Thursday, January 2, 2014

Who Said Dinner Has to be at Six?

Today's post is written by guest writer and a friend I've known since she was a teen, Ruth Killins Scott. (I fall in age about midway between her and her parents.)

I remember when my mom announced that from now on, dinner was going to be ready as soon as we got home from school, around 4pm.  I find that interesting, because I can’t really recall what time dinner was before that.  My dad is a pastor/missionary, and part of that job description included church meetings and music practices, Bible studies and home visitations that would require him to be gone around the time dinner “should” happen.  I honestly don’t remember dinner when my dad wasn’t around; but I have countless memories of sitting down for dinner as a family, with my dad, as soon as we got home from school.  I guess that, in and of itself, is significant!   

Ruth and her grown siblings, spouses, children and a friend all visiting home.

The six of us (I am the oldest of four children) sat at a round table, which my mother has always preferred because you can see everyone face to face.  A round table also allows for there to always be room for guests and friends to pull up a chair or stool and join us, regardless of how snug we all fit!   

Conversations consisted of what happened in school that day or the funny lines from a movie we had just watched.  Sometimes there were tears, and a palpable tension surrounding the table due to disagreements or disobedience.  Other days were filled with laughter and energy that brought us closer together.  Schedules were made for the activities coming up, and instructions given about the responsibilities we had.  At our dinner table, we could be interviewed about our plans for the future, or given advice about the decisions we were making.  It was a place where our personalities developed and opinions were expressed.  

This is also the time when I remember that we started having devotions together as a family.  My dad or any of us kids would take turns reading a page in a Christian devotional.  Then there were questions we answered about the passage of scripture or story we just read.  The dinner table was also a place where we learned to pray; not only thanking God for our food before we ate, but also praying for each other after our meal and devotional time was over.  

It is interesting to remember this time in my life, because now that I have a husband and two little girls of my own, I find that our schedule leans towards us having dinner around 4pm as well!  My husband works from 6am-2:30pm, so an early dinner coincides with his schedule because he is also going to bed early in order to get up to go to work at 4:30am.   This also facilitates the girl’s bedtime routine, as they have time for homework and playing before going to bed between 7 and 8pm.  I could also mention that eating earlier allows more time to digest your food, and there are numerous health benefits associated with not going to bed on a full stomach!  

But regardless of what time your dinner happens; it is worth carving out a piece of the day to sit and eat, listen and feel, talk and pray, build traditions and bond with the ones you love.    

Ruth pursues friendships, and loves taking pictures of her family and friends. She feels land-locked in Georgia after living in Florida for years. She dreams of visiting Greece one day.

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  1. Hello Sharon!

    I'm Cassandra, a first time visitor via Create With Joy's Friendship Friday. I love this post because it reminds me of dinner times when my sons were school age. Because they were always hungry (as active young boys are) we would have dinner no later than five and then a before bedtime snack. We would have such great conversations and there was a lot of laughter as well.

    Blessings to you and yours this New Year!

    ~ Cassandra from Renaissance Women

  2. my husbands family always had supper right after school while my family waited til traditional time or even later at times but we sat at the table and we always had awesome conversation
    come see us at

  3. That is a great story! I love the "round table" theory!!!

  4. Dinner times / family times / always a great tradition :)

  5. When I read your title, I thought you were going to be advocating a LATER dinner hour! We tend to go with a more European schedule in our house - our little girl stays up quite late (we homeschool) and the later time fits the work schedule here. But, the goal is the same - so we can all sit down to dinner as a family : )

  6. Dinner time was always an important, not-to-be-missed time when my daughters lived at home. And it was always at 6:30 p.m. Well, unless they had to eat before school activities. I still seem to get everything on the table by 6:30, just for my husband and myself. Old habits die hard.

  7. I totally agree! We're self employed and my husband sometimes can't get home until 8. So my kiddo eats and I sit with him, then hubby comes home and we have some family time, and then hubby and I eat together later. It's strange, but it works! Stopping by from Thriving Thursdays!

  8. I love the idea of sitting down as a family, and perhaps when the children are a little older it will be more manageable to do it regularly. We try to do it at least once a week, and always have lunch together on the weekends. No matter what, mealtimes are always at the table and full of chatter! Lovely post, it sounds like you had a very grounded and bonded family. Would love you to link up to a new linky launched this week called #AllAboutYou hope to see you there!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing them with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Link Party.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above



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