Lessons Learned From My Parent's Table

I grew up in a home where the six of us sat around a big trestle table. 

My dad sat in a chair at the head, my oldest brother got the other chair at the foot of the table. Benches on each side were perfect - my mom and I shared the bench closest to the kitchen. (I suppose so she could jump up and grab whatever we kids forgot to put on the table.) My sister and youngest brother shared the other bench. 

Perfect arrangement. 

Except it very seldom worked out that way. 

It didn't matter who was around when a meal was put on the table they were invited to stay and eat. We often squeezed three and sometimes four people on each of those benches. There were even times when an extra chair or two was put at the end of the table. 

We shared our family table with whoever happened to be around at meal time.

The guy who was installing new tile in the bathroom, the family whose car broke down in front of our house,  neighborhood kids who were playing in our yard, boyfriends my dad wanted to check out, people who dropped by after church.

It didn't matter.

They were invited to the table.

My mom never made a big deal out of it. She'd say she'd just open another can of peas or throw an extra potato or two in the pot.

After I got married and began inviting people to my table I quickly realized that there was much more to it than simply opening another can.

I realized that it's a matter of the heart.
An attitude of openness, a willingness to share even when there was little to share. Not fake or forced. There was no show.

A few of the other things I learned around my parent's table...

  • Everyone is hungry - for food or loving care.
  • Simple is better
  • It doesn't matter what your dishes look like
  • or that you serve the mashed potatoes from the pot
  • No one will notice if there's more potatoes and carrots in the stew than meat.
  • If you triple a batch of biscuits and serve them with honey it will fills up empty tummies
  • Keep a little garden in the back yard so there's always a few fresh veggies for the table. 
  • Always bless the food and thank God that you have enough to share

I'm thankful for the lessons I learned at my parent's table. That table is my table now. The benches are long gone but we have extra chairs and I hope and pray that I am half the blessing that my parents were.

This is my husband in the process of redoing my
parent's table. I'll be sharing the process and the results in
a later post.

When's the last time someone invited you to join them at their table?

Grace at Home

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