Ahhhh…..the table. The table happens to be a favorite of my family and we have tried to make it a priority through the years both when the kids were still at home and now with our grandkids. And yes, while the table seems like a great place for conversation, jokes, laughter … the food on that table is also a reason to hang out in the kitchen. Hello, tacos!
So when was the last time you sat an enjoyed a meal with your family or friends?
Having a special needs child, his 3 brothers and one sister made it an extra priority to get together at dinnertime. My Clay was a 25 hour baby, (nope, not a typo) and needed so much extra attention. We would sit him in his wheelchair at the table, even though he took his meals by a 24 hour drip through his G-tube, because we wanted everyone included in our dinner time. This was our rare time where we found out how school was going, what the new trends were and who did what in Spanish class.
Our homes speak very loudly … not necessarily with words but each room can announce so much to our family and to our guests:
- How we spend our time
- The importance we put on others
- The special place God has in our lives
Well, look around your home. Is it tidy? Is your family stepping over, around and through a mess? Is your dining table used for folding clothes, backpacks, art projects … basically everything but being used for meals? That’s ok for a time, but your family is so important and you want them to all have plenty of space at the table for dinner.
If you feel like there are toys everywhere and perhaps you don’t mind some in the dining room or kitchen, then you can always use large baskets or decorative bins with lids to keep them stowed when not in use.
If you plan a designated time after school for homework, then the backpacks can be put away in their rooms. Art projects can also be stored in bins or even unused drawers in the kitchen. I think it’s important to keep the table cleared so that meals can be spent together in one room.
In my book, Special Kids, Chosen Moms, I go into detail about organizing your kitchen, your child’s bedroom and even the master bed and bathroom. You don’t need to be fancy and sometimes the simplest décor can be best.
Hospitality should be shown to family members first and we should treat everyone as a guest of honor! Make your table a place where your family wants to be, a place that is safe no matter what happened during the course of the day.
Don’t have an untouchable home. Yes, scratches are going to happen, milk will be spilled and our chairs around the table will eventually be scuffed and worn out. It’s ok!! And in the same breath I will say to please teach your children (by example and instruction) to take care of the possessions that God has allowed the family to use and not to just shrug off the spilled ketchup on the seat cushion. Having an untouchable home doesn’t make anyone feel special … especially if they are hurting.
Share God’s love around the table. Let your home be a witness to the very values you want to instill in your children.