Everyday Abundance: The Art of Living Well
Everyone once in awhile, I like to buy myself a card. I don't write myself a note or anything. (Though that might be kind of fun...or really weird. Not sure.) I just like to collect cards I find inspiring. When I'm at paper shop looking for the perfect birthday/wedding/baby/thank you card to send a friend, I occasionally find one that seems to have been written just for me. I spotted this one (from Curly Girl Designs) in Maine this summer and I nearly burst for joy when I read it: "The secret to great food is good wine and better conversation." Even better are the tag-lines: "enjoyment of food and friends is the greatest pleasure in life," and two beautifully simple words: "everyday abundance." These are pretty much the mantras of The Yellow Table, and it re-inspired me to keep sharing my message of community around the table.
I love the concept of everyday abundance. The idea that each day, in and of itself, is worth celebrating. So many gifts – health, family, friends, a home, a job (especially if it's a job you enjoy), living in a free country, clean water, having food to eat – are simply taken for granted, while we bemoan all of the things we don't have. Friends - we're blessed! Even if life is really hard right now (and I get it – it often is), I guarantee there is still much to be thankful for. Taking time to acknowledge these things – and to have intentional moments of thanksgiving – is really vital to living a full life.
Every once in awhile, Brandon and I like to pop open a bottle of bubbly (doesn't have to be expensive - just a nice $10 bottle of Prosecco will do!) and spend time thanking God for answers to prayer, and for the many, many blessings in our life. We love to celebrate small victories – in our careers or health or whatever it may be. Taking time to toast the small stuff helps me spend less time sweating the big stuff (i.e. the things that are out of my control). Does that make sense?!
Just to be clear, everyday abundance does not mean everyday excess. I'm not talking about living in an "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" sort of way. To me, everyday abundance just means living well. It means taking time to do the things that matter. Things - like cooking a healthy meal, or going for a long walk, or writing a handwritten letter to a friend - that might take some effort, but that ultimately make life more meaningful. Taking time to watch a sunset or snuggle with your kids or share your heart (and a cup of coffee) with a friend - these are things that cost nothing and yet fill the soul immeasurably.
Which brings me back to the concept of The Yellow Table. This table has been a part of my life since birth, and it represents so much to me: family, comfort, stability, celebration, good food, good conversation, ideas birthed and discussed, stories told, laughter and tears shared, lifelong friendships formed and strengthened. This table is an anchor for me. When I have friends sitting around the yellow table, sharing food, wine, and conversation, I feel complete. And even on everyday nights, where it's just Brandon and me, we still carry on the ritual of sharing a meal at the table. It's where we put aside technology and talk - about our days, our ideas, our struggles – dream and pray.
Dinner parties are a time commitment (I know...I'm cooking for 10 people tonight!), but they're truly one of life's greatest pleasures. I hope this card inspires you – as it did me! – to gather a few friends together, share a meal, and practice everyday abundance. After all, "enjoyment of food and friends is the greatest pleasure in life."