My brother came to town to visit yesterday, and at one point in the evening, he paused at my coffee tray in the kitchen and said, “I think this is my favorite part of your house when I come over.” I kind of chuckled, as coffee is not nearly as much his thing as it is mine. When I asked him why, he said it’s because “it kinda just says ‘come over, have some,’ like it’s all just out here waiting to be enjoyed.”
And then he said, “you know, how some people kind of hide their coffee…”
Walking around my house this morning, turning on lights, lighting apple cinnamon candles, and fluffing pillows on the couch, I began to do some inventory of how well I put my “coffee out.”
What we do says a lot about how we feel about those around us.
Take this morning … My getting up early even though I could have slept in, and helping my husband get things together for his first indoor baseball practice for this session, communicated way more care and appreciation than last week when I barely acknowledged his pre-daylight goodbye kiss as he left for a business trip.
What we do is how we love.
Now, in no way am I touting perfection or advocating that we cease to exercise self love (sleep IS important!), but I think the art of intentionality, especially when it comes to relationships, is a dying one. In our pursuit of ‘freedom’ of self-promotion, and longing to shake off the shackles of ‘traditional’ gender roles and ‘old fashioned’ etiquette, I fear we’ve also thrown out common courtesy, generosity and authentic empathy.
Even more sadly, we often hide our gifts or extra effort for fear of not having enough, not realizing that what we create we will also enjoy.
How do you show your people love? What could you do better today to create a safe haven for your tribe? My daughter loves lots of blankets available to her at any given moment, hence a basket full of cozies in the corner of the living room. Our youngest loves to snuggle with his fam, so we try at least once a week to all pile into our bed for a tv show. One of my college kids (actually both), feel thought of when a little snack-cash arrives via Venmo. And my hubby loves knowing there are certain foods in the fridge at any given moment, just in case he gets a hankerin’ …
Now, while some of you might be rolling your eyes a bit, I want to empower you (ladies especially) to remember that atmosphere is everything. We have the ability to change the mood, emotion and conversation literally in how we set the table, create a space, or how we dress (When was the last time you went on a hot date night in your sweats?? Yeah, I didn’t think so …).
What we do and how we do it communicates to ourselves, and those around us, value.
Today, I would joyfully encourage you to change just one thing, in order to love someone just a little differently. Perhaps even lighting that candle and putting on that music, just for YOU. Set the table today with the intent of starting perhaps, just a little different conversation.