Today I am thankful for our dining table. Not the table itself, but for what it represents in our family and the stories it has shared. We eat at our table. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. It doesn't matter if there are two or five of us. We prepare the meal and when it is ready we all sit down together. We don't grab our plate and plop somewhere, although there are occasions when it is fun to do so! We sit at our table. *the table pictured here is my dream table, more on that to come on that ;)
One of the things I love about my husband (yes go ahead... here she goes again about how greeeaaattttt he is...hey, he is!) is that we share the joy in sitting down and sharing a meal. And when I say "sharing" I mean to share as in we are sharing what we are eating and also sharing, as we enjoy our meal and we share about our day, kids, life. We have always sat down together, a wonderful habit to get into from the start.
I read an article once that left me with two wonderful pieces of advice. One, always make time to sit down at the table with your family. Turn off the TV, do not allow electronics at the table and listen. And Two, really listen to one another. I made note of the "listen" part of things. It wasn't meant to be a venue where I did all of the talking, but where I did the listening. What a wonderful tid-bit that was! The things that have been shared, told, talked about and argued over at our family table! Things I would have never learned had we grabbed our plates and headed for the TV.
Our children have never balked at the idea of sitting at the table, they don't whine when the TV is turned way down, or turned off. We do have times (if there's a game on!) when we leave the TV on without sound because meal time and game time cross over.
Before we share a meal, we pray over it and then we dig in. When I say dig in, I don't always mean into the food! Oh the conversations that come when you sit back and let the children provide the dialog. You learn about their teacher and her silly quirks, you learn about the mean bus driver, the friend who thinks things should always go her way, the football game where the goal was so close but not close enough. You learn about who likes who, who said what and how crazy it is that there are so many spelling words each week. We almost always ask one another "how was your day" or "what was the best thing about your day". It is insane to me when the kids can not find ONE THING that was "the best" about a day - Just in the short sharing taking place prior the to question I could point out a number of "bests" in a day. Often we hear there wasn't anything. So then we tend to point them out, "What about....." Ohhh yeah that. It is all a matter of perception!
It is a time of family in our home. Of just being together, no outside "stuff". Sitting together, talking, laughing, laughing and often more laughing. It is a time when the kids question things, when we question things. When conversations that may not otherwise come up, do. And when you simply listen, oh my how the conversations take off. When Jeff and I sit down with one another, sometimes we'll chat through the meal and linger when we are done. Sometimes we simply sit together and eat. I have found that although there may not be conversation, the simple blessing of sitting together speaks volumes. We always sit together, side by side. We wait for one another to complete the meal - Kids, when they are done, they are outta there. No sitting and lingering with them! I've always found that to be a nice gift, the waiting on one another.
I've shared before, we are in search of a house. One that will be the home we continue to raise our children in, invite our friends into and raise our animals at. Jeff has a wish list of "must haves" which of course requests large barns, stalls and a wonderful shop. If there is a roping arena, he'll be the first to yell SOLD! I on the other hand have other desires, although my desires for those above are important as well. However, my "must have" would be a very large dining area so that I may have a large family table. I would like a table that will sit up to let's say 16! (Did you just gasp? or am I hearing my husband again?) Yes, THAT big. I love our family, I adore our friends. I enjoy very much having people into our home to share a meal, conversations and time with one another. I have found so many wonderful shared moments have started at our family table. I have a desire to have a big family table so when our children have friends over, we can all pile up to the table. When we have dinners with friends, we may all circle up to the table. When our kids are grown, I want them to look forward to bringing their family to our home for a big family meal, sitting around our table together, enjoying a meal and most certainly enjoying our time together. My husband does a silent gasp and a quick eye roll when I mention time and time again that my prayer is a house with a spot big enough for our big 16 people family table. He laughs and says "For the three or four times a year we'll use it?" HA! Ohh if he only knew how often I intend to belly up to that table, to invite friends over, to have family for no reason other than we can. And I'd like to share here, that for all of the poking fun he does at me for this desire, I think he truly secretly has the same desire but it would lose all fun if he admitted it and didn't have that one thing to tease me about ; )
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Matthew 26:26-29
I fully intent to sit next to my husband side by side looking at the 14 empty spots that we'll fill up from time to time. Ohhh the happy I find in knowing that God hears my prayer for that wonderful spot, that beautiful table. He knows my heart, my desire and my intentions. I believe fully that He has already chosen the home for us and that home, I believe has a wonderfully splendid spot just waiting for our family table. *SIDE NOTE: My husband has agreed that upon being lead to the house we will purchase, he will build my "dream table" to be placed in our home to serve as our family table and to capture all of the moments, meals and memories. Ohhh how I smile BIG on the inside knowing one day Jeff is going to walk into a house and see the spot I've dreamed of, hoped for and prayed over and he's going to smile and say "good thing there is a shop, I have a table to build" I can hardly wait! Until then, we will continue to gather at our 6 people table with our family & friends and continue the tradition family time, meal time and sharing.