Tell someone you love them, and dinner’s at 6…

I’m pretty sure eating is my spiritual gift. Some folks have told me they don’t think that’s really biblical, and maybe it’s not but it seems pretty clear to me that Jesus really liked to hang out around people’s tables. He even called himself the Bread of Life.

Food is also my love language. For me, feeding people is as much a way of saying ‘I love you!’ as using the actual words, maybe even more so.

Inviting someone to your table can be a really sacred thing.

I remember once when Mr. Bodenbach and I were preparing lunch for some friends. We realized we had forgotten something during our last trip to the store. So off I went, making a mad dash to pick up the needed item. As I was standing in the checkout line suddenly a friend appeared behind me. I asked how they were doing, really just expecting the standard “I’m good. How about you?” reply.

But instead, my friend began to tell me that they were struggling with some things. I panicked for a moment, not wanting to walk away from someone who obviously needed to talk, but also not wanting to delay getting back home to finish preparing lunch.

I suddenly blurted out something like “I want to talk more. Please come for lunch!” Then I grabbed my purchase to dart out the door and back home.

Thankfully my friend knew our family well enough that they didn’t hesitate to come for lunch…or at least if they did, I didn’t know it. What transpired from there was nothing unusual or even especially focused on their struggles. But we had a lovely lunch and a wonderful time around the table just sharing life.

I think my friend left in better spirits, encouraged a little hopefully and at the very least they didn’t have to spend the afternoon alone in an empty house drowning in their anxious thoughts.

That’s it. That’s the magic. Sitting around the table sharing stories. Sharing struggles. Sharing laughter. Sharing life. Not to mention the very important sharing of food. (I’m all about the food!)

“Tell someone you love them, and dinner’s at 6.” —Shauna Newquist, author of Bread and Wine

I’ve rarely been turned down when I’ve invited someone for a meal or just for coffee. Sometimes that meal comes by way of the pizza delivery guy. But people never seem to mind what we are eating. They always seem thankful just to be invited…after all, everyone wants to be invited, don’t they?

Think about it. Is there someone you can invite into your life this week? Maybe someone who would be blessed by just not eating alone? Maybe someone who is struggling to afford food? Perhaps someone who is struggling at work or with parenting or with their spouse? Maybe during these crazy days of COVID-19 it’s a coffee date by way of Zoom?

It might feel awkward…but that will only last about 5 minutes and then your relationship will begin to grow. Love will be extended. Bridges will be built. Seeds of kindness will be planted. And that my friends is really how we make the world a better place!

Now, how about a recipe for one of my very favorite, very easy dinners…

Shannon’s Pasta

This recipe got it’s name from my sister-in-love Shannon Sternberg. After the first time she made it for me I was hooked! I don’t have her actual recipe but this is my version of it. When I have served it to friends it’s always gotten rave reviews.

This will make a batch that will feed 4-6 people and it only takes about 20 minutes to throw together.


1 – 16 ounce box of angel hair pasta (Angel hair is my favorite for this recipe but you can use whatever pasta you like.)

3 Tablespoons of butter

1 medium to large onion, diced

4 – 6 large stalks of celery, chopped (I like a lot of celery but you can use less.)

2 Tablespoons of minced garlic (I use the stuff in a jar.)

3 – 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes

2 Cups of tomato juice

Salt & Pepper

Add butter, onion, celery and garlic to a skillet and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent and just starting to brown on the edges. Stir occasionally.

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add in pasta. Angel hair pasta only needs to cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain pasta once it is cooked and put back into the pot.

Add in tomato juice, diced tomatoes and celery mixture. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

You might also want to add some warm bread to your meal. This Italian bread from Aldi is really good. ⬇️

This Italian bread from Aldi is great to keep on hand for when you want to throw together a meal in a hurry. It keeps well in the freezer. Then you just pop it into the oven for a few minutes and it’s fantastic.

Will you rise to the challenge? Will you reach out to someone and invite them into your life this week? Leave us a comment below and tell us all about it!


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