by: Trisha Forsythe
It is one of my favorite places in the world, and the place that holds the most memories for me. It is a simple place. It can be found in every house, although it is often used for a variety of purposes other than what it was intended. My favorite place is—or was—my grandparents’ kitchen table. I miss that table almost as much as I miss them. That simple brown stained table became a safe place, a place for learning, a place for laughter, a place for encouragement, and for love.
Growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house. We practically lived there. My grandparents held mealtimes as special time for family to gather and eat. We didn’t just eat though. We laughed, we talked about our days, we learned lessons, we gained wisdom, and we were shown love.
As kids in school, we did homework at that table. Grammy would sit us down in our spots and watch over us as she cooked. She was there to help us when we needed it. We couldn’t stop to do anything until we finished our work. Our goal was to do it right as well as to get to finished before dinner. We knew that after dinner we could watch tv and go outside to play (which was my favorite part). Yet, we didn’t just get the knowledge from the books; when PeePa came home and we were eating, we heard great stories of love and how to treat people. I carry the wisdom they passed on—things like “if a job is worth doing right, it is worth doing right the first time,” “treat people with respect,” and “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” (my dad still uses this one on me). They also taught us the love of God at that table. We discussed the Sunday sermons and Sunday school lessons and memorized Bible verses.
It was also the gathering place for birthday parties and holidays. We as a family would sit around the table and talk about the day and what we had accomplished and hoped to accomplish. We got advice—godly advice and life experience. It was in these moments we saw how God was working in each of our lives and how God had protected us or taught us or changed us in ways we couldn’t see at the time. It is these memories that I hold dear.
I am reminded of the times Jesus “reclined at the table” when he was at Peter’s house and “sat at the Passover table” with His disciples. Each time He was sharing the purpose of His mission and the purpose and cost of being a disciple. He was teaching lessons in these moments. He was teaching lessons of love, discipleship, and how to live a godly life when He fed the 5000. He spent time with people. In those “kitchen table” moments he passed on his wisdom that has changed the lives of so many people—you and I included.
We have a purpose—a calling—to “go and make disciples” and to train the next generation. So, my challenge to you as I close this blog is—take every opportunity to create “kitchen table” moments with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, moms and dads, whole families. If you have those kitchen table moments already—be encouraged, they are not forgotten, and neither are the lessons. They are engraved on the hearts of all those who shared in those “kitchen table” moments. If you need to start—do it now. Find the time. Make the time. It is well worth the extra time and preparation.