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Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't just set the table...

...sit at it too.

A lot of us (men and women) are really good at making & setting out meals for our families - and that is a good thing. In fact it is really nice to time to cook (& eat) at home - it brings "meaning" to mealtimes. I remember hearing a phrase that stuck in my head and heart for decades. Once when I went to visit my Dad (of blessed memory) a few years ago, someone saw me and said in a native language - which I'll translate literally and then interprete: "Oh, your Dad must be so happy to have you over so he can eat food cooked with washed hands." Meaning: "Your dad will enjoy food cooked with love." And indeed he did I.

Mealtimes are, or should be, a core part of family building & bonding.
Recently, I listened to Devi Titus at a Women's conference, and she talked a lot about the importance of the "table" in our daily lives. Listening to her was very enlightening. I was really struck about the importance of some of the things that I currently do unconsciously. Now armed with this knowledge I intend to do on purpose for a purpose in order to achieve better and lasting results - I'll explain...  

Although I really enjoy making and setting meals for my family, at least most of the time, I'm not as "faithful" in sitting at the table with my family. I'm one of those who is good at "setting," and even "serving," the table but not as good at "sitting" at the table and I can justify myself very easily.

I'm sure that a number of mothers will agree with me that it's easier to continue doing other chores in our excellent multi-skilling nature while our family is eating. The other reason -ok, excuse - I use is, I'll wait to eat after everyone just in case someone doesn't finish their food - with the intention of adding and remnant to my food in order to avoid wastage. As our children grew older, it occurred to me that the better way to avoid wastage is using the method I learned from my mother (of blessed memory).

When it was mealtime we were always asked to: "Come and say 'when.'" My children are now used to that phrase even when the eldest one is serving meals and they know if it's on their plate it will get into their stomachs at that meal or a later meal. This has now provided me with "room" to sit at the table with my family. I know that a lot of us were raised not to speak while eating - and I agree to a certain degree. What I've found from sitting at the table with my family is that our children are quick to speak up and even pour out their hearts when you're all at "eye-level."  Devi wrote a book: "The Table Experience" - which I recommend. She talked about the importance of the "table" not just to us but also to God. Sit at the table.

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