The Cookie Tin


Every week my mom made a tin of chocolate chip cookies. The tin was kept in a cabinet by the stove, middle shelf.  It never changed.  She always used to say it had to last through the week.  It rarely did because the cookies came out when friends came over.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 8.22.17 AM

The cookies were always a hit.  I’m not sure if it was because they tasted so good or if it was because it was part of the experience coming to the Perez home.  Everyone knew where the cookie tin was.  Everyone was welcome to grab a cookie. Mom had a way of making sure they knew that.  But that was part of her charm.

My friends loved coming to my house because of my mom.  She was (and still is) this warm, inviting and attentive presence.  Never intrusive, demanding or loud, just always there with a smile, hug and kind conversation.  The cookie tin was evidence of the hospitality in her heart.

Hospitality is the art of welcoming others.

People are drawn to hospitality.

Hospitality says you belong. 

It puts people at ease and allows their guard to come down. There is a feeling of acceptance when hospitality is extended. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t need to feel this way.

It’s not always something that comes easily. If we don’t feel welcomed or a sense of belonging in our own world it feels difficult to offer it to someone else. But that’s where we get things backwards.  We recoil when what we need most is to move towards. Hospitality multiplies a sense of belonging and love in us when we give it to others.  Our tank fills up when we lean into hospitality. Just because we haven’t received it does NOT disable us from giving it. It does not take much to let someone else know you welcome and invite their presence with you. To show that you are aware of others around you and are interested.  To notice and acknowledge another is one of the greatest expressions of kindness. This is one of the best ways to be a human.

This cookie tin memory has me thinking about the ways I welcome others in my life. The ways that I can be hospitable.  I may not have a tin of cookies to offer. But ..

  • I can offer a warm smile or the gift of attention.
  • I can be diligent in keeping my house as presentable as possible so that it’s inviting, ready and unencumbered when unexpected friends come.
  • I can engage with others. Learning the art of asking questions to so I can better see into their world.
  • I can make a bedroom comfortable and pleasant when a someone stays the night.
  • I can choose to not be on my phone in a store so that I’m giving attention to the strangers around me as I shop. For even the stranger needs to be noticed and acknowledged.
  • I can stop what I’m doing and look my husband in the eye as we reconnect at the end of the day.
  • I can give faithful greetings to those whom I see every day and show interest in their life.
  • I can invite others to my home for a meal. Just because being together matters.

Hospitality is a gift that is opens us up beautifully.

It’s easier sometimes to avoid contact with others but hospitality reminds us that it is much better to belong than it is to be alone. We can all use a little more hospitality, don’t you think?

What is your tin of cookies?

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 8.24.04 AM


I Love You

Three very simple words that possess the power to literally change everything.
We’ve heard them so may times we don’t always realize their full implication.
If we don’t hear them, it has a profoundly negative impact on our life.
If we don’t say them, it has a profoundly negative impact on our life.

But what if that’s all you could say? -Continue Reading

When Nothing Changes and Nothing Stays the Same

There are some people in my family who have been wearing certain clothing items for a long, L-O-N-G, time.  These clothes are allegedly, ahem, “broken in” and so comfy that they just a can’t seem to get rid of them or not wear them.

Are you like this?


I’m not.

I can’t fill the Goodwill bag fast enough.  My motto is if you haven’t worn it in a year, you’re not ever going to wear it again.  Get rid of it.  But that’s me. I like to make room for change.  I like to see what else I can find.  -Continue Reading

Love People Friday

Love People Clothing

Love People Clothing

I decided that today is Love People Friday.

Every day is a good day for working on love but Friday is even more important than most.  It’s the official start to the weekend. The weekend goes better when Friday is good!

My sister, Jodi, has a small business where she crafts unique pieces of clothing and sells them in local boutiques. It’s been a nice little business for some time but recently she has been inspired to move beyond creating something women like to own into creating something women will want to wear.  Her business, Love People Clothing has always promoted an inspired look but now she wants to promote an inspired life.  So she created a t-shirt line that goes by the name Love People.

Her goal is to inspire others to really examine the heart of what loving others is about and living that out in day to day life. The t-shirts are just a small reminder to wear love like you would wear a piece of clothing. To her love is not about the grand gestures but the small, loving words or actions that impact one.  Impressing thousands is easy and temporary, loving just one isn’t necessarily easy but it creates the most lasting effect.

So back to Love People Friday.

Friday is the day when most of us experience a shift in the work/school week.  Schedules are not as structured and we spend more time with our family and friends.  All the more reason why Friday matters the most when it comes to all things LOVE.

