen. Her recipe for the amazing frittata. The secret to delicious hot out of the oven muffins and what was the beautiful silver platter that she had them on that went straight from oven to table keeping them toasty and warm. Breathe Krisi. Just breathe. I tried to be discrete but my whole chill was lost in the moment. I even asked her what the cute tiny little “benches” were at our place setting. Yes, I was THAT person. Lord help us! (By the way, those tiny silver benches at the table? Knife rests! Click here if you want a visual) I have no idea what all we talked about at dinner that evening. No idea. Maybe because I was completely engrossed in my own culinary girl crush the entire time. 

I walked away that night gaining much more than dinner party pointers. Modeled for me, by our gracious host, was this idea of giving of yourself and multiplying what you have. She was generous with her gifts and experience… offering them in response to all of my inquiries. Consequently, making a lasting impact not only on myself but multiplied to future guests at my own table.

Lesson Three

Release Insecurity. Be inspired instead of intimidated. 

If we can’t bear our own shortcomings and be FOR our sister instead of threatened by her, our friendships will be handicapped. 

Y’all, this is where deep meaningful impact in our relationships is birthed! Instead of throwing shade, shrinking back or self-wallowing, we have the opportunity to glean from what we esteem. To notice admirable traits in other women and be changed for the better by those. To rally for, affirm and be sharpened by those around us. And to BECOME that esteemed woman for another… humble and approachable in a way that creates an onramp for others to be inspired and influenced.

Our youngest class participants. I’ve known three of them since they were babes. It’s fine. I’m fine.

Ladies, if we distill it all down, anything good we have has been graciously given to us by our Heavenly Father. Even… if I may, our grit and ability achieve. God is always working in and through our lives. Therefore, He infuses purpose into the good gifts he bestows. 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12

Final Thoughts

Those summer cooking class partakers came from different stages of life. Some, precious high school beauties smack in the middle of learning that… what may feel like the biggest deal ever absolutely will not be the end of them. Some, living in the glorious days of their collegiate years and not realizing how much they’ll miss it when out adulting in the nine to five. Others, in the middle of raising these beauties through above said stages… finding ourselves at a place where life is no joke and therefore, laughing is absolutely necessary for survival…and our children’s!

Linking our lives with those who challenge us, walk a different path than us and bring something different to the table yet love us amidst our diversity, is special.  

Life is short. Do the thing. 
Structure your life for friendship… and laughter!


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