(Chalk art by the amazing @shopkindylparis)
If you come visit our church chances are we will invite you over for tacos.  It has become sort of our thing.  I blame Brad & Kara Noel Lawson.  When we were in the baby stages of planting Encounter, they shared with us that nearly every Sunday they meet a new family at church and invite them over to Monday night dinner.  That blew open my already burning heart for hospitality (read about our pre-taco table nights here).  We knew right then and there that if we wanted a church full of Brad & Kara Noels, it would have to begin with us.

Jason grew up with the glorious weekly taco night tradition, and his mother taught him to fry corn tortilla shells.  We occasionally made them for friends and family, but most Tuesdays you could find us at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants letting someone else do the cooking.
When we began to dream of what it would look like to fill our table each week, tacos seemed to be the only option even worth considering.

If you think about it, they are the perfect food.  Unless you are a robot, I am pretty sure you have no ethical or emotional objection to tacos.  They are fully customizable, gluten free, and just basically bring happiness to one and all.

I have a shelf in the pantry for taco staples, and everything else we need can be grabbed in a five minute grocery trip.  It's not fancy, but it is easy, and the prep has become part of my muscle memory.

Pull the meat out of the freezer, pick up sour cream, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce and Mission white corn tortillas (there is no other choice, no other brand.  Ride or die.)  Open the pantry and gather a can of beans for cheater restaurant beans, taco seasoning, and Rice-a-Roni Mexican rice (never ever Spanish, we only made that mistake once.)

 Half an hour before our new friends are coming over I start the rice and beans.  Then when the doorbell rings Jason starts making chips and shells.  Bar stools at the kitchen island are pulled out, water glasses come down from the cabinet, I start the chopping and guacamole, we share stories and ask questions.  Sometimes the kids are sent out to the trampoline or pool, sometimes they are in the other room playing the Wii.  Every time small hands walk by for handfuls of chips.  So many handfuls of chips.

This taco ritual involves everyone.  There is chopping, grabbing the arsenal of hot sauce choices, the filling different taco combinations for each kid.  All the while life is being lived. We find out how people met, what they dream about, and how they wandered into the school auditorium one Sunday.  We laugh, we cry, we make a mess, we pile the dishes in the sink.

It is by far my favorite night of the week.  It is chaotic, often noisy, and it is the good stuff.  Before we know it bedtime creeps up on us and we say our goodbyes.  Knowing that every taco shared that night is part of the story of our family's life.
During summer we joked that our family purpose statement would somehow involve tacos.  Then that joke became reality.  It became our motto.  
Love God.  Serve others. Tacos.
And it isn't even about the tacos.  It just happens to be vehicle that invites people through our door and around our table.  We hope that they leave with full tummies and hearts that feel known, encouraged and seen.

What does this have to do with Tacos & Tees? Everything.  It is everything I am and everything I love. Jesus. Family. Others. Mexican food. Sarcasm.  Whether lyrics from my favorite hymn, or my commentary on the current political mess, this is me.  And it is about so much more than tacos.

Find your thing.  Whether it is tacos, or burgers, or waffles, or take out, or a gourmet meal, make it a part of the rhythm of your life.  Seek people out.  Include them around your table.  Our breaking bread is more chips and guacamole, yet there is beauty and holiness in it.

(Huge thanks to dear friend Brittany from Sprinkled Moments for shooting my ridiculously awkward self over leftover tacos one morning.)


  1. This makes me want to go make tacos and invite people over to my house. You do tacos+love well.

  2. Love your shirts and love the idea of having the same meal every time you have people over! Brilliant! Thanks also for encouring me to "find my thing"... Find it I will :)

  3. You described the taco ritual at your house perfectly: Casual, but sacred. And these photos are adorable.

  4. I love all of this! And love your new t-shirts... I may have to order one for myself soon ;)

  5. I am so inspired to start this tradition! BUT first I need to know how to transform the soft corn tortillas into shells and chips :)

  6. Please follow-up on details of this "tradition." Love everything you wrote about it and have read it twice. I still use your 'cheater ziti' recipe for guests. My family hosts lots of international college students and I think this would be a great 'theme' to do with them. Love all of this!!

  7. I can't wait to see more of what you come up with!!!