If I asked you, “What is the heart of your home?” what would you say? It’s really an important question, and it is deserving of some deep thought.
Some of you, I’m sure, answered right away. Some of you might need a minute to think. It’s okay. Take your time.
The heart of my home would be the kitchen. Not because there are elaborate meals prepared there, though we are quite fond of food in my family…a little too fond. It’s not because it is an awesome room that once Southern Living Magazine discovers it, they will be calling me for an interview. Nope, don’t think there is anything about the kitchen that would intrigue them at all, though it does have a fireplace, which is the other love in my family.
We like to eat and we like fires.
Doesn’t get much better than that.
In my family, we are masters of setting fires. We could start a fire on a glacier without wood or matches. I hate to brag, but we are just really that good. We’re just not so good at controlling them or putting them out, but that’s for another story.
Yeah, we like to eat, we like fires, and oh, how we love telling stories.
That’s the real reason the kitchen is the heart of our home, because that’s where we do life together. It’s not the food. It’s not the fires. It’s the time spent together. It’s the stories we tell; the adventures we revisit, the things we pass on.
There in the kitchen, as we sit around the table, we nourish our bodies.
But it’s more than that…so much more.
There’s the laughter and the storytelling that feeds our sense of family, that reminds us of who we are, where we came from…maybe where we’re going. Sometimes where we probably shouldn’t have gone and had better not go back again.
It’s the building of memories – the reinforcing of memories so that when we’re apart, we can remember. It’s the glue that keeps use together.
Now that my family is getting older and feet are slowly vanishing from under the table, I realize something about the importance of my supper table that I didn’t fully realize before. For those of us who have been called according to His purpose, time spent around the table, after the eating is done and the chairs have been pushed back, can be nourishment for our souls. The real nourishment around my table happens when the stories turn to the One writing the chapters of our lives. The One who intricately weaves story lines of grace, mercy, and redemptive love into those chapters.
I wish I had fully realized this when my kids were younger.
You know, if I had it all to do again, no discipline would ever have been issued at the supper table.
To the ones who left home before I had this epiphany, sorry I’m just realizing this.
There would have been no fussing about grades, or lost things, or fires set that required several fire trucks and a backhoe. Not that these things shouldn’t be addressed, just not at the supper table.
All that would have been reserved for another room in the house. Instead, the supper table would have been reserved for stories both old and new. It would have been reserved for diligently teaching our children about the faithfulness of God toward His children with more intentionality.
We would have recanted stories of old. I would have talked of things – amazing things – my God did long ago. I would have talked about things – amazing things my God was still doing. I would have shared more of my first hand experiences with my Father. The times He rescued me from my stupidity. The times He showed me mercy or lavished me with His grace. I would have been painfully honest about my shortcomings and ecstatic over the victories through His power.
I would have remembered that it’s not the meal that is of greatest importance, it’s the time spent around the table, the legacy of faith passed down to the next generation.
We talk about the importance of sharing our faith stories with others, but before we take those stories to others, we need to talk them out with our children or anyone else He sends into our home. And what better place to do that than the supper table?
When we remember, we gain strength. When we share, we offer hope, and others gain courage. When we warn, we protect; we give an opportunity for another to be spared the hard road we walked as a result of poor choices or flat out disobedience.
We make sense of experiences through our stories.
Painfully honest, vulnerable, miraculous, grace drenched stories.
Start the tradition of sharing stories when your children are young. If they are older, introduce it to them anyway. Just do it.
We are changing the name of our Domestic Diva page to “The Supper Table” because we believe with all our hearts in the importance of sharing our faith stories around the supper table. And because we don’t believe that elaborate meals are necessary, we want to give you suggestions for great meals without all the fuss.
We want to help you just get them to the table.
Then when the meal is over, linger at the table a little longer. Don’t rush off. Talk about your day. Share what God showed you, taught you. Talk about your experiences with Him. Revisit those old stories of the Bible.
Be intentional until it becomes unintentional-just a part of who you are and what you do as a family around the supper table.
Invite others to sit at your table, often.
Years down the road, it’s not the food they’ll remember; it’s the stories.
It’s the legacy of family and faith.
Have a great week!
“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Ronald Reagan
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