Around the family table is where you can experience some of your most precious and valuable moments. Many conversations and relationships will develop around your family table. When I was growing up, the table was not just a place to eat, but a place to gather together to either get our day going or end the day together. When my husband and I married, the gift we got one another was a round oak table. Our son, Paul and DIL, Sarah have that table now. Bob and I began our marriage, our family and had many conversations around that table. The table has history. The table pictured here was my mother and father’s.
As the years continued and our family grew to three very active boys and a little girl, we got much busier, yet still made a point to try to sit down together as much as possible to share our meal and lives with one another.
My challenge and encouragement to all of us today is:
1. Be intentional to have AT LEAST one sit down meal together a week. Even more is better, but be intentional to have at least one.
2. When you sit down together, whether it’s by yourself, one child, or your whole family, give thanks, as you will cultivate a grateful heart in yourself and your family.
3. Don’t let guilt get to you. Life get’s busy. I get that running for the bus with a breakfast bar happens sometimes. Don’t beat yourself up over it if you can’t sit down together this week. Don’t expect perfection, but just keep persevering towards a goal of gathering together around your table, whether it’s just you, with friends or family, and whether it’s once a week or more.
4. Absolutely no electronics at your family table. Make your table a place where your family can experience something new and refreshing. Make memories. Create legacies. Share stories.
5. You want to show the person or people you are sitting with that you truly value your time with them so again, no electronics.
6. Experiment with setting your table with cloth napkins, your grandmothers silverware you have sitting in the silver chest, and maybe some flowers, and therefore create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
7. Consider your table like a “Holy Table”. Have boundaries. At this table you will not bring up negative things. You won’t use this time to discipline your kids on something they did during the day. If married, with or without kids you and your husband won’t use this time to discuss your business agenda and/or household budget while your kids are sitting there.
8. Value that table you have in your home. Look at it differently than you did before.
9. Remember, your table can be like your central hub, or safe zone for your family.
10. Be eager to cultivate a legacy within your family around the table together.
I hope your time at your table is a good one, a reflective one and a fun one!