Today on the blog, I am talking about the importance of the family table, and sharing a few pictures from our Thanksgiving table 2013. Earlier this week, we heard from Michelle S Laurek on practical ways to love our neighbors, and I told you about her new book, An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality. If you missed that post, be sure to check it out here Love Your Neighbor!
I love this description of An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality from Amazon.
Jesus spent a chunk of his ministry eating and drinking with the “”sinners and tax collectors”” of the world. If we strive to be more like Jesus, shouldn’t we do more of what he did?
Hospitality involves more than the domesticated event we have grown accustomed to practicing. It is an embodiment of all the Christian life stands for: a gesture of love, opening up our hearts and lives, and sacrificing luxury and security for the chance to display Gods glory. To receive hospitality from others is an invitation to receive Gods transformative power to work in their lives.
Wow! Have you ever considered your family table a place of ministry? We have a huge farm table that we purchased several years ago to accommodate our growing family. The wooden sun-bleached benches on either side of our 10 foot table are flanked by several mix-and-match black chairs with rush seats. It is reminiscent of farmhouse meets french flair, and it is located in our beautiful sunroom. The sunroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house because it has 12 huge windows that look out into our back yard, and we have a gorgeous view of the sun rise.
The importance of the family table, and the top 3 reasons I love mine! And you should love yours too!
Fist, there is something special about choosing the perfect table linen, arranging your favorite dishes, and adding a seasonal centerpiece. I love to prepare a feast for friends and family. I am going to let you in on a little secret though, I have a dish problem. I love my dishes and love any excuse to use all of the dishes that I have collected over the years.
The table is another great place in our home to spruce up with the changing of the seasons. I love to search Pinterest for new and creative ideas for my tablescapes. I also love repurposing old things and using them in new or unexpected ways.
For the 2013 Thanksgiving table, I used an old wine box, that Peter brought home twenty years ago when he worked at a hotel. I darkened the box up with a little leftover stain that I had from another project. Nestled in the box is a fairytale pumpkin, some pine bundles from our trees, Mason jars with tea lights, surrounded by pinecone candle holders with cream tapers.
Depending on the formality of the holiday or occasion, I may use chargers or place cards. When my children were young, and I wanted to make our holiday tables special, I would include them in helping me make place cards. For the 2013 Thanksgiving table, I purchased these vintage goblets at an antique store for just a few dollars. This was a fun way to serve our beverages, and I didn’t have to worry about them breaking.
Second, conversations at the family table tie heartstrings to our children, family members, and friends. This is an important time of connection and communion. At the table, you can linger, talk about your day, and impart your values to your children. There is time to reflect on issues that arise in our culture, morality, religion, politics, and books. Gathered around the table is also a great place to share stories from the past, or tales of family members that have gone on to be with the Lord. This is something that Peter’s mom Gigi instilled in me early in our marriage. We spent many hours in lively conversation as a family around the table. The Thanksgiving 2013 table pictured is very special to me because this was the last meal we shared together as a family with Gigi. She was an amazing woman, who was an incredible influence on my life. Read more about this at 5 Things Gigi Taught Me.
Holiday tip when entertaining for the holidays and small children are sharing the table with us, I always put a fancy table cloth on the table, but then cover it with clear plastic. This way the table still looks beautiful, but it is protected from the inevitable spills that are bound to happen.
Third, in this fast paced microwave society that we live in when families are going in different directions all the time and we eat at the drive through or on the run. To have time to sit down and eat a home cooked meal on real plates, not paper ones, and have time to connect at the table, and enjoy a meal is priceless!
Whether you are gathered at the table for a holiday or sharing coffee with a neighbor or friend, know that your table can be a place of ministry. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31.