Gather Around the Table
Happy Friday ALL!
How are you doing on last weeks “Sanity Savers”?
As a new Mom early on in my married years, my sister Susan encouraged me to do something that has been pivotal in the life of our family: “The Family Dinner”.
Eighteen years ago I had a fussy baby boy and a very busy Minister husband (who was gone many evenings). When my sister suggested the family dinner I thought she was nuts! It was all I could do to clean, rock and feed my new baby. Now she thought I could actually serve a meal and get us all around the table at the same time???
She explained to me that if we established a habit of having dinner together as a family it would enrich and bond us in special way. As a way to appease my older and very influential sister, I started to set the table, make a meal and have a family dinner (even the baby was there in his high chair). Gone were the days of eating in shifts on the couch in front of the TV!
Through the years, my children have learned to sit in their chairs, bless the food, table manners and even to engage (sometimes) in meaningful conversation. We have learned the joy and value of spending time together around the table. At dinner, besides eating together, we share our “High” and “Low” of the day and simply stop and talk to one another.
Now before you go thinking that Frappuccino Fun is really “June Cleaver” in disguise, DON’T! I fall short many times in this area. Do we have family dinners seven days a week – NO. I shoot for a more realistic goal of 4 to 5 meals together. We, like other families, are busy and tired. Do I joyfully stroll into the kitchen daily and whip up a ten course meal? NO WAY! It may be Publix Fried Chicken or a Bowl of Soup and a Sandwich but come most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, you will fine my gang gathered around the table whether we want to or not. (I’m just kidding about the “or not” – most of the time we really want to, it’s just that the family dinner is not always convienent.) As a Mom, I must be the driving force to keep the habit alive. Here’s how I do it…
Menu planning – buy what you need at the grocery store and have it on hand – you’ll never cook dinner if you have to run to the store all the time.
Start dinner in the A.M. – I suggest using the crock pot – find a good cookbook and get your meal going while you still have energy.
Set the table after breakfast for dinner – this may sound silly but when I walk through my kitchen and see the table set, it makes me more committed to cooking.
Make everyone help – family dinner is a “family” commitment, kids and husbands can help pour drinks, clear the table and load the dishwasher.
So this weekend gather your family and “break bread” together and enjoy some time around the family dinner table. Not only will you love the food you will love the fellowship.