Project Home & Healing: The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen Table was a virtual group of women (real women meeting and connecting through the Internet, around a virtual Kitchen Table) that came together during 2015. The group is no longer active and email list to sign up and participate is now closed.

Project Home and Healing is a personal wellbeing project of mine, a roadmap to recovery after an intense family adventure and a difficult life season.

When I considered that I would be writing about this recovery on my blog, sharing insights and struggles, I thought it might be nice to connect with a smaller, more intimate group of women on my journey to health.

The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen Table is a group of women interested in connecting and learning from each other around the themes of homemaking, personal growth, and wellbeing.

It is my invitation to you to join me on my creative homemaker's journey to health and happiness.

Why the name Kitchen Table?

Because that's where I'd meet with you if I could. I'd boil water for tea. I have a fun collection of green, black, rooibos, and herbal teas, or an espresso machine if that's more your style.

I'd probably knit while we talked, I don't usually just sit. And we'd share what it's like to be on the cusp of forty (or in our forties, or late twenties or thirties, or fifties, seventies). We'd talk about our tender, broken places and how we experience healing.

We'd gather as women, and homemakers, readers and crafters. Women who appreciate nature, beauty, simple creativity, and friendship with kindred spirits.

And after you left to go back home, I'd email you that pattern I mentioned, the book title you asked about, and the recipe I have bookmarked at Pinterest.

What can you expect from joining The Kitchen Table?

Approximately once a month I publish an essay, delivered via email, to the group. I publish essays when I have one written, which is now averaging at one every two months. These essays are kind of similar to my blog posts, but they are more personal. They are about healing and growth.

The place we discuss these ideas is on a private social media networking platform called Slack. It's a place to gather, around the essay themes (and other themes) to share ideas with one another, make connections and possibly (hopefully) form friendships.

Participation in the online group is completely optional.

Monthly Topics

I have a personal focus, a theme, for each month of 2015. These themes have been chosen to support my own home and healing project and are designed to bring me back to a place of personal safety and security, of joy and confidence - doing what I love, for the people I love, in a place I love.

Each theme relates to my home in some way, and my heart.

I think these themes will resonate with your home and heart also, which is why I'm inviting you to join me on this journey.

You can join the group anytime, and leave anytime. No hard feelings.

As the year progresses, if I lose steam with maintaining this I have the freedom (because this is free!) to bow out gracefully. But I hope I can keep it going, which is why I'm keeping it really simple.

Now, can I get you a Silk Dragon Jasmine green tea, Vanilla Rooibos, Cream of Earl Grey, Pu'erh, Forever Nuts (I'm a huge David's Tea fan); or a soymilk cappuccino with maple syrup?

PS. The Kitchen Table is a group open to women of all ages and stages, though you'll probably identify most if home is part of your heartbeat.

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  • Janet

    Janet on Jan. 12, 2015, 1:19 p.m.

    What a lovely idea. As the rain pours down outside, I could do with a blether round the kitchen table. : ) Thank you for, yet again, putting yourself out there. 


  • peggy

    peggy on Jan. 12, 2015, 1:42 p.m.

    Oh boy! Does this ever sound delightful and right where I am! I have been a home lover for over 30 years and it's full-time tender. Thank you for inviting me to get to know you and into your everyday! And while I am a vanilla chia kind of girl, I would love to try a cup of your soymilk cappuccino with maple syrup!


  • Michelle

    Michelle on Jan. 12, 2015, 2:02 p.m.

    Thank you for the invitation!  I was just talking to my husband about my wish for a small circle of women who wanted to sit around the kitchen table to just talk once in a while.  In my town everyone seems to be too busy running around "getting things done" and feel the need to always attach a reason for a get-together:  book club, planning for an orgnaization, etc.  I'm a homeschooling mom and a gardener who maintains a small farm.  Yes, I'd love to join this group.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll finally learn to knit ;) 


  • Teresa

    Teresa on Jan. 12, 2015, 2:34 p.m.

    Sounds delightful, Renee.

    A cup of Silk Dragon Green Jasmine sounds wonderful - please and thank you.

    You are such a gracious hostess!


