My wife loves being a mother. I've never heard her once wish that she could be away from her children. She embraced it wholeheartedly from the moment our first daughter was placed in her arms to this present moment where that same daughter is navigating her way as a sixteen year old.
It’s the center of our house. Literally.
It’s large enough to seat ten. But we have been known to fit twelve.
I’ve said for years that my idea of a crowd is the number of people who can sit around the table. No more.
If there are more than that, conversation descends to chitchat. And I’m not a fan.
I would say our table is the most sacred spot in the house. Precious. Life has been lived there.
Much laughter. Many tears. Innumerable memories.
Jack-O-Lanterns were carved. Eggs were dyed. Ornaments were made.
But some of the most beautiful times around that table have been in sharing a meal. Whether it be four or twelve, these have been some of life’s greatest moments.
We have a great living room to progress to, but rarely after dinner do we ever leave the table.
It doesn’t hurt that my wife is an amazing cook. She cooks with her heart. And it shows. And smells. And tastes. It is her way of putting her arms around our guests and telling them they are special. Loved. No words are necessary for this to be felt.
It’s my favorite place.
One of our greatest joys is giving our table guests a moment to let go of the worries of the day. To be face to face. To breathe. To be served.
To indulge in a setting that was created just for that moment. Just for them.
To take it slow and savor every detail.
To break bread together.
And then it goes away and becomes a memory. Hopefully one that guests will pull up when they aren’t having the best day. Or when they need to feel encouraged or loved. Or when they need to be reminded of the warm side of life.
Life has been lived this way for centuries. Around the table. It has always mattered.
It’s the last thing Jesus did before He walked the path to His death.
We joke with our daughters that the most difficult decision they might face when my wife and I are gone could be in deciding who gets the table. Because chances are, many of their fondest memories will be from time spent there.
There are stains and spots on our table. It has been used.
Its color has actually changed from arms resting on it. Food and wine being spilled. Maybe even where tears were shed as some talked through their pain and struggles.
It represents life.
Messy but beautiful.
It is not a “precious” piece of furniture needing to be protected.
But the memories are.