Growing up, my family was not a grace-saying family. Now, however, we say grace.
When I was young, dinner was a sacred time. We waited until Dad filled his plate and passed the serving dishes around. Then we talked, laughed, and ate. There was also serious business discussed. Sometimes, scoldings happened at that table. But we experienced love and discipline at the same time. We learned social graces such as take your elbows off the table, use a fork, not your fingers, and don’t talk with food in your mouth. We connected with our parents and each other.
Now, in our busy lives, we often grab meals whenever and wherever we can. We may eat in the car on the way to the next thing or sit in front of the television looking to be entertained. I’ve even caught myself eating while standing in the kitchen, preparing our next meal. Talk about multitasking.
I’ve been trying to get my family back to the table. The table isn’t always the actual dining table. It may be the picnic table outside or when everyone uses TV trays in the same room. Anyplace we can talk. We share about our days, goals, and dreams. Someone always tells a joke. One of us is always the loud eater and one a picky eater. It doesn’t matter because we are doing it together. It’s where we make memories. Like the time there was a fight over the last wonton. Or the time milk spurted out of someone’s mouth when they laughed.
We are reconnecting—learning about Grandpa’s job or what happened at school that day. It may seem insignificant, but the twenty to thirty minutes we spend at the table are the day’s best moments.
The most important part is saying grace, as Jesus did. The kids learn to offer thanks and bless their food at the table. We acknowledge that God provides and that He is in our midst.
Plan for your family to have meals together. It may seem chaotic initially, but in time your family will also be saying grace together.
(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)
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