Let’s start with a question: When you think of the word “generosity,” what image comes to mind? Maybe it’s an open hand or a cornucopia table ornament. Maybe it’s a dollar bill or a growing plant. Perhaps a person’s face comes up who embodies generosity. It may be that you think of your grandma pouring second helpings of her tasty food on your dinner plate. No matter what the image, the word “generosity” can conjure up a lot of ideas. Yet, there’s one that could easily be overlooked – the kitchen table.
Simply put, the kitchen table is a place in our homes where things happen. It’s a place where memories are created, where we see and experience the changing seasons of life. It’s a place where we feel loved and belonged, and sometimes it’s a place where we make important life decisions. The kitchen table is also a place where we both give and receive generosity in significant ways.
It's where we receive God’s generosity toward us, his provision and daily bread. It’s a place where we freely give to people by welcoming them into our homes. It’s the gathering place for families to gather to celebrate holidays, birthdays and other milestones by giving gifts. It’s a life-giving location as we laugh and rejoice, weep and mourn, dream about our future and reflect upon our past. It’s even a learning post as we both teach and learn valuable lessons from family and friends.
If we really think about it, the kitchen table is the place in our homes where generosity happens the most. With this in mind, let’s consider three practical ways we can use this common household item for generosity:
1. Invite a guest to share food and conversation with you at your kitchen table.
Think about the people in your life and to whom you can extend hospitality. Is it friends from childhood, colleagues from work, people in your neighborhood, fellow members from church, families from your kids activities or even strangers you just met? Gain clarity on who you can invite into your home and make them feel known by preparing food for them and sharing in meaningful conversation.
2. Deepen the love and care to the people who regularly sit at your kitchen table.
Whether it’s your spouse, children, in-laws, roommates or friends, use the kitchen table as a place to express a generosity of spirit in relationship. Listen first, and often, by giving the gift of attention. Speak blessings into their lives by offering guidance, support and encouragement. Let them know that they are seen and heard by you.
3. Serve the needs of others, freely and sacrificially, at the kitchen table.
Use the kitchen table as a workspace to create crafts or care packages to give away or to complete the tasks you perform for church or community agencies. Help your family with homework, work projects or administrative burdens. Write a card to someone needing encouragement or write a check to a ministry or nonprofit that inspires you.
If any of these opportunities resonate with you, make a commitment to do something soon! It’s okay to start small. Simply be intentional about using the kitchen table as a place of generosity. By using it in this way, you’ll be growing your impact and while creating joy in the hub of your home.
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