Our friends are encouragers. They just know what to say, how to ask the right questions, and how to show they care.

So when we’re invited to their house for dinner, we know that our little encouragement tanks will be filled up with creativity, inspiration, and kind words. That is a good feeling. It makes us better people, spouses, parents, friends.

How was our day? What’s new in our life? Have we thought about this or that? How can we encourage you?

It’s more than a meal.  We always come together out by the fire over some tasty wine and an array of healthy appetizers before dinner.

Endive, Strawberry, Mint and Honey Bites: We had just picked strawberries and mint from our garden, so I whipped up a platter of baby endive with goat cheese, strawberries, and fresh mint, drizzled with honey.

Sitting around a fire, we talk about life, reach for more bites of healthy goodness, pass babies back and forth, share stories and listen, and then we reach for another bite …

We all want to be a positive influence in the lives of others. Sometimes this involves a kind word, an action, or maybe a conversation with new ideas thats get our creative juices moving, in whatever area we need the encouragement.

I love to encourage others to be hospitable, because hospitality is what makes the world go around. People all over the world practice hospitality and it has to do with connecting and feeling loved, feeling welcome and encouraged.

I’m glad we don’t have to look a certain way, live in a giant, beautiful house, or have a perfect family to be encouragers. I’m glad it’s as easy as coming together over a simple meal (even take-out), where so much of “doing life together” really happens.

When’s the last time you’ve opened your home and invited friends, family, neighbors, single friends, new friends, friends that want to connect with others, older and younger friends – all types of friends – in for a meal?