Have you heard of Shauna Niequist?
Better yet, have you read Shauna Niequist?
I recently discovered her and her way with words and her heart which so clearly echoes my own.
My husband bought her first book, Cold Tangerines, for me to read on our anniversary trip last month and what I found in the pages of that book was a soul sister who loves a good story, good food, good conversation, and good friends and family. I mean, she studied English and French in college. We're basically kindred spirits.
As a small sample of how IN MY HEAD AND HEART she really is:
I'm not a doctrinarian, mostly because for me, doctrine is not the thing that God has used to change my life. I'm a reader and a storyteller, and God chose literature and story and poetry as the languages of my spiritual text. ~Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, pg.24
I mean. Hello. Yes, yes, and yes.
That book gave me lots to chew on and I have a whole host of things to say, inspired by her words, but I'll save those for another time.
The point is, I kinda have a friend crush on her now and in order to feed that in the healthiest of ways, of course, I started to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. And Instagram. Don't judge me. As a result of my fan-girl-ness, I discovered she is writing a new book, to be released in April of 2013, called Bread & Wine. It's going to be a collection of essays combined with recipes and the whole idea is that we come to the table, and we break bread and drink wine and tell stories, communing with one another and with Jesus, and we find the Kingdom there. We meet all manner of holiness there.
This idea of hospitality and stories and bread and wine around a table has been creeping it's way into my bones for sometime now and I am allowing it to inform the way I move through my day. This communion in and with God in the everyday is becoming my "why". So I'm waiting with great anticipation for the release of Shauna's new book.
Imagine, then, my delight when she put out an all-call for recipe testers for it! I immediately jumped at the chance for a number of reasons. I love to cook and try new recipes, the idea of being a part of the publishing process in some way thrills me, the idea of being a part of Shauna's book appealed to me, and quite frankly, she said we'd get our name in the book if we were chosen. So...yeah. No shame. :)
Oh, and I was chosen. I squealed and did a happy dance. And then made plans to test it out for Mr. Ford and for my parents.
|Me using a grill for the first time ever! I know, I know...|
|The completed dish.|
|Our table complete with wine.|
And basically, what happened that night, was what I imagine is exactly the kind of thing Shauna is hoping to encourage with this book. My parents, my husband and I came to the table together, where we told stories and shared delicious food (because, yes, this dish was spectacular and if it's any indication of what the rest of her recipes are like, I will be cooking my way through the book) and drank wine and we met Jesus there and in one another.
We talked about the church and where it has been, where it is, and where we see it going. Mr. Ford and I shared with my parents the vision, the dream, the passion we have for what our place in the future of the church might be, what our generation's place might be. We talked about family and some of the joys and fears and ups and downs we've experienced together over the last several years. We welcomed a deeper communion with one another and we welcomed the One from whom all ability to have any kind of communion comes. We welcomed the gifts, the grace, the eucharisteo of bread, wine, community, and Jesus.
And I walked away feeling like I'd just had church there, at my parent's table, the four of us together.
So, Shauna, if you happen to read this, just know that your book, this heart on paper you've worked so hard to get out, it's already having a great impact, and accomplishing what I imagine it is you've set out for it to accomplish. And it hasn't even hit shelves yet. I can not thank you enough for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of this project. I eagerly await it's completion and fully expect the Lord to do a great work through it and at my table because of it.
There's not much more in life I need but good food, good friends and family, good stories, and my good God. Yup. That about covers it.