If you've been around the blog world the past few months, you've undoubtedly heard of this book.
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist.
This book has rocked my world and made me fall in love with a book like I never have before. It has taken me a long time to realize what about this book is so different than any other book, and I'm still not sure if I've really grasped the extent of it. This is one of those books that I'll always have handy, a book that I'll just open to a random page and reread over and over again, finding a new passage to love or dog-earing another page I want to remember.
If you're sitting behind your computer wondering what in the world I'm rambling on about, here's a snapshot of the back cover of the book, which sums it up beautifully.
Pardon the scratches, it's definitely been used. This quote is what drew me in to this book.
Are you tired of me talking about Bread and Wine just yet? Well, I'll talk 'til I'm blue in the face, because I want you all to read it that badly. I'm telling you--it's incredible.
The thing about this book is that it isn't just short stories. It isn't just recipes. The way Shauna intermingles these two things is mesmerizing; she makes you feel like you're sitting across the table from her, sharing a bottle of wine, as she's chopping onions and prepping dinner. You can almost smell the ingredients.
This book made me realize that although I barely know my way around a kitchen, that doesn't mean I can't pull out my knife and start chopping.
I'm working my way through this book, rereading the short stories and attempting to do justice to her recipes. It's an experience, for sure, but I'm enjoying every second.
More than anything, I love that she is a Christian and finds a beautiful balance of weaving Jesus into this book. Niequist mentions that she finds God through food and then questions us as to where we find God. Even if it isn't through food, like me, this book motivates you to find God where you are or in what you love doing.
This book isn't all happy stories. Each chapter tells us a different part of her life, a different memory. Some are happy, some are sad. She shows us struggles and tears and some make your heart hurt. Some make you want to hug your best friend, tell your family you love them. It made me want to connect and have deeper relationships.
Bread and Wine made me think long and hard about the connection between family, friends, and food.
“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment. Part of that, then, is honoring the way God made our bodies, and feeding them in ways they need to be fed.”
I long for my table to be a place where I can feed the ones I love, not only with a warm, delicious meal, but also feed them in every other way they may need, too. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I want to be the kind of person who welcomes and inspires, who opens up my house not out of obligation or to show it off, but out of love and out of desire to serve others and love them like I'd want to be loved.
After all, isn't that what life is all about? Xoxo