When my sister asked how I felt about meeting her in Barbados (did she ask or did I drop gargantuan hints?) it sounded like a very practical idea to me. It was pretty much meeting “in the middle” with her living in the UK and me living in Canada and all. Her husband planned to do a church internship there, and it was the least I could do to ease her possible boredom stuck on a tropical island. Yes, I’m selfless like that. So, I just got home from 2 weeks with her family in paradise, and now I’m experiencing a bit of the Barbados blues— and randomly dreaming of turquoise tables…
After snorkelling with turtles, watching monkeys devour their lunch, basking in sunshine, experiencing church Barbados style, and bombing around the island with her family getting up to all sorts of crazy adventures, it was bittersweet to say our goodbyes. I missed my family at home (the hubby and I are simply not made to be apart!) but I’d almost forgotten how special my bond is with my sister. There’s only 19 months between us and we have a truckload of history, inside jokes, and shockingly similar traits—even though we’ve been living on different continents for 22 years. So now I have a choice: brood and wallow in my heartache or be grateful for the memories we just made, and rejoice in God’s goodness.
“The Lord has done great things for us, And we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3
This glass-half-full girl is going with joy, so instead of singing the blues I’m going to celebrate the blues of Barbados. Aquamarine, teal, indigo, azure, sapphire, and cerulean— the sky and ocean scream every hue of blue, it takes your breath away. I could go rambling on and on and on, but the shade of Barbados blue I brought home with me is TURQUOISE, and here’s why:
One of my favourite things to do on vacation is read. Especially if palm trees and beaches are involved. Can I hear an Amen? I had been looking forward to reading The Turquoise Table for weeks, and in spite of its heftiness, I packed it in my case (which was grossly overweight and required my ever-resourceful hubby to be my knight in shining armour AGAIN. Sorry I suggested you weren’t putting your back into it… and thank you for popping an extra wheely little case in the car.) No matter if you read this book in the Caribbean or the carpool line-up, I think you’re going to LOVE IT. Here’s my review:
“We’ve got to debunk the myth that hospitality is the same as entertainment. Genuine hospitality begins with opening our lives.” (Kristen Schell)
Oh, how true! Many of us have managed to overcomplicate hospitality into a stressful, time-consuming event we dread— but The Turquoise Table comes to our rescue and gently coaxes us just to be present and available for others. In a simple, fast read with gorgeous photographs and delicious recipes, Kristin Schell shares her experience of finding community and connection in her own front yard by way of a picnic table painted turquoise. A conversation piece turned into a gathering place, and in time a multitude of turquoise tables have sprouted up around the world in people’s yards, decks, patios and neighborhoods, as regular people craving simple connection take action.
I was so encouraged by the notion, I went right out and bought a picnic table for my backyard (baby steps!) and you’ll never guess what colour I’m painting it…
A beautiful book for those who long for the days of REAL connection around a table, minus the pressure and stress of preparing the house for a gourmet feast:
“I want to have a simple table spread with abundant love. To offer an atmosphere of joy and peace.” (Kristen Schell)
*** If you would like to pick up a copy, here’s my Amazon affiliate link (full disclosure here) which means I get a tiny commission while you pay the regular price for your book: “THE TURQUOISE TABLE” Enjoy!
My sister and I talked a lot about the notion of The Turquoise Table. We even found one on the beach, overlooking the ocean. She’ll be a vicar’s wife soon and community will be up front and center. I’m a writer and have hermit tendencies, so need to make hospitality doable and lovable. How about you?
Caribbean, community, conversation, connection— it’s all whirling around in my head and I’m coming back to one thing: GRATITUDE. For my family, for time away from the everyday, for coming home, for the table, for my church and community, for memories made and dreams dreamed. I’m grateful for the opportunity to show hospitality. Shouldn’t we be all about sharing His love in practical ways?
“Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” Romans 12:13 (The Message)
As my tan fades, I hope my desire to “offer an atmosphere of joy and peace” will not…
Here’s to sisters, vacations, challenging books, and turquoise paint! 🙂
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