28:31 day of Yes!
I hated this table when we first saw it. It stood for everything I did not want…utilitarianism rather than aestheticism, imposing rather than sleek. It had an ambiguity to it that I was uncomfortable with at the time. Just how many little people would eventually fit around it? Which by the way, were the same exact sentiments I held for our big, fat 15 passenger van! But it is God’s sense of humor which lets us come to love things to which we once said “Never!”
This custom-built conference table became ours out of need and practicality, but over time it has become much more. Yes, it is imposing and indestructible, but I suppose that really is what is needed here. This table is the central thing in our home. It is where we gather to chat over snacks, do anything creative, play games, and most importantly where we break spiritual and literal bread.
Our new Mom’s group at church recently focused on purposing to make our dinner tables nourish our families’ bodies and souls. Getting a hot meal on the table is one thing, but getting it there with a smile and intent to minister grace is a whole other objective.
With a bunch of littles through the years, there have been seasons where simply getting regular meals to the table was the first mountain to climb. Getting it there with a servant’s heart was (and still is) another many days. I am once again challenged to think about the table’s restorative and instructive nature. How can I tap into this more?
Meals, etiquette, and fellowship around our table have been works in progress…and ones I need to be reminded to keep aspiring to. I can remember many nights when they were all small. In trying to teach the art of conversation, we would hand a ball to the person speaking who would then hand the conversation and the ball off to the next. I have to laugh as I think back on it. Perhaps it was a little too much like Lord of the Flies at times: “I have the conch!”, still they were overarching goals we were trying to achieve.
The kids have become better at conversation, though they still have a ways to go. We began to practice formal dinner on Sundays several years ago. I would have the kids set the entire place settings (as opposed to melamine plates and a fork on a typical weeknight) and we would practice passing dishes of food as the kids could manage it. Practicing the mechanics has helped them become familiar to the point that it’s not foreign when it’s actually “go time.”
“Go time” includes times of hospitality, when we are guests at someone’s house, or… when a camera crew comes to film your family eating dinner–like we did 2 weeks ago. I still think it’s funny, but Kevin was asked to do a video interview for a software company he uses and Yes! they came to our house for some slice-of-life footage…like dinner. I was quite nervous, but also comforted by the fact that this would have not been a good option at one time, but practice makes better. And it all went better than I had hoped for. Something to shake up life a little bit. So it’s a big Yes! to extending the purpose of the table. Something I will be thinking about more in weeks to come.
31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.