Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Family Dinner: The Communion Makes Us a Family

Today's post is written by fellow blogger, Helene Smith.

Recently my family has abandoned eating in the front of the TV, a bad habit we had fallen into. At first my eight year old daughter was very disappointed. The Great British Baking Show makes a fun short term distraction. But the delights of the family dinner are becoming apparent even to her.

For instance, she uses the time to ask complicated questions like, “Why do we need money, wouldn’t swapping stuff be simpler?” This diverted the family dinner table into a rousing debate regarding the difference between a village and a global economy. Economics isn’t the only subject we’ve covered. She told us, over enchiladas, that she had learned all the math she will ever need to know for the real world. Her older sister cheerfully gave us ALL a schooling in the practical applications of the calculus she is learning. Did you know that astronomers use high school trigonometry to determine the source of gravitational waves?

At eight she beginning to learn the Christian joy of hospitality. The guests at our table bring great fascination. She asks me as we clean up the mess: “Mama, where is his wife?” “Mama, why do they have so many kids?” “Mama, do you think he was right about…” She absorbs family history as we tell stories about our parents, grandparents and the legacy of faith we carry on. She learns compassion and prayer as she says grace not only for the food but prays for my uncle in remission from a very nearly deadly bout with lymphoma.

My girl is developing a taste for more complex joys than any tv show has to offer: the joys of family and conversation. She is learning about communion. I mean literally the way we commune together, the time that makes us one family instead of four people who happen to share the same space.

It’s a spiritual lesson that many of us adults could stand to learn. Coming to God's table requires us to put aside all of the week's distractions. We have to turn away from being "connected" to Twitter, Facebook and our phones to join the larger conversation. We may have questions. We may have to develop a taste for it. We may need practice and maturity. But our Father, our elder Brother, and a large family of siblings around the world wait for us there to commune.

Helene Smith: Whether it's suffering the consequences of an entire bucket of snails in Hunan, taking evening bike rides at the beach in Vietnam, or hurtling down the mountain on wild sled rides at home in Wyoming, I love a good adventure.  The greatest adventure of my life has been walking where God leads with my husband of 18 years and my two sweet girls. 

Look for Helene at:
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This week's hack comes from Susan: I use Plan to Eat to plan our meals. It generates the shopping list for me which is a HUGE help. I also do a lot of online shopping and have groceries delivered, or we pick them up.

The secret to using Plan to Eat is to buy a yearly subscription during their Black Friday sale every year and it is half-price. I recommend that anyone joining in the meantime takes advantage of a free month's trial and then pays by the month until November.  For the Plan to Eat app, click here.

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  1. Amen! It's easy to slip into distraction habits at dinner, whether it's tv, phones, or reading. Taking that time to intentionally eat and talk together is so important, whether you're a big family or just two of you!

    1. My husband and I had kids at home for 32 years eating with us. Now we are just us, but we still sit at the table and eat dinner together. We enjoy having extra time to read and pray together as well.

  2. This is an awesome post. Thanks for encouraging us to unplug and commune together around the table. Your neighbor over at Life of Faith link up!

  3. You are welcome! Helene did a great job! Thanks for stopping by.



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