  • Shauna

    Shauna on Jan. 12, 2015, 3:10 p.m.

    I have really been relating to your words this fall. Your challenges and the work you are doing to move forward have really been helping me. I am so glad you have decided to invite me for tea.  I'll have a Cream of Earl Grey with milk please. 


  • Lisa S

    Lisa S on Jan. 12, 2015, 3:40 p.m.

    What a nice idea!  I've never met a tea I didn't like.  I'm a bit of an introvert, so I'll be the quieter one at the end of the table.  And I'll contribute the homemade (virtual) cookies. Because cookies!


  • katy

    katy on Jan. 12, 2015, 3:42 p.m.

    Hi Renee! I'm so looking forward to this. I have been feeling stripped to my core lately and in need of healing. Looking forward to this community! Blessings!


    • Wendi

      Wendi on Jan. 17, 2015, 7:11 p.m.

      Wow, I am probably the least 'weepy' person on earth, but this comment made my eyes well up, because you described exactly how I feel. It's been a hard several years for our family, and I am just so weary. I am begging God for a time of Hope, Peace, Rest, and Rebuilding this year.


  • Cindy

    Cindy on Jan. 12, 2015, 3:54 p.m.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea of yours. I am turning 50 this year as well and I finally coming to a place of acceptance of who I am.   Your writing resonates with me and I am so excited when I get an email announcing your posts.  I am looking forward to visiting with all of you at the kitchen table



  • Nikki T

    Nikki T on Jan. 12, 2015, 4:11 p.m.

    I love the idea of a circle of women gathering in support of each other from various ages, stages and walks of life. Forty is only a few months away and there are strings tugging away at me. I just haven't discovered what lies at the other end yet. Thank you, Renee, for all of this - your disclosure, vulnerability, humility and inspiration. Your truth is changing people. We need you and your story.


  • Sonia

    Sonia on Jan. 12, 2015, 4:36 p.m.

    Thank you Renee! I would love to join with you. I was casusally following your blog last year but after reading your posts since returning from your trip. You truly feel a kindred woman to me. This feels like community to me. I look forward to receiving from you being lifegiving in your unique ways. I also would love to walk the journey with you and be life giving in this community. Thank you for providing this opportunity! Blessings on you, on this step, on this community and to all the women joining!



  • Anna

    Anna on Jan. 12, 2015, 5:03 p.m.

    This fits perfectly into my 'year of self care'.

    Also since starting homeschooling I have been feeling a bit disconnected 


    PS Americano for me please


  • Bethany

    Bethany on Jan. 12, 2015, 5:13 p.m.

    Cream of Earl Grey with extra cream, please! I've been meaning to reach out to you for several months now, ever since my family returned from our 10 month sailing journey down the west coast of the US and Mexico and you started writing your story of pain and recovery which so closely resembles many of my experiences. 

    Lately, I've been gradually weeding out my RSS feed until only helpful words remain and I'm so glad to have found yours. It's easy to get overwhelmed trying to stay aware and connected to all that is out there. I refuse to walk that path anymore. It seems lush and fertile, but only leads me to a dry, desert spirit where there is no room left for creativity. 

    But this! This sounds like it will nurture my intentions for this year to stay small and do my own work, love my own people and my own place. Thank you for offering a piece of yourself to us!


  • Leslie

    Leslie on Jan. 12, 2015, 5:44 p.m.

    Thank you for this. I turn forty tomorrow and this lovely group has appeared at just the right time for me.


  • Tracy

    Tracy on Jan. 12, 2015, 6:12 p.m.

    So grateful for your posts as they speak to me as I will turn 50 in a few.  My theme for this year is restore.  Restore the pieces of me that have faded into years of parenting, homemaking, and working along side my husband.   Restore my health and well being.  Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me... so grateful you are opening up your virtual home as you bravely open your healing journey. I was actually wishing for you to do this as I read your last few posts.  So you can imagine the Wow experience I had today. 




  • Kim

    Kim on Jan. 12, 2015, 6:54 p.m.

