Dinner time! Perhaps these two words conjure up watering taste buds, perhaps a sense of glee, or perhaps (as a Mom) even a sense of dread. Yes, another meal thought of, shopped for, prepped for, cooked for, and eventually, cleaned up. For me, the kitchen is not my first choice for rooms to spend time in, however, I’ve learned a few tricks to help me find the joy in serving my family without the feelings of failure. In other words, some days I can do fancy, other days not.
Many of us expel mental energies on thoughts as to what will be on the menu for the family the Lord has given, but how often are we thinking outside our “box”? How about times of thinking to include our extended family? Perhaps you find yourself in a season far from family. I understand that. Or perhaps, you do have family “in the area”, and, like me, somehow get-togethers only happen on holidays or birthdays. Oh, you might have spoken words such as “we should get together some time”, or “we really need to plan better”… and plans never come about. Perhaps you have family, not necessarily blood relatives, but family none the less. What if we got just a little radical. What if we actually SET plans??!!
Well, through Beth Moore, the Lord placed a seed, and plans we made. I call them Multitudes on Mondays. Every Monday, yes, every Monday, dinner at our home is served, 6:00. I decided not to sweat the details, place any expectations on it being fancy and/or my home having to be SUPER clean. I simply wanted to put actions to the words, “our home is open”. So, just yesterday, it happened. My family received it well. Eight adults and seven children gathered for a meal. Super fancy? Not really. We call eating on real plates instead of paper, fancy around here. Was it about the food? Not really. It was about an opportunity to share life, for a short time in the evening. And the beauty of this plan is it’s ongoing, flexible with life, understanding of the maybe-I-can’t-make-it-every-week, but come when you can. In a word, it was beautiful.
In all honesty, the dining room in our home is not as long as this one pictured, but if I could fit this one in, I would. I truly cherish time around the table. I really do. Somehow, in the fast-paced, over-scheduled lives we live, we’ve lost the art of gathering around the table. I remember traveling to the furniture store with my husband and I simply felt a compulsion to look at every single choice they offered. You see, this wasn’t just some wood and screws carefully crafted and drilled together, this would be the representation of so much more. This would be the gathering place for the weary. A place to sit, eat, and share. This would be the centerpiece for late night talks and card games. This would be where our family came to be a family.
So how about you? Would you be open to a gathering at your home? Size – doesn’t matter, food – take-out works just as well, cleanliness of home – people are more welcomed by you than are they worried about some dust and clutter. Let’s call these details what they are – roadblocks and obstacles that lead to excuses. Let’s take another look. Think about it. Pray about it. Do it. You won’t regret it. You might if you don’t. Bon appetite! And don’t forget to share your story! Bring back table time!!
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. – Proverbs 31:14
TAKE OUT ladies! We have permission! Enjoy!