From Chaos to Calm: Day Forty
Setting the Table
Scripture Memory: “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9
I love the verse above! Just imagine the very first time we sit before a feast with Jesus! What a celebration it will be! Just imagine the love and joy you will feel.
Now, I want you to think about your own dinner table. What is the atmosphere like when your family sits down to eat? Do you regularly eat together around the table? Or does everyone grab a plate and run for the TV? Perhaps you find yourself to busy to cook and dinner on-the-go or fast food is the standard fare.
We have already discussed the importance of eating healthy, well-balanced meals. I want to encourage you to continue planning meals that your family will enjoy and meals that will provide the nutrition you need. I also want to encourage you to slow down and set aside the evening hours for family time if you have not already done so. Sports activities, extra-curricular activities are not always worth the time commitment they require. Children grown up sooo fast. Let your children be children, let them have free time after school for running and playing. And give yourself the treasure of being with your kids.
Children who eat at the dinner table with their parents on a regular basis are
- less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol
- less likely to be overweight or struggle with self-esteem issues
There is a saying the kitchen is the heart of the home. I would say that the dinner table is where it really happens. Food brings a family together. Memories, priceless memories are created. And the family bond is strengthened.
When you sit down together, is your table filled with clutter pushed to the side? Do you avoid sitting together because of clutter? If so, today, I want you to make it your mission to clean up your dining area. If you have more than one area for eating (breakfast nook, dining room, etc.) clean up and clean out these spaces so that only items related to eating are present.
I love decorating my table with table cloths. I have a large stash of cloths for every season or occasion. I generally purchase my table cloths on clearance at the end of a season. This way, I never spend more than a few dollars on beautiful cloths. Otherwise, they can be very expensive!
Do you have a centerpiece? The options for centerpieces are endless. In my dining room, I currently have a large, beautiful bowl that my sister-in-law had made for me in Italy. It has a fruit theme, and the verse, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. In this bowl I have my collection of cloth napkins.
You could place a bowl filled with fresh fruit – green apples or lemons are especially pretty. You could place a potted plant in a basket, or pick flowers from your garden. Whatever you choose, make it pretty. Candles add a warm inviting feel to your table. You can change your centerpiece for the season, or for the occasion.
What about your dishes? Are they cheap and ugly? Do you serve the children on old plastic plates that are scratched and unsightly? Your family deserves the best you can give them! If you begin to collect tablecloths, don’t save them for special occasions for fear that they will be stained. Use them! Place mats can also provide a fun look to your table. Because place mats and tablecloths are often colorful, I like to use plain white or cream colored plates. You can purchase plain dinner size plates at import stores for only $2 – $3 a piece.
Instead of purchasing many sets of dishes, use the plain white dinner plates as your base and then purchase bowls, salad plates, and dessert dishes that you love! By placing a pretty salad plate on top of your white plate when setting the table, you can have an entirely new look without spending hundreds of dollars on new sets of dishes. Flea markets and antique stores are often good places to find vintage dishes that you can dress up your table with.
You may also want to consider using cloth napkins. You can make your own quite easily out of fabrics, find vintage napkins at flea markets, or shop the clearance racks frequently to find good deals.
Setting a pretty table is worth the extra effort it takes. And really, if you are able to enlist your children’s help, it shouldn’t take but a few minutes to make your dinner table look extra special. Your family will appreciate the thought and care that went into the planning, and your husband especially will feel like a king when he comes home every evening to a well-prepared, well-thought out dinner.
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How do you set your table? What is one of your favorite memories from around the dinner table?