Wendy loves to gather family and friends around her table to nourish bodies and souls with home-cooked meals & authentic conversation. Her dining table has become so much more than just a place to eat. It is a place of belonging. A place of knowing others and being truly known. A place of love, laughter, vulnerability, celebration, and deep, deep joy.
Offering meaningful relationships at her table – and inspiring, encouraging, and equipping others to do the same – has become her lifework.
Wendy’s vocational journey began over twenty years ago in the field of social work, travels through years of focusing on homemaking and raising boys, wanders into a variety of ministries and volunteer work, progresses towards mentoring and discipling young adults, and leads to her table. Today she invites a community of young adults into her home twice a week to share a family meal.
Wendy and and her husband Ryan met in college, and have been married for 22 years. Together they enjoy the adventure of raising three amazing boys, being a local family to countless young adults, and creating home that invites many people to find a place of belonging at their table.
In 2010 Wendy and Ryan, began hosting weekly meals in their home for twenty-somethings. Simple family meals offered to young adults who are mostly recent college graduates to thirty-somethings.
Today – every Monday night – several young ladies join Wendy’s family for a community dinner, followed by bible study with just the women.
And every Thursday several young men gather around their table to share a family meal. After dinner they often linger at the table to talk about life and questions that matter. But sometimes the evening simply becomes a time to laugh, quote movie lines, play games, or watch TV together.
These weekly dinners have made deep roots into the Kessler home, and the relationships that grow from them intertwine into very fabric of their family. Eventually the number of people gathering around their table began to outgrow the space of their dining room. With a generous gift from their Thursday Night Guys, a dining table that can seat 20 people was hand-crafted for their patio. And everyone who shares a meal with her family autographs the table.
Wendy’s desire to develop a place of community for young adults has not just increased in numbers. It has also grown into a passion for inspiring, encouraging, equipping, and learning with others about nourishing people through the gifts of good food and meaningful conversation.
Whether the community you are creating around your table is small and intimate, or large and gregarious – Wendy hopes for the opportunity to grow with you in this journey of practicing genuine hospitality.
This website is a resource for everyone who desires to invite one, four, or twenty people to your table to known and valued over meals served with love and authenticity.
I regularly add new content about:
My Community: Stories that happen around my table.
Lessons Learned: What life is teaching me about hospitality and community.
Featured Hosts: Articles based on original interviews or guest posts about what hospitality looks like in other people’s home or community.
Inspiring Voices: Links to articles, podcasts, and videos about the practice of hospitality.
Helpful Ideas: Tips and advice for practicing hospitality.
My Library: My favorite books, websites, and blogs on topics related to hospitality.
Recipes & Menus: What I serve to the community of loved ones who gather weekly at my table.
Every post is intended to offer inspiration, encouragement, or practical help to you every time you open your front door wide and invite people to a place of belonging at your table.