Table Time


I am in the end stages of a kitchen remodel. It’s been 12 weeks. Twelve.Weeks… of a less-than full functioning kitchen. (My lack of culinary skills make this a little more endurable than it should be). I’ve been without countertops for 7 weeks. Thanks to a snafu by the local home improvement store, our order was on hold. Unbeknownst to us, we kept our kitchen empty ‘assuming’ things were moving right along. When we finally realized the glitch, (after I (semi) calmed down) I insisted we put as much of the kitchen back together—including setting our table back up. This may not seem like a big deal to many. But up until this point, I’d been standing at our makeshift counters to eat. I hate to stand and eat. I desperately missed sitting for my meals. When I realized we’d be waiting another 4 weeks, I wanted my table back; my kitchen back; my life back…

You see, I have a desperate need to sit with my husband over our meals. It seems to be the only real time we get together guaranteed. And, growing up, that was the only time my family really spent any time together as a whole. At dinner, we all sat down to share—a meal, a conversation, and more often than not—a laugh. I was (I assume) a ‘typical’ teenager. I didn’t want to be with my parents or my much younger siblings too much. I wanted to be on my own. However, our meals were different. I enjoyed the ‘forced’ time to gather as one. I (secretly) enjoyed the inquisition of my day (school, friends, etc.), though you’d never know by the one-word answers, and more often than not grumbles (apologies to my parents) or eye rolls. My sisters (12+ years younger than I) rattled incessantly to avoid eating. The ‘older’ one always fell out of her chair (I kid you not—every night), and the ‘baby’ always had to go ‘potty’ in the middle of the meal; and I looked forward to the ridiculous, yet habitual moments. I always swore that my family would do the same…

Why am I telling you all of this (besides wanting to gripe a little longer that my remodel is still not done)? Because I think ‘table time’ is important. I think time with family at least once a day to talk, really talk—converse, share, laugh—should be a priority in our lives… I took it for granted, until it wasn’t available. And I don’t just mean during my remodel…

Growing up all I ever knew I wanted, was a family. I often talked about ‘when I have kids’…and I wanted a large family (at least five kids, (three boys, two girls)…). And one of the things I knew I wanted to do in raising my kids was insist on ‘table time’. I wanted to make sure there was a guaranteed time we all could count on to be together—for encouragement, for venting, for love—but that’s not how my life turned out. I don’t have any kids, let alone the more than typical table full. I have my husband (and our dog—but despite his insistence—he is not welcome at the table). And most days, I’ve come to terms with that. But I realized during our remodel that I missed and mourned my ‘table time’; and all that it could’ve been. (Bear with me, I’m not trying to gain sympathy—there’s a point to this). Over the years, while I’ve enjoyed the quality time with my husband over dinner, I’ve felt an emptiness at my table. But here’s where I’m at with it (I told you there was a point to this): my table may not be as full as I’d hoped, but it’s not as empty as I think. You see, seated at my table, as He always has been, and always will be, is Jesus. He loves our ‘table time’ and ‘table talk’. When I finally was able to sit at my table to eat last week, I realized that my standing to eat habit had not only killed the ‘table time’ but also the ‘table talk’—the prayer. My meal prayer is always about more than my meal (quite often adding a ‘blessing’ to my food is after the ‘Amen’). It’s about my gratitude for the life I have; the many blessings that I always wanted, and some I never knew I needed. I fully encompass all of His provisions; and His exclusions. And yet, I somehow neglect(ed) to encompass the (lack of) emptiness of my table. I’m not sitting with just my husband at my table. I’m sitting with Jesus. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20, 2 Timothy 4:17)

He meets me at my table for ‘table time’ daily; and one day soon, I will meet Him at His table. (Luke 22:30)

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