As I was cooking the corn, draining the beans, shredding the cheese, slicing the onions, listening to music–all part of the dinner process in our home–I heard my daughter upstairs visiting with her new friend, Chloe.*

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Chloe, would you like to stay for dinner?

Those are the words that most people would love to hear if they’re in your home when dinner is being cooked. (Mm-m-m, the smell …)

I’d love to, thank you, Mrs. Coughlin!

It’s easy to pull up a chair and enlarge your family circle at dinner time.

I call it Pull Up a Chair Hospitality.

This is the way we reach beyond our family circle with not only awareness of the larger world, but getting to know the kids in our own home!

When the kids were younger I had to learn the difference of “closing the ranks” and “pulling up a chair.”

There were times when we had to say “no” around the table, because our family needed to be together. Many meals around our table went beyond nourishment and good times. There was work to be done, conversations to be had. Love extended through sometimes painful words–but always with honesty and concern.

So we had to say no.

And those were seasons of life where we had to learn about family flexibility.

Those seasons come and go.

It’s now a season in our home of “pull of up a chair, we want to get to know you” hospitality.

So that night we did. And we got to know our daughter’s friend–who was, by the way, a very lovely person.

It was an important moment in time.

Because every moment around the table can be sacred, I believe.

When is the last time you practiced pull up a chair kind of hospitality?

*Stay tuned for the Vegetarian Enchilada recipe coming up on RE!