This year, we were unexpectedly given the most wonderful dining room table. Eight feet long, sturdy solid oak, and in beautiful condition, it was really more than we had even hoped for. It came with eight solid chairs that fit around it beautifully (they even all matched!?) and with the addition of a couple solid high chairs we already had, we found ourselves provided for with a table ready to seat our family that was about to grow to ten, with room to spare.
The family that passed it on to us were moving… a down-size to a smaller home in a new location, and this big table just wasn’t going to fit. They shared stories of the meals, conversations, and visits with neighbors that had been shared around it. The slightly blackened ring at the corner of one end was what remained when a steaming pot of Beef Bourguignon was inadvertently placed down without a hot mat, and they laughed about card games that extended into the wee hours round that table.
They also shared the story of how it had been given to them, with a specific condition. It was not to be sold, but must be passed along freely to the next family.
It felt like the most perfect picture of God’s grace & provision. It was a gift to be freely given- if only we will receive it.
We already had a table, though one by one, the chairs were falling apart. The finish of the table top was well worn. It had several paint & felt pen stains, and a few gouge marks on the top. It didn’t quite fit us all- but it did work, for now. We weren’t really planning to buy another one anytime soon.
In fact, it hadn’t even made the “wish-list” yet.
In the months before receiving this, we had been having people over weekly in our home: wildly loud and crazy family potlucks that easily grew to 30-40 people. We wanted to build relationships and community, and in the summer months, casual get-togethers worked well for our families. Together, after feasting on huge bowls of potluck delights and the encouragement of one another, we piled into our living room and watched Dani Johnson’s War on Debt and Grooming the Next Generation.
Inspired and challenged as a community of friends journeying through parenting, life decisions about money and priorities and faith, we committed to action steps for ourselves. We shared openly about struggles, listened, and prayed for one another.
Being gifted with a table felt like such a confirmation that all we had been desiring and working towards was on the right track. It was as though God was saying to us, “Just continue meeting together, blessing one another, and sharing life together. Here’s a little more space to do it well.”
Feasting, sharing, laughing, challenging & loving one another…come to the Table, ready to receive. It’s such a good place to be.