“The fondest memories are those gathered around a table.”
The other night I was cleaning my kitchen table for, what seemed like, the 50th time this week. I was trying to remove marker that little hands “accidentally” put on the table. Since we added two of our leaves to the table it is long right now and I had plenty of time to think while cleaning the table.
First thought: This table might be the best deal we got on new furniture. We bought it years ago for $200.00 at a wood furniture factory during their semi-annual sale. The table is huge when all the leaves are added. Right now we only have two of three leaves added. The chairs that match the table? NOT the best deal on furniture. In case you have not ever shopped for dining room chairs–they are expensive.
Second thought: This used to be a nice table. I used to keep the table set with a centerpiece. Then in 2009 I had my first child. Then the table got covered with kid friendly plastic place mats to try and keep the table nice and protected from mushy Cheerios, mashed peas, etc. No matter what measures I went to, my precious first born could throw food beyond the protected area. I now know why my grandmother always had her table covered with vinyl tablecloths.
Third thought: You can tell we have kids. Knowing that my table is no longer a nice table means I have children. Occasionally, I put holiday themed tablecloths on the table for fun but for the most part it’s uncovered. My table has superglue stuck to it, metallic permanent marker, specks of blue marker are starting to fade, and some random scratches from who knows what.
My reflection of the table pinnacled today on the way to school this morning with the kids talking among themselves in the back seat. This year we started a gratitude jar on the table and anytime we have dinner at the table everyone at the table writes on a card one thing they are grateful for that day. The kids were pretending to be Mommy and Daddy and I heard my daughter say (in her sweet motherly voice), “Okay Honey, what is one thing you are thankful for today?” What we do at the table matters. I’m not a spectacular chef or mother of the year by any stretch. But even 29 days into 2016 we have the habit formed to share with each other what we are thankful for at our table.
Now, I don’t want you to think this is always a Hallmark card moment. If you go through the paper in the gratitude jar you will read, “I am thankful for…my Barbie RV…my Legos…ALL my toys…” Lately, we’ve been asking what the kids are grateful for that isn’t a toy. It takes them a little longer to think of those.
I say all this to say, the table is important. I tried to find a Bible verse about the table but instead I found 103 verses telling me ways the table was used in the Bible. It was a place to worship, it was a place to relax, it was a place to gather.