My dear friend Carol’s mother-in-law recently passed away to her eternal home. She was a godly woman who poured out her life for her family. I read her obituary in the paper and I was so struck by the words that one of her sons wrote. (he is a writer and an editor at the Asheville Citizen-Times) I am quoting him, James Buchanan –
“A devoted homemaker known for her cooking and generous hospitality, she crafted a modest home into a focal point of happy memories that would be the envy of an opulent mansion, overseeing generations of gatherings of import for family and friends. These ranged from holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals to more modest events such as the arrival of the season’s tomatoes from the garden the family tended for decades.”
How true this was! I benefitted from being a family friend who was graciously included in Brittie May Buchanan’s family celebrations from time to time. The food was delicious and there was always enough – even when growing teenagers were part of the mix. Brittie’s home was modest, but there was a wealth of love and genuine warmth that no decorating could compete with.
You always felt at home.
I was thinking about this Saturday as I was cleaning our home in preparation for a visit from some of Phil’s cousins. We have discussed the need to re-paint our den since it has several places where there are nicks in the paint and marks on the walls. Yet, there is not time to paint before the visit from these cousins.
Does it really matter?
Now, I do need to clean and dust – we don’t want the attack dust bunnies to scare our guests away! They are coming to see us – not our house. I need to be reminded of this occasionally because I am a visual person.
I would rather set the table with pretty napkins and matching place settings with a carefully arranged bouquet of flowers as a center piece than fix the food that will be served for the meal.
They are coming to eat.
Do we spend hours on Pinterest looking for the perfect table setting before we are willing to have anyone over for a meal?
Brittie Buchanan cared about what really mattered – feeding people’s bodies and hearts. Pretty flowers don’t fill stomachs.
Her son went on to write:
“She was an unerringly kind woman who always put others before herself, their concerns before hers, a woman who practiced her Christianity with humility, foreign to the habits of looking down on others or speaking ill of anyone (including those who deserved it).”
Brittie Buchanan left a legacy of love. “She crafted a modest home into a focal point of happy memories” – that is real love. Paul talks about what real love looks like in I Corinthians 13: 4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I love decorating the dinner table and will certainly continue to do so. Yet I want my focus to be the love that is shared in my home that feeds the spirit and soul of those who come.
I want to a have a home that welcomes all who enter with God’s love and kindness, regardless of how it looks.