We sold our dining table & chairs yesterday. We have tried several times to sell it, thinking we wanted a round table instead of the rectangle one which came with our house we bought back in 2001 when Randy’s job took us to California. So 17 years, family and friends have gathered around that table. So much food has been served and so many memories of different groups have sat around that sweet table. Isn’t it so strange that for some reason, I always thought I would be so glad when it sold, but as we sat there looking at the empty space last night in the dining room, so many memories came flooding back to me.
When we bought our home in California back in 2001, God was so gracious to us to provide so much furniture that had been left in the new house. Jodi and Jaden were coming to live with us and since it was a model home, they had left the nursery furniture, the dining room furniture and so much more. In fact, the builder left so much of the furniture, we had to sell some of ours as there wasn’t room for all of our things. We have told the story so many times of God’s blessings to us as we moved from Texas to CA and how He went before us and provided for all our needs, even a nursery.
When we moved back to Texas in 2003, of course that beautiful table went with us. A dear friend, Debbie, our Women’s Minister called one day with a question. Would I consider having teacher training in our home and cook for them to have lunch. Would I….wow, that was such an answer to prayer that I could have ladies in our home and cook for them. One of my favorite things to do. After a couple of years, she had another great idea. (Yep, thats Debbie, lots of great ideas that involve food). HA.She suggested that we have the minister wives meet together for a luncheon once a month, at our house. We lived right across the street from the church (which that is another story of how God closed the door to one house and opened the door for one right across the street from our church) This would allow them to get to know the other minister wives and just be loved on, as we would cook and serve them each month. We realized that sometimes minister’s wives have so much ask of them: lots of time away from their husbands always being called up to serve in different capacities, not many chances to get to know other ladies who have the same responsibility of always being on call and having to sometimes “be on” and feeling like they had to be perfect. So once again, it was a privilege and blessing to just cook and serve these precious ladies who have been such an influence in my life over the years.
The times of meals being cooked and served to family gathered around the table when their lives were so hectic and hurried, and yet, when they sat down to eat maybe a roast with mashed potatoes or turkey & dressing, ham at Easter, beans and tamales at Christmas….there was always a calm that presided over our time together. It was always such a treat when one of our kids and their spouses would call and ask if they could come over for dinner. Always gave me an excuse to bake and cook a lot of food. So much more fun to cook for more than two. One of my prayers for our kids and their families is that they relish their time around the table and realize that it isn’t the food being served that is important, but the laughter, and the time spent in conversations about what is going on in their lives at the time.
When I think about all the blessing that have been spoken, some unspoken, around that table the last 17 years, it brings tears to my eyes to think about all the ways God has truly blessed our families and the ones who have gathered around. There have been prayers which have been answered. Relationships mended,kids sharing stories of setbacks or awards. These are such gifts which we treasure to this day.
Today, both Randy and I paused and prayed for the family that will now be sitting around that table. May they feel the prayers that have been said. May the Lord shine His face upon them that they would sense His presence and come to know Him personally, if they do not already.
Yes, it didn’t bring me the joy that I had anticipated I would have selling it, but…may God grant us in His time, in His place where He takes us to begin a new season of once again, gathering around a table, whether it be round, square or rectangle, which will bring honor to His name.