    Another homeschooling hiker Mom turning 50 as well. I've been feeling very disconnected from my beloved of late. I've made lots of changes and experienced a lot of personal growth in the last year pursuing a more wholehearted life.   I want to restore some connection and joy into our relationship.  I feel as though I'm approaching a crossroads of sorts and could use the collective wisdom of others in similar situations. 

    Thank you for offering the virtual table...could someone pass the honey?


  • Mary

    Mary on Jan. 12, 2015, 7:26 p.m.

    What a delightful opportunity!  I'd love a Vanilla Roobios with a squeeze of honey.  I'll bring my knitting!



  • Deb

    Deb on Jan. 12, 2015, 7:55 p.m.

    I love the sound of this so much - all the words you wrote there are resonating with my soul. My word for this year is 'healing' and this fits perfectly. I also love the fact you have given yourself the freedom to opt out yourself if you want to!  I have signed up, thank you <3


  • Lucy

    Lucy on Jan. 12, 2015, 9:07 p.m.

    Big changes happening around me at the moment so I'd love a cup of tea to help me find and warm and anchor my core.


  • Rana

    Rana on Jan. 12, 2015, 9:37 p.m.

    This could not have come at a better time Renee.  I have been taking the month of January just to gather my thoughts in my notebook.  It is filling with lists and notes quickly.  I'm slowly coming out of the mind clutter. Can't wait to talk!    I would love a cup of earl grey please.


  • Sarah Westphal

    Sarah Westphal on Jan. 13, 2015, 1:11 a.m.

    Lovely! Look forward to it! I'll have an Americano and I brought some gluten free chocolate cake to share. Because chocolate!


  • Kelly

    Kelly on Jan. 13, 2015, 7:35 a.m.

    This is beautiful.  I'll be honoured to participate (even if I promised myself I'd not start any new projects this year...). And vanilla rooibos, any day.  But, I'll serve you whatever you like if you visit my kitchen table. :)


  • Deborah J

    Deborah J on Jan. 13, 2015, 8:25 a.m.

    It's warm here so I'll have an iced coffee, thank you....and I'll bring some shortbread. It's a lovely idea.


  • Nicki

    Nicki on Jan. 14, 2015, 11:28 a.m.

    Great idea Renee! This used to be a regular in my life when the kids were little. Chatting, laughing, sharing with friends, drinking tea! Now I am in my forties I only have one regular meet-up per week, everyone is so busy! A virtual kitchen table sounds like the next best thing :-)


  • Kathy

    Kathy on Jan. 14, 2015, 2:06 p.m.

    There have been enormous changes in my life in the past few months - leaving my home of 35 years, moving to another state and buying a new home, and having my parents move in with my husband and I.  No regrets about having done any of it, but it's a lot to process and adjust to. Looking forward to your essays, as long as you feel inspired to write them (glad you have given yourself permission to stop at any time).

    I made a decsion a long time ago to steer clear of social media as much as possible so a Facebook portion would not be possible for me, but that's okay. (I loved what a previous commenter said about how all the info/social media available to us seems like such a fertile ground, but usually leads to a dry desert for the spirit (paraphrase)).


  • Amy

    Amy on Jan. 14, 2015, 9:27 p.m.

    Oh my! What a breath of fresh air of an idea for the beginnings of 2015. I am excited to add my chair to this wonderful Kitchen Table ...... Pu'erh for me please. I have no idea what type of drink that is but since I am all for trying something new, then order up! :)


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 15, 2015, 1:56 p.m.

      I don't actually know too much about pu'erh either. It came in a mixed box set I bought for hosting Christmas. Here's what David has to say about it. 


  • leah

    leah on Jan. 16, 2015, 9:43 p.m.

    I'm so excited about this! We are moving to another state in 2 weeks and I just told my husband that it feels like we're pushing the "reset" button in just about every area of our lives. The last year has been a struggle. Here's to a healing and restoring 2015!



  • denise

    denise on March 22, 2015, 2:55 a.m.

    A little late to the table, but grateful to be among such lovely company! If there is a spot of Jasmine left, kindly direct it into this little mug 'o mine. Much obliged! :)


  • Heather

    Heather on Nov. 7, 2015, 4:50 p.m.

    Sad that I have discovered this so late in the year.  Wondering if it will continue in any form into 2016?


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