Wednesday Prayers: to St. Ina

Dave and I are dog-sitting a sweet pup for a friend this week. I'm not particularly close to this friend, but I like her a lot, and I know that her dog has been quite a blessing to her. She's a darling, lovable animal-- the only reason I'm not posting pics is my belief that you don't publicly share photos of other people's kids. Still, there's been some chaos in welcoming a dog into our cat household, and some stress in working out a system that's good for everyone.

Which brings me to Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.

I love Ina Garten. Dave likes her, too (mostly the way that EVERYTHING she makes includes at least a stick of butter), but he doesn't like the non-cooking scenes. I love them. Sure, they're contrived, painfully staged, and a little silly. But I love the example she sets: she leaves dinner for friends who return from a long trip, or she makes a pot roast for someone who has last-minute houseguests. These things aren't convenient-- they require (in church lingo) her time, treasure, and talent. They're an offering. In non-church lingo, these things take up her valuable, limited time and energy. She's modeling being a good neighbor. I don't care if it's cheesy, I like any reminder I stumble across for how to care for others. I like the example, the encouragement, the exhortation.

I miss a million opportunities to love people, and at least half the time that I take the opportunity, I flub it somewhere. But love is what we're called to, right? To love our God, and our neighbor as ourselves. So this week, we're trying to walk in St. Ina's shoes, loving our neighbor in practical, tangible ways.
Creator of all, make the roof of my house wide enough for all opinions, oil the door of my house so it opens easily to friend and stranger ,and set such a table in my house that my whole family may speak kindly and freely around it.
-Source Unknown (Hawaii), edited
How are you giving or receiving love this week? Let me know if I can pray with you about it.


  1. I recently read, in a tribute to dogs, that dogs run to meet their people EVERY.TIME.

    I have done this for my spouse for a long time, and the dogs run with me.

    He is starting to do it for me, too. It feels AWESOME.

  2. I seem to be annoyed a lot this week. I would say that hinders giving and receiving.

  3. Theological rock star!

  4. What a great post. I'm trying to be a good friend to a grad school friend who has a brother who is undergoing serious health issues. I'm sending cards to her and the sister-in-law. I'm sending prayer shawls. If you could add Jennifer, Jeff, Monica, and Jeff and Monica's extended family to your prayer list, that would be swell.

    I watch the Ina Gartens of the world, and try to emulate her. I also try to remember to pray. Oddly, it's easier for me to enter into a whirl of activity, than to sit still and pray. Hmm. Maybe I should ponder this more deeply. Tomorrow's blog post!

  5. MB, that cracks me up. You've got some good puppy love going on there. ;)

    Kristin, I read but didn't reply earlier, but your friends are in my prayers. Scary stuff. (And I think a lot of us are better at action than prayer...)


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins