To finish our series on food, Missy is writing today on the importance of eating together as a family.
The atmosphere is noisy, there is a mixture of wonderful smells in the air, dishes clanking as the table is being set, children hovering around peering over the edge of the table trying to sneak a peak at what the menu offers tonight and someone, actually the fourth someone, asks “Is it time to eat?”
I love a good party and with eight children (and a puppy) mealtime is always a party. There is one conversation about plans to climb a tree, another about organizing a game of soccer. There is giggling as the puppy licks someone’s toes and there is squabbling over “Who took my stool?” There is the sharing of the day’s adventures and accomplishments. The queries of a 6 year boy who wants to blow things up when he gets big…”They pay you to do that?” He exclaims with delight.
This is all going on around the table and we pause to pray and give thanks to our gracious Creator for the blessings he has given us. The simple prayer of a three year old ends with ” And Lord, thank you for when I am a dad and thank you for this food and thank you for Jesus.” My heart is warmed. I am tired. The day has been long. My feet hurt. But my heart is full. I am surrounded by children and a husband who love the Lord. Welcome to our table.
From the time we were first married, 20 years ago, we have made an intentional effort to eat as many meals together as a family as possible. We continue that effort as our children get older and busier. In this fragmented society we need all we can muster to keep our families together.
I came across this quote from Nancy Campbell… “The table is more than a place to accumulate books and junk. It is more than a place to eat a hurried meal on the run. The table is a feeding place. It is a place where we nurture the physical bodies of our family. It is a place where we also feed their souls and spirits.”
How often does your family eat together? What is the atmosphere? Is it hurried, tense and a time of criticism? Or is it a time of fellowship? A refuge from the world where members can safely share their burdens from the day…a forum where teens can voice their opinions and views without judgement? Eat together, live together, stay together. In a world that tends to pull us apart…be intentional and make the effort. The blessing will be great.
Missy lives with her 8 children and husband in beautiful western Montana.