If I’m being honest, weekends around my house haven’t always been full of love.  Where I can coast most of the week on my own terms, I now have to collaborate with others on activities, needs or meals.  And then there is the issue of who gets in the shower first or who has the remote control?  I’ve been known to loose all good graces before on a Sunday afternoon. I need to be reminded to wear love.

That’s why I’ve dubbed Friday, Love People Friday.  It’s a reminder that I have to put on love before we all get together.  I have to decide ahead of time that I’m choosing love instead self-centeredness.  I choose to see my husband as he is and not as I expect him to be. I choose to flesh out patience, in whatever means necessary, when tempers rise and energy is low.  Letting naps happen. I choose to wait my turn and give grace when we are struggling; to speak truth or stop unhealthy habits as best I can for the sake of love. Eating a meal together instead of all at different times. Giving extra hugs and kisses and whisper soft words of love. Saying “thank you” and “please”. Playing a game. Reminding one another why you love “us”. Choosing to walk around the mall with your child, just because they need some time.

I know I won’t always do it well but I commit to giving it a try.

So here’s to Love People Friday.  Decide now to love those in your life this weekend.  You’ll be spending a little more time with them after all.  Wearing love on Friday could determine how well the rest of the weekend goes.

Regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it.  ~Colossians 3:14


How To Break A Crockpot

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 10.03.43 PM

So I broke my crockpot last night.

You heard right.

I broke my crockpot.  You know the cooking appliance that you throw ingredients in and leave it to cook all day.  You pretty much can’t mess it up….yea.  Somehow I found a way to ruin mine.

I wanted to try something new.  I tried a recipe for home made bread in the crockpot.  It sounded easy so I gave it a go.

Now I probably should have realized it was a bad idea when the instructions stated to place the inner liner of the crockpot in the oven at a high temperature for over an hour.  The actual heating element of the crockpot….the part that makes it a crockpot...wasn’t actually going to be used.


So I followed the instructions as written (something that I don’t normally do but I was hoping to prove to my family that I could follow a recipe).  I heated up the oven.  Put the crock pot with all the ingredients in and…poof….after some time out came my experiment.

It didn’t work.

This is nothing new for me, or my family.  I’m used to things not working in the kitchen.  I began cleaning my mess.  I noticed something wrong with my crockpot, there was a sticky cloudy coating on the inside.  I scrubbed and scrubbed.  It wouldn’t come clean.  Then I realized…it wasn’t a stuck on mess…the glaze had come off… grrrrrrr.

Now I’m not sure but I don’t think I can use a crockpot in this condition.  The glaze seals the pot so it’s safe to use…but it has to be used properly. (I think they remind people to use appliances properly for a reason.  Lesson learned.)  Apparently putting the crockpot in the oven at a high temperature falls outside meaning of “used properly”.

Sharing my failed bread making attempt with my husband, he blurted out, “If you wanted a loaf of bread why didn’t you just get in the car and go get one instead of trying a new recipe and ruining the crockpot?”

“It wasn’t the bread I wanted. I wanted to try something new.”  I responded.

We both found each other to be funny.  He looked at the entire endeavor one way and I the other. The bread was the desired result but we assumed two different goals.  Mr. Practical was about securing a loaf of bread. Miss Inginuity was about experimenting with creativity and innovation.

Isn’t that like relationships? They are formed by two people with different mental, emotional and relational DNA. When two people assume the wrong things about one another, crockpots get ruined. Many disagreeable moments happen because we fight over how to fight.  We misunderstand one another.  We are familiar with one another but we don’t know one another.

One loaf of bread.  Two ways to get it.

How many arguments happen because we only relate one way – our way.  How many fights ignite because we react instead of respond, or we posture ourselves to be the right one instead of listening or asking questions to better understand?   Just because we are in a relationship doesn’t mean we know how to relate.  Just because we are in a marriage doesn’t mean we know how to be married. We are siblings but struggle to feel like family.  We c0-exist with other workers and fail to collaborate. Friends wonder how to be good at friendship.

The point is, relationships don’t always get used properly.

I didn’t realize that crockpots in a high temperature oven for a long time is a bad idea. I was unaware of how to properly use it.  I didn’t think I needed to read the owners manual.  In the same way we don’t realize we need to go to school on relationships. Having a relationship isn’t the same as being in a relationship.  Friendship isn’t automatic when you are friends.

Who knew we need to learn to be a learner of those we live with and love?

Who knew crockpots could be ruined?

Who knew relating to others requires learning how?

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.  ~ I John 3:18